Originally from London, Elle has lived in Hong Kong for the past decade and is a dance and fitness entrepreneur. She’s the founder of Corio, a dance inspired fitness and barre workout method and the creator of the Rebelle program, an online program to help busy women get their lifestyle back on track.
What inspired to start your fitness journey?
I accidentally got into fitness. I’ve always danced but that was never about being fit. I just love to dance!
I spent nearly two decades dancing, teaching and working in the dance space but when I had my children I realized that I couldn’t physically or mentally handle it anymore. With hindsight, I suspect I had mild postnatal depression but I didn’t really stop to think about it. I remember feeling like I had completely lost myself, my confidence and even my physical ability to do the things I loved. I felt really unprepared for how being a new mum was going to change me.
That’s when I started working with trainers, physios and coaches to get in shape again and discovered how cross training could positively impact my body, health, fitness, well-being AND help me get strong enough to dance again.
I ended up certifying as a personal trainer and nutrition coach and adding in more fitness orientated dance training, like barre, dance cardio, and Pilates, so that I could incorporate a more well-rounded program with my clients. That’s how the whole fitness journey started for me.
What is your weekly workout regimen?
My own training program is a real mishmash! I do strength training at least 2 times – ideally 3 – a week, with really focused gym sessions: usually in and out in 35 min, thanks to an uber clear plan and the quickest way to get it done.
Once a week I try and dance artistically, it’s like meditation for me.
If I’m teaching I end up doing more cardio because I have to demo the dance cardio classes, so that’s normally enough to keep me in shape. But if I’m not teaching, I’ll mix in a few barre, spin or Pilates sessions to keep me interested.
I have to change my workouts up to stay motivated and I’m NOT a cardio lover so unless I’m dancing, cardio is always a challenge!
How do you get ready to face a challenge that you know will be hard to overcome?
I think detaching from the outcome and focusing on the process is key, by breaking it down into little steps. I’m a positive person though, I always naively assume success, even if it doesn’t always turn out that way in reality.
What advice would you give to someone to stay motivated?
Do the piece that everyone misses out: the mindset work. Motivation is probably a deeper understanding of the bigger picture and connecting emotion to your actions: how will life improve? who will benefit?
If you have problems staying motivated, create some leverage, hire a coach, invest some money and time in yourself, shout out to your network that you’re doing this… go public!
Last but not least: find what (method, trainer, style) works for you! There are lots of ways to get an outcome. If you really loathe your ‘perfect’ workout program or nutrition plan, you won’t stick with it for long!
What would you say to the 10 years younger you?
It’s OK if not everyone likes you. It’s OK to say you don’t know the answer to something. And it’s OK to ask for what you want.
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
I don’t do cheat meals these days. I feel like nutrition can get really obsessive if you over do it so I prefer to try and eat intuitively and stay healthy at least 80% of the time. I love chocolate though, so it would probably be something with chocolate all over it… or apple crumble with cream!
A hobby that has nothing to do with fitness?
I’ve recently gotten into baking, which is ironic as it’s probably the nemesis of staying in shape, but I find it really relaxing, even though I’m terrible at it. I keep giving away cakes and scones!
A quote you live by
Be a nice human.
Where can you meet Elle?
Elle teaches pop up classes and workshops. She’s currently at Flex Studio in Southside and Central with the Corio classes. You can also find her at retreats and events in and around Asia.