Name: Hannah Weaver
Current location: Houston, TX
Hometown: Houston, TX
Instagram handle: @hannah_has_big_dreams
What inspired you to pursue a career in the movement space?
When I was a teenager and into my early 20’s, I would furiously workout to prove my worth. I’ve always existed in a larger body and for so many years I felt compelled to perform fitness, in order to gain acceptance from those around me. I believed the lie that I was somehow lazy and less than, because my body didn’t fit the societal standard. It wasn’t until five or six years ago that I started to unlearn those toxic beliefs. Once I began getting free from body shame and diet culture habits, I couldn’t help but share my newfound confidence and passion for movement. My background in Musical Theatre and Dance caused a natural progression into Dance Fitness. I have found Dance Fitness to be an incredible tool to break down walls and welcome people of all shapes and abilities to truly enjoy their movement practice, rather than use it for body modification. I teach, because I want people to feel empowered to celebrate themselves, just as they are, right now.
When did you first hear about Joyn and what made you want to become an instructor with our platform?
I found Joyn on Instagram in the summer of 2020. I was blown away by the inclusivity and representation within the platform. Seeing instructors with bodies like mine and a vast array of movement styles felt like such a breath of fresh air. I felt so encouraged that I wasn’t the only person trying to widen the fitness bubble to include all bodies, I had never seen anything like it. I spent a few months taking in Joyn’s content and just kept feeling so seen and understood. When I saw the call for new instructors, I couldn’t ignore my opportunity to be a part of something so innovative and impactful. I was overjoyed to get to know Joyn’s incredible team and join the family shortly after!
Have you ever had an experience in the fitness/wellness industry that made you feel excluded?
Honestly, up until the last few years I was always discouraged by the lack of sizing availability in activewear. It’s been so cool to see the influx of options and representation in the fitness-fashion world lately, but I’m eager for an even more inclusive landscape. Clothing can be powerful, I believe no one deserves to be excluded from that power source, simply because of their size.
To the above point, what has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had in the fitness/wellness industry?
Due to my involvement in Musical Theatre, primarily youth theatre, a lot of my classes are filled with teens and their moms. Teen Me would’ve loved to have taken a dance class from someone with a body like mine; a body that moves with grace and poise, as well as energy and tenacity. I’m so honored to have the ability to say the things I wish my teen self could’ve heard, and help their parents gain a stronger vocabulary to help foster a healthy relationship with fitness.
What is it about dance that you love the most?
You know those “Oddly Satisfying” compilation videos on youtube? Successfully dancing a movement combo within a song feels like watching one of those videos. I love choreographing by first discovering the mathematical puzzle of the song, then ensuring the movement matches the mood of the music. When it all lines up just right, it’s oh so satisfying.
What is a misconception about fitness that you wish would go away and why?
I wish the general fitness world could move away from the use of fitness as a punishment for the body. I want to help people understand their body as an entity that so badly wants to work with you, rather than something you need to conquer. In that case, we could start moving in tandem with what we need from day to day, rather than disciplining our bodies into an unhealthy submission. When movement and fitness become about celebration and benefit for the entire being, it’s an incredible force for good.
For people who feel intimidated about working out, what is the best way for them to get started?
I find a lot of value in a pre-set warmup routine. I can move through the planned set while focusing on my breath and readying my mind for the activity ahead of me. It’s something that can be completed before any workout and it can be 100% unique to you. I always picture my muscles like sponges receiving the oxygen from my breath, and imagine my heart getting ready to do what it does best, pump!
Can you tell us about the outfit you’re wearing - why you love it and what role does fashion play in your movement practice?
I’m wearing a Nike Dry Tank, and The Nike One Luxe Tight. This tank top is perfect for me, because I’m all about versatility in my wardrobe. The tank is roomy and soft for optimum comfort and range of motion, and I can also tie it up to create a different silhouette. These gorgeous Fireberry Pink leggings feel so good on my body, Luxe is right, they wear like a dream. The waistband is just right, not too restrictive, but won’t slide or roll down. The One Luxe leggings are made with Dri-fit tech and they’re produced with sustainability in mind, I love an eco-conscious garment!
I believe clothing is most powerful when the wearer choses it by prioritizing their own comfort, utility, and self-expression. Those three prerequisites have influenced how I choose my wardrobe for all areas of my life, but especially in movement. I used to dress for the approval of others in dance classes and workouts, but now, my own personal comfort and confidence are the reasons I choose to wear what I do. This clarity of intention translates into my movement practice and makes each session an act of self-validation and an opportunity to honor all that I am.
Shop Hannah's leggings: https://bit.ly/3tK4nCf
Shop Hannah's top: https://bit.ly/3tI4SNo