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Welcome to Racked LA's search for our city's Hottest Trainer 2014. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile sixteen smoking locals—fitness experts who not only look hot in spandex, but can make you look amazing, too. Once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which readers vote for their favorites. Let the games begin!
Photos by Danielle Directo-Meston
Jacquelyn Umof's 10-year training career was born out of an injury. "I grew up dancing ballet; during high school I became very serious with my pursuit of it and joined a company called Inland Pacific Ballet," the petite beauty explains. "Every day we did an hour and a half of ballet training, and then another hour of conditioning on the Pilates reformer. During one of our Nutcracker rehearsals, I fractured my tibia while dancing on toe shoes. I remember coming down from a jump and hearing a crack. The doctors told me to take a couple months off, but it is not in my nature to sit still. So, my mom signed me up for a Pilates certification course to keep me from being antsy around the house." Umof eventually received her certification and taught her first Pilates class at the University of Southern California Lyons Center. She now teaches Barre at RockIt Body Pilates in Redondo Beach.
A former Laker girl, USC Song Girl and recipient of a business merit scholarship (no big deal), the over-achieving Umof also has a fitness video series. "My videos will make you work up a sweat, and you'll be left feeling like you have two little hands lifting up your butt!" Back at the barre, she teaches classes that are "rhythmic and full of effective arabesques and attitudes to help shape an amazing booty." Her tush-toning tune of choice? "I'm loving 'Mmm Yeah' by Pitbull. My students know how much I love latin music. I love to salsa dance, so that's where I get it from."
Besides being a dancing machine, Umof also claims to have a secret power: "I'm a supertaster! What's a supertaster, you ask? It's a person who can perceive more nuanced flavor in food than non-tasters due to a dominant gene. Supertasters often find common foods too bitter, sweet or spicy. How do I know this? Because I took a test at home, where I dyed my tongue blue, and counted the number of tastebuds in a restricted diameter. Was this scientifically moderated? Not at all—completely self-diagnosed. But I attribute this special gene of mine to being a picky foodie. I cannot stand spicy foods, I have to force myself to eat vegetables regularly, and I'll only drink coffee with grassfed butter."
· RockIt Body Pilates [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainer 2014 Coverage [Racked]