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Sweaty Betty x Dare to Bare: Meet Jenny Gaither

posted on Wednesday, 28th September 2016 | find under Fitness
On Sunday 2 October, hundreds of women will be taking over Union Square, New York in their Sweaty Betty sports bras to sweat it out in a SoulCycle class. Organised by the Movemeant Foundation, this event is designed to encourage body positivity. Founded by senior SoulCycle instructor, Jenny Gaither to use fitness as a platform to build their self esteem, we caught up with her to talk all things 'Dare to Bare'.

jenny gaither dare to bareJenny rides at Dare to Bare

What inspired you to start Movemeant Foundation?

While teaching in New York at the age of 22, I quickly realised most women struggle with body image issues. At that time I was suffering with my own issues and needed a community, support and a platform to overcome my own battles. 

After a ton of research I couldn’t find anything out there that helped women build positive body image and confidence through movement. Knowing how hard it was for me to be bombarded by images from the media that glorify women as thin and perfect, I couldn’t help but think about how these made young girls feel. This is when I decided to create what is now, Movemeant Foundation

Tell us about Dare to Bare?

'Dare To Bare' is Movemeant Foundation's flagship outdoor charity fitness event and the largest body-­positive event in the country. This live event happens twice a year, in Marina, San Francisco and Union Square Park, New York. Thousands of men and women will participate in a series of Dare to Bare group fitness classes with one catch. Everyone has to overcome their fears and shed their shirts and work out in a sports bra (or shirtless if male). 

How did you transition from dancer to senior Soul Cycle instructor?

After a move to New York after graduation, my roommate from college found SoulCycle on Craigslist. She started managing at the first Upper West Side studio and I applied to work behind the desk in 2010. Four months later I auditioned, made it into the first SoulCycle training program, and found my dance class on a bike. I've now taught thousands of riders in multiple cities and am a senior instructor.

dare to bare 2015
Ladies daring to bare at Dare to Bare

Do you have any tips for women struggling with body confidence?

It's so important to know you're not alone, the majority of us struggle with body image issues and lack of confidence, whether we like it or not. The first step is to find support and the second to start implementing a routine that involves taking care of yourself. For example, I have a nightly ritual where I take a warm bath, lather in essential oils and meditate for 15 minutes. Do this instead of scrolling through Instagram, I guarantee you'll feel better. 

What three tips would you give to those looking for a healthy lifestyle?

1. Don't settle for a workout you don't like, it's like settling for a lifestyle that isn't fulfilling.

2. Every body is different and no one knows your body better than you. Listen to what it responds to best in terms of diet, sleep and supplements. 

3. Find like-minded people and local communities who you can move with. It's so much easier to reach your goals when you have a support network. 

Tell us about your work mentoring young women?

This summer Movemeant Foundation built and launched our body-positive Movemeant Curriculum for at-risk middle school girls. This offers career and mentor opportunities for women to facilitate smart conversations with young girls to foster the many ways we can feel about our bodies beyond appearance. 

What's next for Movemeant Foundation? 

Our 3 year goal is to implement our positive body image Movemeant Curriculum in every Title I Middle School in San Francisco's Bay Area. 

Finally, what's your guilty pleasure?

Game of Thrones, not just watching it but talking about it and referencing it in every day conversation. Also wine and cheese - together obviously. 

Dare to Bare will be taking place in Union Square Park, New York on 2nd October 2016 from 10am - 3pm. All women will be wearing a Sweaty Betty Infinity sports bra, so please come and say hello on the day. If you are participating pick up your bra from Sweaty Betty Flatiron boutique, 168 Fifth Avenue & 21st Street. 

Find out more about Movemeant Foundation and there work here. Shop all Sweaty Betty sports bras here and get ready to dare to bare. 
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