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SJ Aboboto

SJ Aboboto

Tell us something unique about yourself

Born and raised in London, with Filipino roots, both of my parents taught me to be respectful, polite and share with others. They also instilled a strong work ethic in me from a very young age, which led me on my journey in the performing arts.

At 6 years old, at family parties, I would dance to ‘The Locomotion’ by Kylie Minogue. I never would have dreamed that I would be one of her backing dancers 15 years later.  I have worked in the entertainment industry as a professional dancer, choreographer and creative director. Collaborating with artists such as Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Rihanna and The Rolling Stones, and on events like the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic closing ceremonies. Quite a leap from dancing around my living room!

As the Head of Cycle, it may surprise people to know that 7 years ago I said, “You’ll never see me on an indoor cycling bike”. Now I’m a Master Educator for Stages indoor cycling and even went on to create my own brand, GrooveCycle, before starting my exciting journey with VA. My mission is to get more people excited about indoor cycling, whether they are committed outdoor cyclists or have never been on a bike before I am ready to get them moving!

Who are you at work?

My mantra is to live every day with a healthy smile and encourage others to do the same. I really enjoy helping others, where I can encouraging people to set personal goals, based on their abilities, to ensure that cycle is as inclusive and welcoming as possible. I want to inspire people to do their best and leave happy.

I love a good spreadsheet and keynote presentation. Organising and making things neat and tidy is my geeky side. However, I equally like collaborating and learning from others, understanding different roles and people’s experiences within the business. I’ll be creating a variety of cycling class styles, to train and develop our instructors and build our VA community - so watch this space!

I am pretty much the same person in work as I am out of work, combining my love of music, dance, health and fitness with self-expression and passion. Taking pride in everything I do.

What are your dreams for the future?

To travel the world, basking in nature’s natural beauty and looking for a spot to build my own home. I would like to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Also helping bring more smiles to people’s faces, both here in the UK and around the world through my work and actively trying to encourage people from all backgrounds to lead a more active life.

What excites you about your role?

I’m super excited to bring the cycle space to life. My aim is to get as many people active - through music, movement and mindfulness. I believe fitness should be fun, welcoming and effective, whatever the level and ability. I’m excited to inspire regular riders and encourage first timers on the bike through our products, innovation and passionate instructors. If your thing is power or party, we will have something that’s right for you. It’s all about the good vibes, awesome music and an immersive experience - creating positive results for the mind and body.

What direction to you feel GEX at Virgin Active moving in?

I feel GEX at VA is moving in a very positive direction. Focusing and investing in their team of experts across all disciplines. Insuring our members experience world class workouts every time and in-line with our VA values.

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