The Journey (So Far) of Jacquese Silvas
Jacquese Silvas fell in love with teaching group fitness the second she stepped into the club – literally. Jacque taught step aerobics at a small women’s club in Alaska more than 24 years ago, and she knew then what she’s living now. “I was young. I was excited. I was one of the first instructors to teach there. I was doing sit-ups in this beautiful, brand spanking new fitness club and I thought to myself ‘One day I’m gonna have my own place’,” remembers Jacque. “So I asked the owner how to become a partner of this club. He asked how much I was looking to earn in a year, and I responded I needed at least about $50K. He said I better keep my day job!”
So, Jacque did keep her day job. When she moved to Arizona years later, she continued her climb up the corporate ladder with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other financial institutions. However, she never stopped teaching aerobics on the side…and she taught it ALL. “Spinning, kickboxing, you name it,” says Jacque, “I taught and loved ALL of it.” She got group certified in her spare time, and eventually started adding personal training and nutrition to her fitness toolbox.
But the time to break into her own hadn’t arrived just yet…
Jacque left the corporate world and acquired her master’s degree to become an elementary school teacher. With her infectious energy and natural grace, the transition from pushing paper to enriching minds made complete sense, yet she still had a reserve of energy for all the teachers AFTER school who wanted her to lead them in exercise classes. Jacque was known around school as “that one who’s into fitness.”
Though she had continued adding formats to her group fitness repertoire, she had an itch to get Mindy Mylrea’s Tabata Bootcamp training under her belt. Jacque picked up an AFAA booklet and noticed a training was being offered in January, but she knew the demands of preparing her students for spring standardized testing would not allow time for Tabata!
Enter FitnessFest (or rather, a FitnessFest brochure) a few months later. Jacque picked up a copy of the 2014 FitnessFest Conference & Expo brochure and saw Tabata Bootcamp advertised on the cover. When she read about all the other workshops and presenters that were going to be in town that spring, Jacque said “I need to take time off for THIS!” So about two weeks out -- still juggling her day job, fitness classes, church responsibilities, and visits from her family – Jacque went for it.
“I went through the Tabata Bootcamp training thinking the whole time about how to turn it into a business. The whole atmosphere at FitnessFest was speaking to me! I bonded with two other girls in the training, and we talked about opportunities for subleasing a place. One of the girls knew someone who had been searching for someone to rent space, and she called him on the spot,” says Jacque, “and that was that.”
Jacque quit her teaching job and signed a contract at a karate studio to sublease space for classes and personal training. She had to work around a robust karate schedule, thus the hours on her fitness schedule weren’t optimal. At times, the space just wasn’t ideal -- but she made it work. The classes continued to grow, despite the non-traditional space for a fitness facility and the scanty schedule. After six months, Jacque realized that change was necessary. The karate studio was going in a different direction, and her business needed to continue growing – this was the beginning of really living her dream.
“At the end of the year, my husband and I started looking for a new place for me to call my own. He found a spot, and by January we were IN. We got the place painted, got equipment…it all just came together,” Jacque gushes. “I’m on a high just telling you about it! Teaching that first class in my own new place was A-MAZING. The morning of my opening I had nearly 100 people! I had a special class for my followers that morning (we call them “The Originals”) – they even came back for the opening. My parents came from out of state. It was surreal. It still is a year later!”
So, what’s next for this dynamic powerhouse?
“I’m trying to expand more with my trainings. More nutrition, wellness coaching…I want to cover it all,” says Jacque. “I would love to be a leader in the industry, speak and educate around the country, even get on a regular show to educate people on the benefits of health and wellness and how GOOD it makes you feel. I want people to know the empowering benefits – it inspires you to become fearless in all areas of your life.” One of her mantras is to live life on purpose, and love where you’ve been. “Fitness is a feeling,” her last words.
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