Chicago Studio Volunteer Spotlight

February 8, 2016 By vincent-uribe

For this months Volunteer Spotlight we are delighted to feature Julie Chez!  Julie has brought an amazing energy to our community in her helping to facilitate our yoga program.  Let’s take a moment to get to know more about Julie:How did you get involved with the Arts of Life?My brother’s rock band played a gig at The Arts of Life years ago and my girlfriends and I went to support the boys.  We had the greatest time meeting the artists, I knew instantly I wanted to get involved with this fantastic community in some way!  I started teaching yoga the following week!What is your background?I have a bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Fitness from Illinois State University.  I have been working as a fitness professional teaching group yoga and fitness classes as well as servicing private clients for 10+ years.  I feel blessed to do what I love!How long have you been involved with the Arts of Life?I am proud to say that I have been teaching yoga at the Arts of Life for over six years!What are some of your favorite aspects of volunteering at the Arts of Life?I love the warm greeting I always receive when I enter the studio!  My standard big hug from Debbie and Dave always warms my heart.  My yoga students are so loyal, many of them pop up and start setting up the mats as soon as they see me arrive.  We have a standard routine that we practice, a mix of stretching, sun salutations, and meditation. Dave, Mike and Alex all help me lead the salutations…they cue them perfectly! It’s the best feeling to watch them confidently guide the class.  I am so blessed to have shared the gift of yoga with such a great group! Teaching them is wonderful, and they teach me so much in return. Everytime I make eye contact with Kelly  during our yoga class he gives me the biggest and most genuine smile. It’s the greatest gift! I have also been lucky enough to star in Mikey’s comic as a yoga wolf, the ultimate honor! My husband has developed a friendship with Bill, they have similar rock n roll interests 🙂 Bill made him a great piece with a guitar we have displayed in our home.  Debbie made me a lovely colorful piece I have in my personal yoga space that always makes me smile.  My family has also gotten to know and love the Arts of Life community, my mom has been a contestant at the annual Chili Cook Off the last 4 years.   My brothers band has performed at the event, and my husband and pack of girlfriends always attend. It’s a great time introducing my loved ones to all the artists.  My mom has declared it a family tradition, she plans to participate every year.  She’s perfecting her award winning recipe for next year…watch out!What do you like to do outside of volunteering?I keep busy teaching classes, practicing yoga, and training private clients.  I love having an active career, but I also make plenty of time for cuddling on the couch with my husband and cat, and nights out with my girlfriends.  I launched a personal blog: www.xoxojulzchez.com, in September, that has been a great creative outlet to express my love of my fitness profession, as well as my hobby of fashion! [[{“fid”:”8818″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:””},”type”:”media”,”link_text”:null,”attributes”:{“height”:366,”width”:652,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]]The Arts of Life is so grateful to have Julie and her friends and family as a part of our community—we hope she’ll remain with us for years to come!