Danielle Zoellner • TigerX Instructor and Lifeworks Dance Lead
Danielle is a senior double-majoring in journalism and English. She’s from Denver, Colorado and has been a member of Team Mizzou since April 2014. If you can’t find Danielle in one of the fitness studios, you might find her at the J-School or reading a book (and keeping track of how many she finishes). Meet Danielle!
Why did you pick your major and what do you want to do with it after you graduate?
With my journalism degree I’m in Magazine Editing, and in English I’m in Creative Writing. I’ve always had a love for writing and reading, and I’ve always wanted to find a way to incorporate that [into my career] – I want to be a magazine editor and work for a city magazine because I like writing about the arts, culture and events of a city.
When you’re not at the Rec or in class, what do you like to do with your free time?
[My friends and I] try to do different things around Columbia. Since we’re seniors, we’re trying to experience the town as much as possible before we leave.
Name a fun fact about yourself.
I’ve kept track of all the books I’ve read since I’ve been in 8th grade. Right now, I’ve reached over 500 – I’m a huge reader. I can’t read as much as I’d like to now that I’m in college, but I remember winter break during freshman year when I read 32 books because I hadn’t been able to read that much [during the semester]. Since I’m so busy with my English and journalism degrees, I always utilize those breaks – I’m the kind of person that brings more books than clothes on vacations.
What was the last book you read?
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith [J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym].
Can you tell me a little bit more about what you do at the Rec?
I started working at the Rec in April 2014 as a TigerX Instructor, and I mainly teach strength and cardio classes. I also teach Lifeworks Dance. As I moved through the program, I was promoted to Lifeworks Dance Lead, meaning I organize the dance classes and help run the Instagram account and other social media platforms to find ways to promote the program. Since it’s a newer program, it’s a fun challenge to find out who my audience is and how to reach them.
Why should someone consider teaching Lifeworks Dance at the Rec?
As a dancer, I came to college still wanting to dance, just not competitively. I didn’t exactly know where to go. The cool thing about the [Lifeworks Dance] program is that it’s a nice way to keep up your dance experience without having to do it competitively. Being an instructor is a great option if you love to dance or if you’ve taught before – I used to teach dance classes before I came to college. It was a good way for me to keep that up.
What’s your favorite part about working at the Rec?
The people I work with are really cool. I think that within our TigerX and Lifeworks Dance programs, you meet some of the best people. We have this professional persona when we stand in front of a class, but then you get us behind-the-scenes in the office and we joke around a lot. We mainly talk about food.
What’s your favorite Team Mizzou Memory?
Laura Dyer was also a TigerX Instructor, and she was my mentor through the Lifeworks Dance program. She graduated last year. One time, we were teaching a dance fitness class for the Mizzou Women’s Soccer Team. They came not really knowing what was going to happen because none of them had ever taken a dance fitness class, and Laura normally didn’t teach dance fitness. Laura was a beautiful contemporary and ballet dancer, but when it came to hip hop and jazz, she was just kind of funny about it. She was doing one of her dance moves and leading the class, and goes, “alright guys, get groovy with those arms!”
I started laughing and I couldn’t go on teaching for about five minutes.
Why did you want to join Team Mizzou?
I saw how amazing the instructors were and how they provided their own personalities to every class and thought, “you know, maybe I could do that.”
I took the [instructor training] class and liked everything that Team Mizzou represented and what the Rec does for its employees – I think it’s a very good program that gives back and makes you feel appreciated as an employee. I haven’t regretted it.
What advice would you give to someone going through Team Mizzou recruitment?
Understanding that it is a job. It can be hard because it’s this amazing recreation center with a ton of amenities and perks, but it is a job with a lot of expectations that’s wanted by a ton of people on campus. Make sure that you present yourself in a professional way and know that if you get hired, you’ll have to work hard – it will help you so much more as opposed to just doing the bare minimum.