We had the good fortune of connecting with Romi Rivera Rivera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Romi Rivera, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up in Monterey, California where I trained in classical ballet starting at the age of three. Through my ballet training with Milou and Kira Ivanovsky, I developed my innate body awareness and learned the benefits of discipline and consistency. At the age of seven I began quietly experiencing chronic low back pain that would refer though my hips. The pain would get to the point that I couldn’t lay flat on my back without intense spasms. I didn’t complain about this, instead just dealt with it as a norm in my life. At the age of 20 I shifted my main attention away from dance. I moved to Austin, Texas to begin my Pilates studies and certification with Wendy Le-Blanc Arbuckle at the Pilates Center of Austin. Incredibly, through my training there my chronic back pain would cease to exist anymore as a norm in my body! I learned that the combination of being hyper-mobile along with muscular imbalances was creating this unsupported compression and therefore constant pain. I was hooked on Pilates and its benefits. I completed my certification and hours in 2 years and moved to Los Angeles, Ca. I have had the pleasure of working at many different studios in the greater Los Angeles area. But, one of the more influential experiences would have to be my time teaching at Core Conditioning. Along with teaching pilates, I also worked as a Physical therapist assistant there. Through my assistant work I would learn to develop manual stretching techniques for the patients. Fast Forwarding to my business now…Everything has seemed to all come together. Ballet Bodies is a place where all of my passions that have imprinted on me in my journey come together. Taking the Pilates Method and asserting the disciplines of a ballet dancer into the workouts, along with the manual body stretching and body work that have such incredible benefits in balancing out all body types and all of their amazing individual make-ups. Plus, I get the pleasure of teaching my adult ballet class, where I take classical barre combinations and put them to a wide array of music from the classics, like Beethoven, all the way to 80’s classics and modern pop. No matter what age or physical abilities you are presently at, I believe with discipline and consistency in my methods you can achieve your body’s maximum potential.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am in the business of functional training – primarily in the area of Pilates (core strength and conditioning), Ballet (strength, flexibility, balance, and grace), and Stretching (flexibility, agility, and joint health). It doesn’t matter from where you’re starting, if you are willing and have discipline, I can help you achieve results! I train all levels; you don’t need any equipment, and group classes are very affordable. I love teaching individual private sessions. And for group classes, I keep them small, unlike packed group classes, because I love giving individual attention to my clients. I like to consider myself an artisan of personal training! My passion, abilities, and professionalism really began gaining recognition during a time I was an employee for the business I now own. However, at the time, the business itself was struggling and the threat of having to close its doors was becoming inevitable. It was at this time I was offered a rare opportunity. I could single handedly take over the business with minimal personal financial contribution, or I could just go somewhere else and teach, with no financial risk. I decided to take the leap and take on the business I had helped to grow and learned to love. I took the opportunity, risked it all and here I am; proud owner of Ballet Bodies. I haven’t lost my passion or forgotten the root of why I do what I do. I care about my students and their bodies and maintain a steady clientele, some of whom I’ve had for well over a decade. Look out for Ballet Bodies activewear and clothing line coming soon, as well as new virtual workouts. I’m here to help you get that Ballet Bodies booty, loose that extra quarantine weight, and move with beauty and grace. Make sure to follow us on IG to check for great new offers and updates!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ballet Bodies was founded by Andie Hecker, who has been a mentor, a colleague, and friend. My time working with her reignited my passions and helped to bring them back to the forefront of my training methods. Her support allowed me to believe in all of my abilities and trust myself as more than just an instructor of Pilates, but a multifaceted teacher of movement. Life has an incredible way of putting the right people in front of us through our passions and efforts. When we find those people who believe in us and our abilities, we should keep them close and allow them to be a part of our journey. I am very fortunate to have an incredible support group of amazing individuals. Now that I am owner and Master Trainer of Ballet Bodies, I remain close with Andie and still consider her a mentor and friend.