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Ali on the Run Show

Feb 21, 2019

"I said I want to be the best. But at what?" —Bree Branker

Baby Bree Branker dreamed about growing up and becoming a professional dancer. By 19, after attending a performing arts high school, she'd made that happen, as a Rockette and on Broadway in West Side Story, Spamalot, Memphis, and Big Fish. But by her early twenties, everything changed. Bree finally accepted the nagging hip dysplasia that had been plaguing her body for years — even getting her fired from her dream job at Cirque du Soleil — and found fitness instead. On this episode, Bree, now one of New York City's top trainers and a Wilhelmina model, opens up about the mental side of injury, the state of the fitness industry, and what it's like navigating the New York City boutique fitness scene. She talks about her Instagram pet peeves, luck, determination, a cross-country move, and why she was "a terrible Rockette." Plus, she shares why she got turned down for a SoulCycle audition, what terrified her as a Flywheel instructor, and why she's currently training for a half marathon.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! CLICK HERE for $50 off your wireless headphone endurance bundle!


What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Bree’s road to becoming a professional dancer (2:45)
  • Why Bree got fired from her dream job at Cirque du Soleil, and the injury that ended her dance career (14:15)
  • How Bree finally hit her dance career-ending breaking point (26:50)
  • How Bree broke into the fitness industry (28:00)
  • Bree’s take on the current state of the fitness industry, on Instagram and in real life (38:15)
  • Why Bree felt like a fraud in the fitness world, and the a-ha moment that made her realize she’d made it (42:00)
  • How Bree got into modeling — and met her now-fiance along the way (47:30)
  • How and why Bree learned to “chill out” about fitness (51:30)
  • Why Bree is training for a half marathon (59:30)

What we mention on this episode:

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Broadway Dance Center

Walnut Street Theatre

Akin Akman

Kira Stokes

Patrick Frost

"Influence vs. Expertise: The Dangerous Rise of the Fitness Influencer" via The Sweat Life

CJ Koegel

"An Injury Left Me in a Dark Place — Until Working Out Got Me Out of It" via Women’s Health

SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon

FitOn app (use code BREE50 for 50% off)

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