“It Was Love At First Step” Joy Prouty
We recorded this on Valentine’s Day at the Zumba headquarters in Florida. Please enjoy the background atmosphere at no extra charge:)
What a privilege to grab an hour with my mentor and fitness icon Joy Prouty. In this episode Joy gives me a history lesson in fitness. I begin the conversation reflecting on when I first met Joy, it was before I was even teaching fitness. A few years later it was Joy who certified me in the Reebok programs.
We go back to when Step Reebok first began and how Joy was working with Reebok before the first fitness sneaker was even created. She shares her memories of being a part of the fitness revolution before Step Reebok was developed, and how she flew herself to meet Gin Miller in Atlanta to secure a position as part of the first Step Reebok Team.
Joy shares how she began her dancing career as a back up dancer in Pittsburg and how she quickly soared to stardom as a Rockette at The Radio City Music Hall in New York City. After two years in the city she knew her first love was teaching versus performing. She transitioned to teaching fitness based movement classes which included running ran a super successful program at Elizabeth Arden. Shortly after, Joy took the leap and opened her own studio in West Palm Beach.
Fast forward a few years and Joy became a part of the Reebok family. Alongside the likes of Gin Miller, Tamilee Webb, Ken Alan, Linda Shelton and Josie Gardner she helped create fitness history. We move into how Joy began working with Zumba and that often times she would take the leap and then figure things out. In 2006 Joy and Josie met the owners of Zumba and shared the importance of creating a program for seniors and over a handshake deal – Zumba Gold was born.
Joy is almost 77 and is as vital as most 30 year olds. She shares how everyday she feels grateful for the day ahead of her and she believes in the importance of strengthening and training our happiness. Joy shares her morning ritual which includes meditation and movement. She believes in always staying the student and being a forever learner.
We talk about there being a time for everything and that we are responsible for creating our powerful future. Knowing when it is time to step away from the past, let go and move joyfully into the future. We talk about how to age well in an industry that favors the young. Joy talks about the importance of celebrating the people around you, without trying to compete with them. The joy and freedom comes with celebrating who we are today, not who we were a decade ago goes a long way in helping us stay young.
We talk about the importance of being true to who we are and Joy encourages us all to stay young at heart, stay curious and to find community that will help you flourish and thrive.
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More About Joy
Joy Prouty is the Director of Education – Programming and Training for Zumba Fitness LLC. She is also the Co-Developer of the Zumba Gold Program, and was featured in the Zumba Gold Live It Up Consumer DVDs. Joy is a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette. She is an internationally renowned fitness instructor, trainer and educator and has been known for her innovative teaching style and program development for over 40 years. She served on the American College of Sports Medicine’s Summit Committee for 13 years, and was a member of ACSM’s Certification Committee for 7 years. She was also a member of the Reebok University Development Team for 8 years focusing on Program development and International instructor training. She and Josie Gardiner have co-authored several books, and 4 Harvard Medical School Special Health Reports, as well as choreographed and starred in over 25 video/DVDs. Joy also co authored the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan and a 12 week Getting Started Program for Breast Cancer Survivors and used by the YMCA Pink Program. Prouty is certified by ACSM as a Health Fitness Director and Health Fitness Instructor, by ACE, AFAA, AEA , and Welcoaches.
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