A Conversation with Christine Gallagher

Fitness & Health Expert

cgrearChristine Gallagher, fitness and dance expert, writer, health coach and founder of Red Hot Health & Fitness™ with programs: Red Hot Dance Fitness™, Red Hot Barre Fitness™ and Red Hot Nutrition™. She specializes in inspiring and educating fitness professionals and fitness enthusiasts.

Discover your personal health & fitness, develop your authentic skills and genuinely inspire others to health and happiness. – Christine “Lil Red”

Christine, how did you get started in the fitness industry?

I began dancing at the age of 5 and began teaching dance by the time I was 12. My parents built a dance studio in our basement and over the summer months I would offer dance lessons to the kids in my neighborhood and even put on a recital at the end of the summer with my mom making all the costumes and a friend acting as MC. I guess I had the entrepreneurial spirit at a very young age! I competed in dance competitions throughout high school as well as in college. But how I began teaching group exercise is quite interesting. Twenty years ago there weren’t a lot of certifications. In fact there was just one job title for those that taught fitness classes. You were an aerobics instructor. Before we had TRX, spinning, yoga, pilates, weight lifting classes and bootcamp there was just aerobics. The format was 30 minutes of grapevines, jacks and kicks followed  by floor work  which we also called calisthenics. Growing up I exercised at home to Jane Fonda tapes and worked out with the Fitness pros on ESPN but I had never taken a live fitness class. When I was hired by a local gym to work the desk the manager decided that because of my dance background I would watch the class taking place on my first day and then teach the class the following day. Luckily I was so young and naive I wasn’t intimidated. Although I did have to quickly learn how to pace myself because in dance you give 200% for a 2-3 minute dance and in group exercise it’s about maintaining a moderate pace to build cardio-respiratory endurance for 30-45 minutes. While in college I became certified to teach group fitness and over the years I’ve been privileged to have been able to get trained and certified in a number of formats. The industry has really changed over the 20 plus years since I started in fitness. And the growth in specialties has meant lots of new and interesting programs.

Over my 20 year career I have worked in a variety of positions in the health & fitness industry.  I worked as a nutrition counselor, I’ve been in sales for corporate gyms, program management and development for youth fitness, group fitness, personal training, dance, martial arts and more.  But my favorite and the most rewarding jobs have always revolved around group fitness: instruction & management.

Why did you decide to create your own program?

That defining moment in my life happened in late 2010. One year earlier I had quit my full time job as a Director of Health and Wellness for a non-profit and I spent the next year following my passion: teaching classes and overseeing programs for smaller gyms and studios.  After spending 20 years teaching fitness classes I realized my strength, expertise and passion was in group fitness: instruction and management.  I was teaching packed classes and was being asked by other instructors for my choreographed routines.  I realized I had a very specific talent and passion for creating choreography for dance based workouts. I was fulfilled but unable to make teaching a full time income.  I was teaching 20 classes a week, was exhausted mentally and physically.  Then one of my students suggested create my own fitness brand become an entrepreneur.  I wasn’t quite sure how to monetize my passion but with her assistance I began to explore the possibilities.  At that very moment, I made a commitment to immerse myself in absolutely everything fitness related. I researched every fitness company, reviewed every manual and teaching reference for fitness professionals.  I read every book I could get my hands on. I took every course that was available. I essentially decided to become a mini-expert on all things fitness.

Lo and behold, within less than a year, I had developed my first program, trained and certified 50 instructors and won a variety of  awards from magazines including being named Best New Fitness trend.  During this process, I finally realized my talent was in program development with a focus on music as the driving force for fitness formats. The thing that I enjoyed MOST was teaching classes and creating fun and do-able choreography for fitness classes.  I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to developing fun workout programs so that others enjoy their workouts and live a happier and healthier life.  I also want to help those that want to take their fitness to the next level and become instructors and provide them with quality fitness education and continuing education.

What exactly is Red Hot Dance Fitness™ and Red Hot Barre Fitness™?

  • Red Hot Dance Fitness™ combines the hottest music with even hotter moves.  Beginners build confidence with easy to follow dance moves set to your favorite songs, while more difficult choreography is layered in so the advanced dancer can be challenged. An invigorating, exhilarating, liberating and calorie burning dance party that will have you addicted from the first beat!
  • Red Hot Barre Fitness™ is designed to tone, trim and transform the body. A dynamic fusion of dance inspired movement along with fitness exercises set to upbeat popular music creates this full body workout. SWEAT, SCULPT and SMILE!
The Red Hot Education Team strives to provide quality fitness education and continuing education to the fitness professional so they can create a positive experience for participants through safe and effective workouts.


How are you and Red Hot Dance Fitness™ different from other “dance fitness programs?”

Personally I feel that working out should be fun. I believe that there are many benefits beyond the physical for those that dance. It’s why I created the program. I wanted everyone to feel like they were Beyonce’s backup dancer! I create hot and fresh choreography that makes you feel like you are in a real music video. You get to channel your inner JLo and feel like a professional dancer.  It also feels like a dance party because  we use real music from the real artists.  There are no cover artists used in or sped up “aerobic remixes”.  And since we release new choreography to our instructors every single week our classes always have something new for students: a new song, a new move…something to keep you coming back for more, never getting bored!  Our instructors are also taught the Red Hot Method™, our proprietary teaching methodology, so that they can teach with ease and have the highest level of success with as many students as possible. So as a certified instructor you are successful and if you are a participant you know you are going to get a great workout and have no frustration when following.

What benefits will I receive from taking Red Hot Dance Fitness™ or Red Hot Barre Fitness™ classes?

You can expect to:

  • Sweat!
  • Burn calories
  • Meet new people
  • Strengthen your core
  • Tighten and tone the muscles throughout your body
  • Build confidence
  • Improve memory
  • and HAVE FUN!

Who are your students exactly?

Anyone who loves to dance!  Class participants range in age and abilities.  We get teens through seniors, those with two left feet as well as professional dancers.  So anyone that loves music and movement and wants to have fun while working out is ideally suited for the Red Hot classes.  While most of my students are female we do get some men in my classes as well.

For what type of person is the Red Hot Dance Fitness™ not appropriate for?

Anyone that doesn’t like to dance and those that don’t like popular music. But you don’t have to be a dancer. We make sure you walk out feeling like one!

What happens if you never taken a class before?

All classes are open to all levels.  Our class design and teaching methodology makes is easy for anyone to follow the choreography and get a great workout.  Instructors also provide layers and modifications throughout class and as you get more comfortable you will build confidence and get better and better.  The more often you dance with us the more choreography you learn and the more you begin to put your own flair and personal style into each movement.  You can also increase your intensity by adding on more and more layers provided for the more advanced dancers.

What type of individuals become Red Hot Dance Fitness™ Instructors?

The Red Hot Dance Fitness™ and Red Hot Barre Fitness™ programs were created for people who love dance and music.  Both experienced dancers and those that just like to feel like they are dancer attend trainings.  No previous dance or fitness experience needed. I created the Red Hot programs to make it easier for Instructors to have fresh and new content for their classes on a regular basis.  I’ve been there.  I was teaching classes and spent hours creating challenging choreography that would keep my students coming back for more and never get bored.  I wanted the best choreography, the best music, the best class and over 20 years I learned all the tricks of the trade, all the skills needed to easily teach and layer choreography. And I’ve put it all into the Red Hot Fitness brands.

What type of person would NOT make a good Red Hot Instructor?

DIVAs! Group Fitness Instructors are teachers, not performers. So while some individuals may be highly skilled dancers being able to teach is much more important. The success of the student, participant getting a workout, that is the top priority of a Red Hot Instructor. Those that want to inspire others and are humble and approachable.

What will I gain from attending a training?

You can expect to:

  • Learn the fundamentals of teaching group fitness
  • Learn and implement the Red Hot teaching methodology
  • Get proven ways of engaging your student
  • Receive do-able choreography for teaching all level classes
  • Learn time saving techniques that will dramatically cut down your preparation time

How quickly can I expect to teach classes?

This really depends on your experience. Are you currently teaching another format? Then all you have to do is start learning our choreography and teaching techniques and begin teaching when you feel comfortable. For those that are new to fitness instruction it may take longer but we provide you with all the resources so that you are successful on your journey.

Will attending a training and certification guarantee me getting a job teaching?

Although we cannot guarantee those attending a training a teaching position we do provide you with the tools to be successful leading Red Hot Dance Fitness and Red Hot Barre Fitness classes. We also offer some additional resources to instructors including auditioning techniques and more.

How much money will I make as a Red Hot Dance Fitness™ or Red Hot Barre Fitness™ Instructor?

That really depends on your overall group fitness teaching experience as well as where you teach. You can expect to make $16-$50 a class and possibly more if you decide to rent space and sell classes yourself.

If I’m not sure I’m ready to become an instructor, how can I sample your choreography or teaching methodology to see if it’s a right fit for me?

A way to sample Red Hot Dance Fitness™ or Red Hot Barre Fitness™ classes is to come to a live class. If there are no live classes in your area you can also sample classes through our online classes program. We also offer some free sample programs so you can see what we have to offer. Teach Dance Fitness and Teach Barre Fitness are both free trainings that will help get you started and are 100% free.

OK, I’m ready to become an instructor, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I call you?

Good, sounds like you’re ready to take the leap and step outside of your comfort zone. Yes, if you have a couple of questions, just email my team at info@redhotdancefitness.com or call us directly at 267-825-RHDF and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. I can’t wait to see you succeed and I am honored to be the one to help you. I’ll see YOU on the dance floor!