Staff Spotlight: Alicia Wright

UW Health Fitness Center Instructor Alicia WrightOver the past decade Pilates classes have grown to be one of the most popular forms of exercise in fitness facilities. The Sports Medicine Fitness Center has been helping to drive this explosive growth by offering a collection of Pilates courses since 2001. Over this period we have been incredibly fortunate to grow this program under the skillful direction of just a few instructors.


Now, after 15 years of building a highly successful and participant-pleasing Pilates program, we have brought in our next instructor to continue the rich tradition established by our gifted predecessors - Alicia Wright, one of this month's Staff Spotlights.


Alicia began teaching Wednesday night Pilates at Research Park this past fall (2015) and both staff and participant feedback has been gratifying. We’re delighted to have Alicia as a regular Pilates instructor and are excited to see how the program continues to develop/evolve with her unique footprint. All of which makes this an opportune time to learn more about Alicia.


Raised in Chadron, Nebraska (NW corner of the state), Alicia was the youngest child of university parents (father - Ethics professor, mother - student counselor). Alicia attended Chadron State University where she earned a degree in Speech and Theater.


Alicia put her theater education to use by managing the Madison Repertory Theater for 8 years. During this time she began pursuing contemplative practices such as meditation and yoga. She pursued teacher training with Scott Anderson in alignment yoga and currently teaches classes at the Mound Street Yoga Center.


Through years of teaching, Alicia has learned how many individual’s yoga practices are limited by inadequate core strength and stability. This guiding principle inspired her to become a certified Pilates instructor as a perfect complement to her alignment yoga teaching.


Alicia proudly lives on the near South side with two of her three sons (Hanshan, 12; Japhy, 14; Bodhi, 19, is out in Colorado). Rounding out the household is Comet, the family dog and Alicia's walking companion.


Alicia professes that free time is her most prized commodity. She likes to fill hers with trips to county and state parks to hike, bicycle, or simply be in nature (often with Comet in tow).


We are very fortunate to have Alicia's breadth of knowledge and experience here teaching our Pilates classes and hope that you have the chance to meet her and work with her yourself. Until then, get to know Alicia through her answers to this Q&A.


A Q&A with Alicia


Why did you choose to teach Pilates?

I became a Yoga teacher in 2008. I wanted to help people feel comfortable and strong in their bodies. I work with a lot of students with instabilities and injuries. I noticed people could use more strength, so I started to study Pilates. I see so many benefits to people's strength, health and overall state of wellbeing. I love what Pilates has to offer.


What do you like about working here?

I love all the people I have met. So many friendly and intelligent people!


Hometown: Chadron, NE


Current residence: South Side Madison


Birthday: October 21


Family: 3 kids, all boys. Ages 19, 14 and 12


Favorite music: That's a hard one. Anything that makes me move my body!


Favorite color: Purple


Favorite TV show: Freaks and Geeks


Favorite movies: No way I can just list one or two. I love movies that blend big scenery into the screen. Movies that require going to the theatre.


Favorite foods: Indian Food, tacos and sweet potato chips


Hobbies: Walking my dog and riding my bike


Favorite vacation spots (thus far): Northern India 


Previous nicknames: Al


People I admire: Wow. I admire people who wake up, no matter what and help people every day. I admire people who work in service with very little expectations from others. 


Something very few people know about me that I’m willing to divulge here: I just ate a whole bag of sweet potato chips and a bowl of mint ice cream for lunch!