Instructor Spotlight: Jerod Williams

List five words that best describe you…
Nerdy, Silly, Energetic, Positive, Blessed 

What inspired you to teach dance and fitness?

After getting the scariest wake-up call of my life about my health from a routine doctor visit, I knew I had to do something about bettering my health and was pretty much at a crossroads.  After my doctor visit, my car broke down and it was going to take AAA at least 45 minutes to an hour to get to me.  In the meantime, I decided to walk around the neighborhood and saw a dance studio where there was a Zumba class going on, which was cutting edge at the time.  I was so intrigued watching all of these people dancing, sweating and smiling and the music was so much fun.  I immediately grabbed a flyer with a list of classes and started going to the studio and became a frequent student and volunteer.  Then an opportunity came up for me to where I got the chance to become an instructor.  Never, in a million years, that I would think about being an instructor for dance and fitness.  I was perfectly content just taking classes and training to maintain my health and lose some weight.  The road was definitely not easy and I didn’t fall into teaching.  It took A LOT of time and took A LOT of patience and practice.  Now, I teach at two gyms and three dance studios in the Greater Los Angeles Area.  At first, I danced because I needed to take control of my health, but now I dance because I love it and I want to share the passion I feel about dance and fitness with others. Dance IS for everyone.    

What would you like your students to know about you?

I used to be 220 lbs. and, to this day, I still work a high stress job of being a Legal Assistant.  The day job definitely pays the bills, but it also attributed to the decline of my health.  Dance became this outlet for me so dance definitely balanced the demands that the day job presented so that I can have that happy medium.  I call my parents every day on the regular.  They got me through life and helped me become the person I am today and I can’t ever thank them enough.  Hearing their voices and having their counsel whenever I need it, is truly a big blessing.  I’m all about being close with my family and loved ones.   

What are your favorite hobbies and interests?

My biggest hobby that I actually started to get paid for doing when I was younger was writing.  Whenever I get the chance, I love to write blogs, articles and screenplays.  I had a few articles published for a few online magazines and also had one of my screenplays in a writing competition where I was a finalist.  I also briefly wrote for a network while I was in grad school.  I also love movies, taking long drives down the coast (just to clear my head and be alone with my thoughts) and hang out with friends on my downtime just to catch up and be present in the moment. 

At what age did you begin dancing? And when did you know you wanted to teach others?

I didn’t really start dancing until later in life.  In my mid to late 30s.  There is still so much for me to learn on this journey.  After getting a taste of leading a class on my own, the rest was history and I knew that teaching brought a comforting sanctuary for me to express my feelings.  When I would get students who would come to my class and say that I inspire them and thank me because they needed that hour, it really clicked with me that dance fitness is therapy and dance fitness is healing.  I’m now a Coach for one of the fitness formats (U-Jam Fitness) I am certified in and get the chance to inspire not only my students, but also other future and present instructors within the format.