/// EXTINGUISHING . EXCUSES /// .becoming an OULA Instructor.
September 19, 2016

We have heard it before; people saying they would like to go through the OULA teacher training, but they just don’t know if they should. You can always find a reason not to… but we decided to talk to some of the people who took an OULA training despite their doubts.

Find out the initial concerns of actual OULA Trainees and Instructors, how they got past them, and why they were glad it didn’t hold them back.


  1. “I can hardly make it through a 1 hr OULA class! Physically, how could I make it through 2 days of training?”


#1. Training weekend was definitely intense, but there were actually a lot of breaks in the physical activity. I was expecting to be completely exhausted afterward, but instead I felt energized and excited! Bring snacks and drink lots of water and don’t worry that you’ll be dancing nonstop all day – you’ll be both dancing and sitting down and I think they do a great job of achieving a balance.

-Nichole Cassavant (Minneapolis, MN- Certified 2016)


#1. I was afraid of this, too. I went to instructor training only 5 months after having a c-section and lower back surgery, back to back. I loved to dance and knew I wanted to be an instructor, though, so I signed up with the idea in my head that I would only do what I could do as to not hurt myself. Besides the master class each morning, (which was ahhmazing btw) the rest of the weekend was surprisingly easy on my body. Sure when it came to testing time on Sunday, there were people in the front, giving it their all for every single song, but then there was me, taking it easy, giving about 30% and I wasn’t alone, and that was ok! You can take it easy if you need to and don’t get any less of an experience as anyone else. – Kelly Hillman (Bozeman, MT- Certified 2016)


#1. It’s Oula, it’s still a safe space and nobody looks the same or moves the same. I was able to enter that training weekend knowing my song, teaching songs and strengthening my love of Oula, and guess what, not a single person said I didn’t belong or make me feel like I didn’t belong. I’d tell anyone to ditch it at the door and take the training…I have told women to jump and take it! It changed how I feel about my body, watching so many people dance and teach and grow I realized my body doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s to do Oula or teach it! -Nina Marie (Minneapolis, MN- Certified 2016)



  1. “I love OULA, but in general I am a shy person. Does that mean that teaching OULA isn’t really for me?”


#2. ‪I am an introvert in nature and I never thought that I would be able to lead a group with my voice and direction, but with the encouragement of my fellow students and training team, I felt comfortable enough to lift my voice and project to everyone. The exercises that we did before leading the class helped boost my confidence in my teaching abilities and after the training weekend, I feel much more open with myself and others. – Janee Artis (Driggs, ID- 2016 Trainee)


#2. I had the hardest time being vocal when I first started teaching! I could barely even smile at people let alone sing and cue, but now it is one of my favorite parts about teaching! I can’t imagine taking a class or teaching a class and not singing and shouting and letting it all go! – Tracey Riley (Helena, MT- Certified in 2013)


#2. As an instructor, I’m able to completely let go of my shyness. Part of the beauty of OULA is that it’s my safe space to completely let go and let my inner confident warrior shine! Instructing will stretch you in the most amazing ways! – Ryann McLain (Havre, MT- Certified in 2014)


#2. I felt SO insecure about making noise when I first started to practice teaching. Even though I come off as outgoing-I’m actually pretty shy! If I feel even a little uncomfortable I get super awkward. Through the training process and getting more involved with the OULA community, I was able to let go of the fear of looking silly and awkward, because I realized that OULA classes are a safe space to just let go and be you. Now, I try to be awkward and silly; participants love it! – Cassie Sapp (Missoula, MT- Certified in 2013)


#2. I am such a shy introverted person, but I am so glad that I signed up for training. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but in a wonderful way. I love that it has given me more confidence in myself. –Michelle Dionne (Elk River, MN- 2016 Trainee)


#2. I am one of the worlds shyest people, and actually only signed up initially because my older sister did. OULA has given me a place to let it all go and express my other side; it’s a chance for me to be loud and weird. Every shy person needs the chance to be out of control, goofy but in charge for an hour. Being an instructor has shaped who I am as a person more than I could ever say. Over the past four years it has pushed me out of my comfort zone in all aspects. I am more assertive, a better communicator, I’m much more confident in myself and I no longer (for the most part) have issues going up and talking to complete strangers, I just have to channel my instructor side! – Shannon Cartwright (Bozeman, MT- Certified in 2013)


  1. “I have heard that trainings are fun, but I am not 100% sure that teaching OULA is for me. Should I take the training anyway?”


#3. I was in the same boat, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dance with Kali. I felt a little goofy at the beginning, but everyone was taken seriously, and uplifted beautifully. The space created at the training was so safe, empowering and loving that I feel like I’ve been to a spiritual retreat, only now I have the opportunity to teach! Even if I don’t teach, my love for OULA is completely over the top now. It was so much fun to learn all of the intricacies and the noble intentions within the design of the class that make it so great. I wouldn’t miss it for the world! – Erika Earles (Driggs, ID- 2016 Trainee)


#3. I wasn’t 100% sure I would want to teach when I signed up to attend a training – I had never taught a fitness class in my life! I found that the OULA training weekend gives you so many amazing tools to not only decide if you want to teach, but also to help you be a successful instructor! 100% worth it! –Ruth King (Missoula, MT- Certified in 2014)


#3. Yes. I wasn’t sure when I signed up if I really wanted to be an instructor. I just knew that I might and this was the best way to figure that out. I had an amazing time connecting with people who are passionate about building a community where everyone feels supported. I came away from the training with a greater sense of purpose of how to do good in the world. That could be transferred and used for whatever your goal may be. –Angela Schneider (St. Paul, MN- 2016 Trainee)


#3. I just love OULA and wanted more of it in my life, so it felt like the next logical step for me even though the thought of instructing terrified me (still does!). I was never sure how I was going to feel about being an instructor when it was done, I just wanted the experience of the training. Whether I end up going through with certification or not it was the BEST decision I ever made and the funnest weekend EVER! –Michelle Roop (Coon Rapids, MN- 2016 Trainee)


#3- I only signed up to become an instructor in case we moved to a place where there wasn’t OULA. It’s true, the training is SO FUN! I wasn’t sure I would have what it takes to teach OULA. The trainings (regular and advanced) didn’t just help me become an instructor, but provided a deeper level of connection with the music and movements. It’s not always possible to share about every movement in every song with a class, but Kali does a fabulous job sharing the emotional, physiological and community pieces for each song. –Melinda Meyers (Minneapolis, MN- Certified 2016)


  1. “I don’t know if I will be able to memorize choreography. I don’t want to go and be the only person who can’t catch on! How can I be sure I won’t feel out of place?”


#4. One large part of training is helping to understand how to break down a song into it’s core parts – the chorus, bridge, etc. You learn how to hear the repetitive parts in a song and how it relates to the choreography. This makes it easier to understand and remember it against the song. And always remember it’s still Oula – it’s not about how it looks, it’s about how it feels! Everyone who’s at training is at their own level, it’s a super supportive and encouraging group (again, it’s Oula!) –Megan Lund (Hudson, WI- Certified 2016)


#4. I was just telling someone that I must have spent at least 20 hours learning one of my first songs. It did NOT come easily, but it definitely has seeped into my brain and body and goes much faster now. And, trying lots of different techniques for learning as far as counting while dancing, writing out moves, dancing it with and without cues etc. really helped – everyone finds their own best way I think. So, I think the time involved is a real concern, and for me, I can usually just somehow find the time because I love it and the reward of teaching a tight, prepared class is worth it. –Diane Olsen (Hamilton, MT- Certified 2013)


#4. I almost didn’t attend training because I can’t dance, I was mortified to shake my butt in front of class, and I can’t roll my hips, etc. I learned in training that everyone dances differently and my way of dancing, while not very graceful, is athletic and totally ok. And the atmosphere was so supportive and non-judgmental that I learned to roll my hips. And from continued support and encouragement in mentoring and fellow trainees, I’ve learned to shake my butt like nobody is watching. –Becky Sluss (Minneapolis, MN- Certified 2016)


#4. It doesn’t come easy to everyone, but a big part of training is learning how to break it down! It took me a little bit of time to figure out how I personally learn the routines best to then use it to learn then for classes. You will catch on, there’s no rush to learn it as fast as anyone else, just you!!! –Anne Morrow (Elk River, MN –Certified 2016)


#4. I have a learning disability and I had this fear. Depending on the choreography my brain likes to flip things or I will struggle with the simplest move until I can get into the position of viewing that it registers correctly. In training you are never alone, if you forget or are still trying to learn the choreography you have an instructor that will give you cues on what you need to do until you have it. It’s rather amazing how they know when you need a little extra support. –TL Wolvert (Minneapolis, MN- 2016 Trainee)


  1. “What if I go though the training and can’t find anywhere to teach? I don’t want to look back and feel like it was a waste of time!”


#5. You can teach anywhere. It doesn’t have to be at a gym or fitness facility. If you find a space (yoga studio? Dance studio? Community center? School gym?) & have patience, you CAN build an amazing community!! –Liz Goetz Gillpatrick (St. Ignatius, MT- Certified 2016)


#5. What I love so much about OULA training is that it arms trainees with tools not just to teach, but for self growth as well. Finding places to teach can be tough, but know that there is a whole community backing you to your success! I love this tribe because we can ask questions on choreography, on how to talk to gyms, how to talk to our friends. It’s taught me how to reach outside my comfort zone, and showed me perseverance even when it gets tough. You’ll continually grow as a person and an ambassador! –Vanessa Naïve (Los Angeles, CA- Certified 2014)


#5. When you tell people you are going to this training the first thing they want to know is when and where are you teaching? When I hear this, I hear, ‘you must of failed if you are not teaching yet?’ First I have to remember why I love OULA and why I wanted to go to the training. OULA has re-ignited a spark within me that I thought I lost forever, a joy I have not experienced in a long time. I fell even more in love with it after going to the training and it has added a whole new layer of complexity to OULA that has made me appreciate it even more. Yes, I am feeling pressure about getting out, selling myself, and OULA to the community and to fitness centers. My goal is that others would love it as much as I do; OULA has become a part of me and this increases the risk if people don’t like it, or ‘don’t get it’. This pressure and fear is coming from within. I feel so strongly about this movement that I want to share it with the world. However, I cannot make others feel the way I feel and I cannot let the pressure of becoming an instructor take away the joy I get from doing it. I will continue day by day, learning the songs, dancing with my friends, and spreading the joy. My opportunity to teach will come and I do not have to force it and in the meantime, I can love on others by simply dancing with them as a representative OULAkin. –Catherine Springer (Minneapolis, MN- 2016 Trainee)


  1. “I am a busy women with a family, a job, friends, etc. How does anyone have time to add it onto their already full schedule?”


#6. I am definitely a busy woman! I work 12-hour days, 6-7 days/per week and I also try to hangout with family and friends almost everyday. It seems like I wouldn’t have time to practice Oula, BUT Oula actually gives me something to look forward to. When I’m stressed with work and my social life, Oula becomes my creative outlet. Instead of stressing out about learning a new song or putting together a playlist, I look forward to that time, and feel accomplished after I learn new choreography or teach a butt-kicking and fun class. It helps me relieve stress. –Julia Capron (Meredith, NH- Certified 2015 )


#6. This was my main concern going into training, as well! Don’t worry; you are not alone. The great thing about the training is that Kali and the other trainers give you all the tools you need to make it work no matter your situation at home. They teach you how to learn the choreography, talk to gyms, put together playlists, get your classes involved, market your class, and so much more. You learn how to do everything quickly and effectively with support the whole way through the process. To top it off the mentors have kids, full time jobs, and busy lives themselves, so they are full of expertise that they don’t mind sharing. I spend about an hour a week learning the choreography and setting up playlists for my week of classes and then all I have to do is show up to class and have some fun. It is more than doable even for a super pregnant women like myself, so don’t let it stop you from achieving your goal of becoming an Oula instructor!!! –Tasha Glasman (Billings, MT- Certified 2016)


#6. I am the Queen of adding more to my plate BUT taking this training is one of the best decisions of my life. I have never felt so healthy and full of energy EVER!!! All the extra energy helps me with everything I need to get done, but that’s just one HUGE benefit. When you are having so much fun it all just falls into place! And ss far as family and friends goes, OULA has brought us closer. My Mom is a HUGE OULA lover and comes to every class she can make. Also, some of my best friends now love OULA so it’s another thing we can do together!! It’s so cool when you get to share in this experience with your family and friends!!! –Christina Garcia (Los Angeles, CA- Certified 201)


#6. OULA is my “treat yo’ self” time! It’s my therapy. It’s what keeps me sane during my busy weeks. I notice a huge difference when I’m stressed and busy and don’t get to find that release in OULA. Because I can go through that hour with my community, and know I have support, love, and 99.9% guaranteed good time! And who doesn’t want to make time for a good time? –Vanessa Naïve (Los Angeles, CA- Certified 2014)


  1. “I am nervous that if I take the training and become an instructor then OULA won’t be fun anymore. How can I be sure that learning how to instruct won’t ruin for me?”


#7. Teaching an OULA class is an entirely different experience than participating. As an instructor, you have the opportunity to create a comfortable space for your participants to fall in love with OULA the same way that you did. You get to be the encourager, helping others find their inner strength and beauty, and it’s SO special! I LOVE instructing, but I make sure to attend other people’s classes regularly so I can still get my “me” time in and be a goofy participant. –Cassie Sapp (Missoula, MT- Certified 2013)


#7- Attending a teacher training actually made going to class more fun! Knowing more choreography and having a deeper understanding of OULA made it easier to just let go in class. –Amanda Taylor (Missoula, MT- Certified 2011)


#7 Going through training adds to the Oula experience. During training you learn ways to increase the experience of Oula in yourself and how to share and communicate it to others. If you think your Oula class is a safe space, you haven’t seen anything until you attend training! Kali and her supportive team of mentors are there to help you achieve whatever intention you set for yourself on your Oula journey! –Marty Rehbein (Frenchtown, MT Certified 2014)


#7. Instructing and participating are really different experiences for me. When I’m teaching, I”m thinking about everyone else in the room. I want them to have fun and work hard. I want to motivate them to have the best class ever. There is nothing better than seeing someone else come out of their shell or just let go in your class. When I take class from someone else, I fall right back into participant mode and focus more on what I need for that hour. I’ve found that teaching has made me much, much freer as a participant and more connected to OULA as a whole. The added bonus is that I have a much greater respect for my fellow instructors and I think that makes me a better participant. I also love that I learn new tricks and cues every time I take class from someone else. -Robyn Wick (Minneapolis, MN- Certified 2015)


And finally a word of advice from someone who “NEVER EVER” thought they could be an instructor, but now teaches 3 classes/week …..


“If you’ve ever even THOUGHT about taking an OULA Teacher Training…DO IT!!! It gives you an insight not only into OULA, but also yourself! We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for and the training helps bring that out. Even if you never teach a class, training weekend is something you’ll carry with you for a lifetime!!!” –Stacey Rossmiller (Missoula, MT- Certified 2015)


Previous Entries

January 2, 2020
December 17, 2019
October 1, 2019
Show More
January 2, 2020
December 17, 2019
October 1, 2019
September 11, 2019
May 12, 2019
August 1, 2018
February 14, 2018
December 11, 2017
December 10, 2017