Imran Malik: Everybody Dance!

If you’re an Elixr regular, you’ve no doubt seen Imran teaching Zumba or Dance Fusion – and we’re delighted to announce that he has recently taken on the role of Elixr’s Group Exercise Manager. Imran is a certified trainer in step, aerobics, functional training, stretching, mat Pilates, barre, spin, dance and more, and has over 11 years of experience in the fitness industry.

Prior to joining the Elixr team in 2018, he was the training and fitness program director for a major gym chain in Barcelona, where he created fitness programs that were rolled out to 25 clubs across the city. Right now, however, he’s looking forward to taking Elixr’s fitness program to the next level in 2020 – and we can’t wait to see what he has in store!

1. When did you start dancing and what drew you to it?
I started when I was a child but never thought it could become my job. Then at 16, I joined a gym and saw a group exercise instructor working, and this really sparked my interest. I knew I’d have to train to do this job, and I started right away. When I began teaching fitness classes, including a fitness-dance class, it was like something inside of me woke up and I realised that I wanted to take professional dance classes.

2. Where did you learn to dance?
I specialised in Jazz Fusion in Barcelona and also took dance lessons at the Broadway Dance Center and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York as well as at the Pineapple Dance School in London. Dance is a continual learning process, so I’m always trying to take new classes and learn new things.

3. Have you performed in any shows?
I worked as a backup dancer in Barcelona and did a few shows with an amateur dance company I was part of from 2014 to 2016. My favourite show was the one I did on the day before I moved to Australia. It was at the Reggaeton Beach Festival, the largest urban music festival in Europe. I directed, managed and led a 45-minute dance performance – and as it was the last one with my teammates and friends, it was a very emotional experience.

4. What prompted your move to Sydney?
I’d been working at the same company for eight years, and although I was growing my career, I felt the need to experience life abroad – and I realised that I needed to challenge myself in both my personal and professional life. I’d never been to Australia before but I knew that the fitness industry was pretty big here, and although Barcelona and Sydney are far from each other, they’re both large cities with amazing weather. So, I decided to leave everything behind and start from zero.

5. What is your favourite style of dancing?
I would say musical theatre: Broadway or soundtrack songs are my favourites. But I enjoy most styles of dance.

6. What do you enjoy most about being a dance teacher?
Seeing people enjoying themselves and having fun. Aside from the health benefits of dance, it lets them forget their worries for 60 minutes and makes them feel special. That’s the main goal.

7. Besides the dance classes, what is your favourite class at Elixr?
Reformer Pilates, without a doubt. I recently finished both Mat and Reformer courses through the Elixr School of Pilates, and although I’m already certified in Barcelona, I love how anatomically focused and specialised Elixr’s training is.

8. You’ve just launched floor barre at Elixr. What can members expect from this class?
Floor barre is a ballet-based form of training that focuses on endurance and strength. It’s a full-body workout that uses different types of contractions and functional exercises. Members can expect a fun, intense training session with a fantastic soundtrack!

9. Zumba vs Dance Fusion – what’s the difference?
Both are fitness dance classes, but Dance Fusion, which is my own creation, is for those who want to dance to a mixture of the latest hits, pop classics and Broadway favourites – all with a touch of choreographic complexity.

10. If you’re not dancing, you’re…
Probably doing weight training, preparing classes, planning my personal training or sleeping.

11. What do you love most about Sydney?
How relaxed it is despite being such a big city. Also the beaches and the proximity to breathtaking landscapes.

12. What do you miss about Barcelona?
Family and friends – that’s the hardest part.

13. Who inspires you and why?
My mother. She’s a fighter, a go-getter who raised two children on her own and taught me to be a good person, to always have respect for others, and that hard work always pays off.