A Tribute to Ellen: 18 Years of Fitness, Passion, and Community at the DAC

Ellen’s journey at the DAC began 18 years ago, in October 2006. Her initial role involved teaching Group Power and Cycle classes, marking the start of a remarkable career at the club. Prior to joining the DAC, Ellen held positions as a fitness director at other clubs in town, gaining valuable experience that would later serve her well in her role at the DAC.

What drew Ellen to the DAC was its reputation as the premier club in town. Despite not knowing anyone when she first started, Ellen quickly became an integral part of the DAC community. Her passion for fitness dates back to her childhood, where she and her family were always involved in sports and physical activities. Fitness became a pivotal part of her life after the birth of her oldest son, Colton, 26 years ago, aiding her in overcoming personal challenges and finding balance.

Throughout her career, Ellen has been a dedicated student of fitness, continually seeking to improve her skills and knowledge. She has pursued various certifications and educational opportunities, staying abreast of industry trends and developments. Certifications from P90X, Beach Body, PiYo, and Insanity… to name a few. Ellen’s hunger to learn and grow has been a cornerstone of her success as a fitness professional. The DAC is the biggest management position and the biggest team she’s worked with. (When she told me she wasn’t a natural at teaching and couldn’t keep a beat, I couldn’t believe it!)

Ellen’s most significant contributions to the fitness world is the creation of WARRIOR, her baby. WARRIOR is a fitness program she developed in response to a challenging moment in all our lives; COVID-19. When BeachBody, where Ellen was a presenter and master trainer, closed its operations, she decided to create her own program to teach at the DAC. What started as a 12:15PM class quickly grew into a global phenomenon, with instructors teaching her platform in 13 countries. Ellen’s ability to pivot and turn a setback into a success is a testament to her resilience and creativity.

Under the WARRIOR umbrella, Ellen has developed five programs, four of which are accredited. These programs, Rhythm, Strength, Combat, Kid’s, and Revolution, cater to a diverse audience and emphasize inclusivity and community. Ellen is proud of the diverse group of instructors she has assembled, who share her commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all participants. Not only has she created every class, format, and accreditation, she also creates and handles all merchandise, social media, travel planning, and continuously teaches her formats in the largest U.S. cities and countries.

As she reflects on her time at the DAC, she is grateful for the growth and opportunities she has experienced. Her motivation throughout her career has always been the members. She finds so much joy in seeing the positive impact her classes have on their lives, and the sense of community that has developed among them. Ellen considers the DAC her “teaching home” and is grateful for the opportunity to continue teaching here while stepping back from her administrative role to focus on the growth of WARRIOR. She acknowledges the support of her colleagues, mentors, and the DAC community, which has been instrumental in her success. Ellen looks forward to continuing her fitness journey, inspiring others, and making a positive impact in the world of fitness.

This transition will be smooth and positive, and she will be involved in the mentoring of her successor, Jennifer Stanton. Ellen will continue to teach at the DAC weekly, so her office is now officially Studio 1. As Ellen thoughtfully said, “I am profoundly grateful for the years I’ve had here. I think the supervisor team has never been stronger. It’s exciting to see tremendous new growth post pandemic, and I don’t think the DAC has ever looked better. I’m super grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Rob. My staff, who I also consider colleagues, is the best team I’ve ever worked with. And of course, the members are an interval part of my happiness and success.”

Ellen, to say thank you seems hollow in comparison to the time, love, accomplishments and efforts you’ve put into the DAC over the last 20 years. We appreciate you as a woman, boss, colleague, mentor, instructor, and friend, and are so lucky to be a part of your journey.

Cheers to you, Ellen.

      

Pictures left to right: | Ellen and her successor, Jen, during a Lululemon donation class. | Ellen instructing at a fitness conference. | Throwback of Ellen with members after a themed class. | Throwback when P90X was taught. | Ellen during a WARRIOR video shoot. | Ellen teaching in Studio 1. | Throwback of Ellen and friend. | Ellen in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

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