Stalked: Ashley Yeater, Founder of DEFINE

7 November 2016

After trying for about 3 weeks to snag a place at one of the incredible 'DEFINE' classes that a few of my colleagues were talking about at work, as reservations opened at 12pm, 7 days before the class, I finally struck gold.. boom, I was in! After congratulating myself with a matcha latte I then thought, hell why not stalk the amazing lady behind these sought-after classes ... and so I did!! Please may I introduce you to the gorgeous Ashley Yeater, an ex broadway dancer with an incredible story of how she got to where she is today.

I caught up with her after the DEFINE class (which was well worth the wait!) for a chat about her journey.

For anyone who hasn't heard of your fabulous class, DEFINE, what is it and why did you start it? 

I launched DEFINE in London in February 2016. It has been my passion project for quite some time. Last year I had my first big injury in a Broadway show. A jump split I did 8 shows a week blew out my ACL. The rehab for my knee was beyond intense but taught me so much. Through my years of teaching fitness in NYC I incorporated what I already knew with my physical therapy routines. The launch of the "Hurts so Good" DEFINE was created. As of now DEFINE has 10 different class concepts under its umbrella. The two main classes that have been launched in London are the Mixed Level barre class and the Mat "Booty Burn" Define class. We are currently scouting for our permanent DEFINE location so we can launch all classes and our fab DEFINE clients can get the consistent burn in all of our killer classes. 

What is DEFINE...

DEFINE is here to help you achieve a strong, lean, sculpted body through an evolving mix of fitness exercises. DEFINE uses cardio infused sequences throughout class to keep your metabolic rate up. While we stick to a formatted class no workout is alike because we change up the choreography every class to keep your muscles guessing. DEFINE is designed for all fitness levels. As long as you have a positive attitude, we promise to give you that burn and shake that leaves you wanting more. Our focus on alignment and strength results in better DEFINE posture, better DEFINE movement, and most importantly a better DEFINE YOU. 

What was the highlight when you were a Broadway dancer? 

Performing on Broadway was a magical 16 years. I've had the pleasure of working with some of the most amazing talents in the world. Each show I have performed in was special to me and helped me grow as a person. My greatest highlight happened last year while I was performing in the Broadway show Gigi, starring Vanessa Hudgens. It was my last performance with the company, as I was leaving due to my knee injury. We were at curtain call and Vanessa gave a "curtain speech" because it was Mother's Day. She then went on to say "We have a surprise for one of our family members". Out walks Rikki (my partner) and he pulls me downstage. In front of 1600 audience members he got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. Naturally I ripped my costume glove off my left hand to extend forward and said YES!!!! :) It was the most EPIC highlight of my Broadway career and my life. It took him 6 weeks to plan it and the entire cast, crew, and our families were involved. When the lights came up on the audience, not only were our parents there but our dear friends too. It was beyond special.  

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a career in dance or fitness? 

The past couple of years I travelled around the US and taught Broadway workshops to up and coming talent. It was so inspiring to see the love the kids feel for Broadway and performing. The million dollar question I always got at the talk backs was "Any advice for making it on Broadway". My response... Make sure you have a loving and supportive network of family and friends. Broadway is not all glitz and glamour. To make it you have to endure crazy auditions with countless callbacks to sometimes not get the job. There are more doors slammed in your face then there are open ones and you have to have thick skin and the right support to handle it. 

I approach creating and launching DEFINE in London like auditioning for a Broadway show. I'm not always going to get every collaboration or studio rental, but it doesn't stop me from pushing and promoting. When there is a passion and heart you fight for it. Well my fighting gloves are on and I am beyond passionate for building DEFINE into the best brand it can be.

 Ashley's incredible energy bounces round the room like a ping pong ball and what is even better is that EVERY single person in the room is always smiling!! 

Where do you sweat, shop and eat in London? 

I love taking class!!! I get my sweat on at all the gyms across London. I think its important to support all the fitness brands out there. 

Shopping, oh dear, don't get me started:) Fashion in the fitness world is now on an entire new level. My fitness wardrobe definitely outranks my everyday casual collection. I love brands like Lorna Jane, Sweaty Betty, ILU, Splits59, Lululemon.... the list can keep going because I shop everywhere!! I shop for fitness gear that will have me feeling strong and confident. I'm a believer in dressing the part. Feel sassy and fearless in your workout wear and you will feel the same when you smash your workout!

I have been eating my way across London since moving here. I love food!!! Some fun favourite spots are Duck and Waffle, Bunga Bunga (silly), Novikov, the pub around the corner from my house, Chicken Shop (also around the corner from me). I am still in search of the best burrito in London. Wahaca is so far the closest but nothing so far compares to fab Mexican food in the states. 

Describe a day in the life of Ashley? 

My day typically starts at 6am. We have two little dogs that push at the side of the bed and cry for food no later than 6am.... Lucky Us!!! My days are filled with DEFINE and I couldn't be happier about it. I am the epitome of a  New York City "HUSTLER". If I'm not teaching I am trying to figure out where I can and who I can connect with in the fitness industry here in London. I have such a passion for my business that it fuels me every day to get it out there. My motto "Do what you Love, and Love what you do" 

Five items you can't live without? 

Cheese.... I can't quit you!!!!

Olay moisturiser... I've used this my entire life! So far no Botox because of the Olay moisturiser miracle:) 

Cell Phone... My husband would love to throw my cell phone out the window. GUILTY!!!!! I'm always on my cellphone and YES, I have been injured from being on it. Earlier this year I walked into a steel door that was open on the back of a truck and gave myself a nice black eye... OOPS!! 

My Nike trainers... My husband prefers me in a high heel;) 

Black winter hat.... I got this hat when I was 14 and I've never stopped wearing it each winter season.

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