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Trainer Spotlight: Shannon Stowe: Youth Training Specialist: ACE

February 21, 2015

Shannon has been dancing most of her life and that has led her to explore her passions in both the theatrical and fitness worlds. She has been teaching group fitness for over 10 years and recently became an ACE certified personal trainer. She is actively involved in training New School University students. Shannon also graduated from the New School with her MFA in Acting where she teaches dance actors. Before moving to New York, she was actively involved in the San Francisco Bay Area theatre scene and performed in and choreographed numerous musicals. Shannon was also very active in educational theatre, working as a resident artist for several youth theatre programs. Shannon also spent time as a classroom assistant and substitute teacher for the San Mateo County Office of Education. There, she worked primarily with children on the autism spectrum and children (ages 3 – 5) who were coming in for assessment and placement. Play therapy, adaptive PE and music were a big part of their learning experience. I was fortunate to be able to work with these students with wonderful therapists and teachers guiding us.
Q: What do you love most about training children?
A: I have always loved seeing the potential in children. Their creativity and imagination is inspiring. Having worked with children of all ages, I see how important PLAY is, whether it is play designed for 6 year olds or PLAY (ie dance, theatre, art, music, fitness) for older youth. It is very rewarding to see them make discoveries, express themselves, and grow in confidence. They are teachers as much as I am a teacher. I learn something new through each experience!


Q: What is your favorite skills game you play with your clients?
A: That would depend on the likes and needs of the clients. With my theatrical background, I can be creative and try to make things very specific. One of my favorite fitness activities to set up is the obstacle course. It works for children and older teens. The variety of tools and exercises to use is endless, can be catered to any level, and creates an experience with a beginning middle and end. Using music and different timing adds to the fun of it.


With younger children, I have several music-based creative movement activities that are designed to allow children to move freely and learn the joy and power of physical expression. It is not about acquiring a specific skill yet, but creating and experience of full bodied expression. In the end, it’s a great cardio activity, but more importantly it gives students ownership of their physical life and creative expression.
Q: What advice do you have for parents who are considering a personal trainer for their child?
A: I think the best thing a parent can do is talk with potential trainers and get the best match first of all. It is important for parents and the trainer to be able to communicate honestly. For young children, it is important for parents to remember that PLAY is a wonderful exercise and though something might not look like a “workout”, it is. For older children who are able to participate in something more like a workout (school sports, etc), it is great for them to understand balance in training and to help support that. That means knowing the value of working all muscle groups, the importance of complimentary activities such as yoga and stretching. And most importantly, I think it is important to listen and let the child’s needs guide the session to a degree. It is important not to push them too hard, but to be supportive and creative in guiding them through their training experience in order to instill excitement and confidence.


What certifications do you have? 


     Primary Group Fitness Certification: AFAA

Personal Training Certification: ACE

Youth Training Specialist: ACE

CPR/AED: American Heart Association and American Red Cross

CalvinographyDance Instructor


Practical Pilates: AFAA online program in basics of mat pilates.

Yoga on the Ball: AFAA online program in yoga/pilates on the swiss ball.



Fun tidbit:

Shannon formed a dance theatre company, New Dance Theatre with New School alum two years ago. They are currently in rehearsal for a piece to debut this spring.