The dance instructor shares his go-to workout and ideal summer day.
This summer, we’re bringing you inspiration from some of the top celebrity fitness teachers and athletes and sharing their summer workouts, power songs and more. Your dream summer starts here.
Chansada “Chin” Sonesing is a trainer, coach and instructor for U-Jam Fitness. Sonesing is formally trained in ballroom and Latin dance, and has been a street hip-hop dancer for almost two decades. Before he joined U-Jam, Sonesing was a member of the “Mindtricks” hip-hop break dancing crew from 1996-2000, and was also a back-up dancer for a local Bay Area freestyle artist named Jocelyn Enriguez. In 2011, he met Susy C and Matt Marks, the creators of U-Jam Fitness and discovered dance fitness. This became his new-found passion, combining dance and fitness into one workout. He became a trainer for U-Jam Fitness in 2012 and has been traveling all over the world conducting certifications and presenting at various events and conferences. He also conducts choreography training to provide support for instructors.
We asked Sonesing to share his go-to workout and ideal summer day with us below.
24Life: What’s your go-to source for inspiration?
Chansada Sonesing (CS): My go-to source for inspiration is the Bible. The verses have helped me out so much with dealing with life problems on a daily basis.
24Life: What do you teach and why?
CS: I currently teach U-Jam Fitness and I’m a sub for Aqua Aerobics. I love teaching U-Jam because dancing is a passion of mine and I love to share the experience with everyone. I enjoy Aqua Aerobics because it’s such a challenging workout that is underrated. You can work up a sweat in the pool so fast without realizing how many calories you’re burning because you can’t see your sweat—you can only feel how fast your heart is pounding. Plus, who doesn’t like to “dance” and “play” in the pool like a little kid again?
24Life: Why is fitness so important to you?
CS: I love to move because it makes me feel energized, alive and free! Fitness is so important these days because we are a society that’s become too dependent on smart phones, computers, gadgets, video games and TV. It’s making us sedentary and lazy, which leads to an unhealthy lifestyle.
I choose to move because I want to experience the joys of life and participate in all the wonderful activities it has to offer. I don’t want to be limited because of some injury due to lack of muscle strength or because I didn’t exercise enough to allow my body to do the basic activities like walking, jogging or running. I want to inspire people to live life to the fullest, and they MUST incorporate fitness into their daily lives to do that.
24Life: What is your ideal workout (that is 24 minutes or less)?
CS: My ideal workout that I love doing is working on the core muscles. Planks are one of my favorites and doing variations like adding jacks or side mountain climbers really challenges the core. I’ll show you in this video.
24Life: What’s your greatest passion, outside of the work that you do?
CS: Another passion that I have (other than dancing) is inspiring people to utilize their talents, especially youth. I sometimes work with a non-profit organization called Soulciety, which has an after-school job assistant program to help keep kids off the streets. They bring in volunteers like break dancers, spoken word artist, musicians, artists and others, and offer workshops for the kids to participate in to help improve their skills and talents. I was the creative director for a musical we did two years in a row to showcase the kids’ talents.
24Life: Describe your perfect summer day.
CS: My perfect summer day would be either camping outside by the lake or in a cabin with some friends, and waking up to the fresh, crisp air and then having a nice warm cup of chocolate milk with everyone gathering around for breakfast. We would plan out an afternoon hike and swim. For lunch, we’d go hiking, swim and then barbecue. Maybe lay out by the lake and take a nap for a bit. Wake up and play some games like Frisbee, football or baseball or take another walk by the lake. Get ready to have dinner. After dinner, head to the lake and build a fire, have someone play music either with a boom box or guitar and dance, sing and hang out all night. After that, maybe play some games like charades or just talk to end the night.
24Life: What is your power food?
CS: My power food is nuts, especially almonds and peanuts. They’re easy to pack and good to have handy because they’re ready to eat.
24Life: What’s your number-one stressor and your surefire stress buster?
CS: Time management is my number-one stressor. I have so many things on my plate and I keep juggling them a little at a time without prioritizing, so I’m left with not accomplishing a lot at the end of the day. I’m learning how to prioritize the big things first and complete those tasks while dealing with the less important tasks later.
24Life: What is one thing people might not know about you?
CS: The one thing my students don’t know about me is that I love to go fishing. I love getting away for a whole day, going off the grid and becoming one with nature. It allows me to refocus, talk to God and have my “me” time.
24Life: What’s your secret to getting stuff done?
CS: My secret to getting stuff done is to first prioritize my to-do list the night before. That way I know what I’m doing the next day when I wake up. Also, to recognize if I need help and then ask for it, and not feel like I have to do everything on my own.
24Life: What is your power song for summer?
CS: My power song for the summer is “Overcomer” by Mandisa. It’s such a powerful and motivating song that reminds us that we can do anything if we have faith and put our minds to it.
24Life: What book is on your night table?
CS: The book I always have on my night table is the Bible. I try and read a verse from Proverbs every night.
24Life: What’s your secret for a great night’s sleep?
CS: My secret to a great night’s sleep is reflecting on how my day went. I ask myself, “Did I help someone today? Did I get my important task done? What was fun about my day? What am I excited about tomorrow?” Then to finish it off, praying and thanking God for that day and all its blessings that I was given.
24Life: Any interesting performance rituals that you have before you teach, work or train?
CS: Before I teach, I usually have a mocha frappuccino, stretch while listening to my playlist and then freestyle dance to my favorite song which happens to be “DJ’s Got Us Fallin’ in Love” by Usher to really get me hyped up before I teach or work out.
24Life: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
CS: The quote I live by and would like to share is from Proverbs 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Photo credit: Mark Kuroda; Darren Chin