Many of the trainers who work for Body Conceptions are performers who can be seen on stages around the world – and Erin is no exception. We are excited to welcome her back after her amazing run as Maggie in an Indianapolis production of Lend Me a Tenor. Anyone who trains with Erin knows how infectiously enthusiastic and hard-working she is. She will make you laugh while simultaneously work you harder than ever in your life. Erin will be teaching class again at Stepping Out Studios – so be sure to come check her out!!
Full Name: Erin Phyllis West
Where were you born? I was born at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Hospital in Aurora, CO. My dad was in the Air Force at the time.
Where did you grow up? My Dad was transferred to the Little Rock Air Force Base when I was five and soon after retired. He decided we should stay in Arkansas, so I grew up there.
What’s your biggest passion? Oh that’s easy–Music. I grew up listening to my parents’ records, I made up dances in the living room to my favorite songs, I started singing and my heart just LOVED it. I got my degree in music from Oklahoma City University. But aside from all that, I just think that music has the power to evoke feeling from people in the most incredibly special way. I could go on and on about it, but it will suffice to say that music is my passion.
Tell me about your career. Have you changed direction? If so, why? Oh man, my career as a performer has brought some awesome opportunities. I have performed in Japan and China. I got to do the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I have performed in shows around the U.S. with some really talented and wonderful people—I’ve been very lucky! I think there comes a time in every performer’s life where they ask themselves, “What is next for me? What is the career that I can turn to when I’m not performing anymore?” I started asking myself that seriously about a year ago, which lead me to pursue fitness. I don’t consider it a change of direction, I consider it more of a logical transition. That’s not to say I’ve given up on performing, but I’ve just allowed myself another path to travel, and I’m loving it!
What do you wish you knew when you were younger? I wish I had known that it doesn’t matter what other people say about you.
What’s your fitness style? Haha, well I think my clients and the people who take my class would say it’s BALLS TO THE WALL ENERGY. And, I think I’d probably agree. I can’t hide my excitement for exercise and I love that I get to work out along WITH my clients. It’s exhilarating! AND I pick music that gets me really excited
What’s the best piece of health/wellness/dance advice you’ve ever gotten? Well, the dance program at my college used to weigh us in every month and our weight would affect our grade. Later on, someone told me that it doesn’t matter what the numbers say–it matters how you FEEL. That, to me, was a much more positive notion. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers instead of staying off the scale and listening to our bodies.
What’s something most people don’t know about you (that’s maybe a little funny or weird)? I don’t often tell people that I used to do pageants as a teenager. It was my idea (not my mom’s) and I did it mostly so I could perform. The highest I ever placed was first runner-up in the Miss Mount Nebo Chicken Fry pageant. (I’m not kidding about the title.) I quit pageants after that.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? I really love those little chocolate donuts that you can buy at the gas station in a six-pack. Oh man…. And put them in the refrigerator? Forget about it!
What quality do you really cherish about yourself? I think this is a tough question because it’s not something you get asked often…. Something I really cherish is the wonderful friends I have. Every one of them is just so kind and inspiring and smart and I feel so lucky to have such incredible people that care about me. So, whatever quality I have that makes them treasure me–that’s one that I cherish.
Anything else about you that I missed? Yes–you missed the time I introduced myself to L.L. Cool J on a flight from New York to Atlanta and then realized an hour later that my fly was completely open.