Even though fitness and fashion are two different worlds, for Elizabeth Lindenmeier they’re simply one universe…and she’s loving living in it. The Xtend Tribeca barre instructor and DanceBody trainer is not only a workout fave with swag, skill and sass, but she’s also a fashion expert at Thom Browne with a serious following who come to see her for special events and everyday life alike.
Originally from Bloomington, IL, Lindenmeier started dancing at age three, and stayed on the move thereafter, adding soccer, basketball, track and cheerleading (deep breath! Phew!). She also fell in love with working out to stay strong for all of her activities, especially in college when her school required cross-training to maintain strength for her coursework.
When she injured both legs and was largely immobile for six months, she formed a personal connection with a more in-depth, expansive view of wellness. Since she was so used to constantly being on the go, she focused on keeping her strength up through floor barre work and working on her core. Most importantly, though, she realized how important her relationship to movement is, how much she values quality over quantity, and how the health of her mind and spirit were equally important to that of her body.
The ensuing gratitude for her body is something she still carries with her, and she hopes to bring that to each and every client, from the studio to the dressing room. Read on to hear how she melds her worlds, how she hones her killer style and her top beauty and bod tips.
SBS: What has your professional path been?
Elizabeth Lindenmeier: I graduated college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. I danced and performed in musicals, on cruise ships and in various contemporary and modern dance companies in NYC. I travelled around a lot doing various contracts, and eventually I felt I was ready to really plant myself in NYC. I started teaching fitness as a side gig, but it slowly become one of my main focuses in life. Ultimately, I would say my fitness life here is what has rooted me. I think I was always told that I was good at dancing and thought that’s where my calling was. Perhaps, it was for a season of life, but now I know that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. Xtend Barre is a perfect mix of ballet, cardio and Pilates, which is everything my body has known. DanceBody is dancing to good music while performing the hell out of it, which feeds the performer in me. These are literally the two most ideal and perfect workouts for me to do and lead others in. They both feel like home in their own ways, and what they are is what led me to them. I knew I had to be a part of both methods.
SBS: What's your style as a fitness teacher?
EL: At the end of every class I always say, 'Thank your body for what it did for you today.' I want people to be mindful of every little move their body accomplished during that workout and celebrate it. Small movements are big wins. I say this in hopes that this empowers the clients who need it for self-love/motivational purposes. It also serves as a reminder to have gratitude for the power our bodies have. Other than that, I am a sour patch kid. I will make sure I push you out of your comfort zone and kick your ass, but I also give you that love and encouragement along the way as needed.
SBS: What about your approach in fashion?
EL: My approach to fashion comes from a creative mindset and eye. I view clothing, shoes, bags, etc. as pieces of art/choreography. The designer (choreographer) has an idea or feeling and translates it into literal things we put on our body every day. How cool is that? Thom Browne runway shoes are very avant garde and theatrical. Being a dancer makes you a very detail-oriented person, and I recognize every detail and analyze every look, music choice, model, prop and venue that go into a runway show. The message it’s aiming to send is art itself.
SBS: What do you carry from fashion into fitness and vice versa?
EL: The set of skills I have developed and use in fashion and fitness go both ways. Everything I use in a room full of sweaty people, I also use in a room with people dressed from head-to-toe in Thom Browne. First and foremost, it's the pure ability to connect to people. You have to know your audience and read your room. You have to be able to genuinely connect and adapt to other people’s personalities, needs and expectations. Secondly, I would say confidence is important. You have to believe in yourself, what you do and what you have to offer. People can smell fear from a mile away and lose trust in you. Own your superpowers. Lastly, passion is key. You have to love what you do. 'Fake it till you make it' only gets you so far on a surface level. If you believe in your brand/workout, it will be contagious and make you unstoppable.
SBS: Have you blended the two worlds together?
EL: The communities that I am exposed to in both worlds are easily transferrable. It turns out people who care about their bodies and health also like fashion and vice versa. Not to mention, my location at all spots are within five-minute walks of each other, so you get a lot of the same cool locals crossing into both worlds. My fashion and fit fam consist of some of the same people in each, and I am lucky to have two worlds living in one universe.
SBS: What are your top tips for grab and go fashion that doesn't take forever to make a look pop?
EL: I have to say a solid statement outerwear piece makes any outfit instantly pop. A pair of cool sneakers or chic shades help pull a look together in the summer. I always say to invest in your staple pieces first: coat, blazer, sneakers, bag and sunglasses. An embellished fancy top is great, but how many times will you actually wear it?
SBS: What have been some happy surprises along your path?
EL: I think the best happy surprise has been the difference that my work in both of these industries actually does make. Yes, we aren’t surgeons saving lives every day. But in a way, fitness is therapy for some people, and fashion is impactful on society and shapes the times. The best feeling is when I have happy clients, hearing, 'Liz I needed that workout today. I was having such a hard morning, and now I feel so much better.' Or I love moments at Thom Browne, when I have a client that I dressed head to toe for an awards show, their wedding, fashion week or another big life event that they will always remember.
SBS: What's your own wellness routine? What about beauty/self-care?
EL: I am very into skincare. I will always try the latest and greatest trends. My skin has to breathe and stay healthy with all the sweating I do, as well as when I transition into a full face of makeup for my fashion job. I love treating myself with face masks and laser facials at Skin Laundry. I recently started using Dr. Dennis Gross's LED mask, and it is life-changing! I highly suggest it to anyone who is looking to improve their overall health and complexion of their skin.
My body demands and survives off of sleep and massages, so I make sure to get plenty of sleep each night and book a massage at least twice a month. Massage isn’t only a relaxing thing for me; it is vital for me to prevent injuries. I also drink green tea every day. This helps me feel less bloated, gives me a clearer complexion and gives my body all the antioxidants to stay healthy for my busy lifestyle.
SBS: What fitness trends do you love/hate?
EL: I love that we are seeing more hybrid fitness classes. I think it’s inevitable that more and more fitness methods are combinations of several ideas. It just has to be done well, truly complimentary of one another and not lose functionality of movements. If it’s not done well, then I am not a fan. I also love seeing fitness studios paying more attention to the atmosphere and scene they create for their clients, whether that’s the music, look of the waiting area, lighting, interior décor, verbiage or catch phrases used in class. Branding is of way more importance now.
The best, zaniest part of being Liz: I am extremely goofy. I love laughing and making people laugh. I get what I call 'the weirds,' where I get slap-happy, and witty remarks just flow through my veins. You’ll only see this side of me if I feel comfortable with you, though. For the most part, I try to keep it cool-girl and collected, but on the inside I’m a hot goofy mess.
Liz's SBS Mantra: Be Bold. Everything extraordinary and rewarding that has happened in my life has been of result of me taking risks and being bold.
Liz’s NYC Faves:
Splurge Restaurant: Terra
Healthy Restaurant: Sweetgreen
Fun Activity: I love going to Grand Banks for a glass of wine and sunshine or to play sand volleyball next to it.
Fitness Studio: Xtend and Dancebody
Yoga Studio: y7 Studio
Athleticwear: Carbon 38, Beach Riot and L’Urv
Athletic Shoes: Asics
Book: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Calming Activity: Taking a run by the water or just sitting on one of the benches down there and people watching. I love taking moments to breathe in the magic of NYC.