Amanda Baxter: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me
Amanda Baxter has been a lululemon Studio trainer since 2020, leading classes in dance, cardio, barre, and strength. But she's more than just a trainer. She’s a classically trained ballerina, former NBA Dancer, and proud wrestling fan. Learn more about Amanda below.
1. My mom is my hero. She was a strong mom of five, who not only worked full-time as a nurse practitioner, but spent all her free time making sure my four brothers and I never missed a football game, karate meet, dance competition, or whatever event we had. It taught me at an early age the importance of time management and prioritization to make sure things get done.
2. I didn't meet my biological father until 2019, just before my 30th birthday. My husband got me an ancestry.com account for Christmas and I matched with a second cousin. From there, I did some digging, found my dad’s address and phone number, and gave him a call. We connected right away and he’s been a part of my life ever since.
3. I like to tell the story about meeting my dad later in life because it’s encouraging. I read a lot of adoption blogs and stories online that say, “Don't do it. You’ll regret meeting your biological parents. You're the bastard child … this and that.” But it's been really healing for me and overall a great experience because we are very much alike.
4. I am bi-racial. My mother’s side of the family is from Jamaica. My dad’s side of the family is from Eastern Europe.
5. My husband's name is TJ, we met at a friend’s barbecue 11 years ago, and have been together ever since. We finally got married last year after a three-year engagement. Thanks, pandemic!
Learning To Dance
6. My dance career started when I was three and my mom enrolled me in a rec program at our local library. She thought I was spending too much time horsing around with my older brothers, leaping off of her furniture, and knew I'd like dance. As always, she was right.
7. When I was nine, I auditioned for, and earned, a full scholarship to The School of American Ballet in New York City. I attended school there until I was 15.
8. It was an honor to attend such a prestigious school but it also kept me super busy. On a typical day, I'd go to my academic school at home in New Jersey until noon, then commute to Lincoln Center for dance lessons, and wouldn't return home until 9pm. I followed this schedule from late elementary into early high school.
9. I was a big nerd growing up. I got straight A's from kindergarten through high school and didn't get my first B until college. It still bothers me. The class was Introduction to Logic, and it was a struggle. I stayed for extra help because I thought I was going to fail, and came close to dropping the class altogether. My mom talked me out of it and I ended up getting a B+. Mama’s always right!
10. I attended The College of New Jersey, and double majored in Communication Studies and Psychology, with a concentration in Law and Society. I was also a member of the school's Dance Team as well as a College Ambassador (I led campus tours and was a guide for prospective students) So yeah, college was busy.
Life After College
11. After college I spent five seasons as part of the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets Dance Team, the final two as captain. Before joining the Nets, I'd never left the country before but ended up performing with them in Brazil, Spain, London, Turkey, Paris, Italy, China, Singapore, Jamaica, and Barbados.
12. During this time, I was also holding down a full-time corporate job in HR. So I'd work all day, then perform at night and on the weekends.
13. I auditioned for lululemon Studio in Aug. 2020 after Kailee (Head of Fitness) slid into my DMs. The audition went well, I came on as a guest trainer soon after, received a full-time offer in December of that year, and the rest is history! I couldn’t be happier to share what I love (dance & joyful movement) to help empower others.
14. My grandmother and mother are nurses but that was not in the cards for me. I can barely deal with blood or handle a paper-cut.
15. I mentioned my mom is my hero, but my grandfather holds a special place in my heart. I didn't meet my biological father until later in life so my grandfather was essentially my dad. He'd take the train or drive me six days a week to New York City for ballet school, wait for the class to end, and then commute back home with me. He was a very intelligent engineer so during those train rides, he'd help me with my homework and make sure I took my studies seriously.
More About Me
16. I'll never forget my first trip to Jamaica with the Nets, where I taught dance and self-esteem workshops for a youth outreach foundation. The kids were dancing on hot pavement, many with bare feet, and the biggest smiles across their faces. It really put things in perspective and taught me to be grateful for my life and the ability to uplift others.
17. I have one rule for the morning: Don’t look at my phone for at least 30 minutes. Instead, I start my day with some positive affirmations for 3-5 minutes, verbally or internally, then do a stretch to warm my body up, drink a shake or have a good breakfast, call Mom, and I’m on my way.
18. The lululemon Studio class I find most challenging is yoga. Coming from dance and ballet, stretching is a huge component, and something I'm always looking to improve. Meditation and inversions are things I hope to learn more about.
19. My guilty pleasure is professional wrestling. Growing up with brothers, we'd watch all the WWE pay-per-view shows and WrestleMania every year. My favorites were The Rock, Scotty 2 Hotty, and the Hardy Boyz.
20. I've performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, SNL, America's Got Talent, and other shows. Here I am dancing alongside Amy Schumer in the movie Trainwreck.
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