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From Moulin Rouge to Sydney PCC, Noemi N Nagy, Interview

Noemi N Nagy PCC Instructor

Dragon Door: Do you have a background in fitness or athletics?

Noemi Nagy: I was never really interested in fitness. But, because of my dancing background, I was always doing a lot of stretching. I started with ballet when I was five, and then folk dance, modern dance and historical dance. After graduating from a school which specialized in modern and ballet in Hungary, I moved to Austria and danced with different companies. Then, in 2008 I moved to Paris to learn breakdance—which is quite different from ballet. I have always been a dancer but never really spent much time in the gym because I didn’t see why I should do it.

I always liked learning different styles, finding my own style—and I always get really bored doing just one thing. So, when I moved to Paris, I also had to find work, so I auditioned at Moulin Rouge, Crazy Horse, and Lido. I signed a contract with Moulin Rouge and danced there for one and a half years. It was an amazing experience and an honor to be a dancer there, but ultimately it wasn’t something that I wanted to do for years and years. And I ended up not having the energy to learn breakdance—which was the reason I had moved to Paris!
Noemi N Nagy Dance

I stopped dancing at Moulin Rouge because I got very sick and had to go to the hospital for two months. Since I was about 18 until age 26 I’ve been in the hospital almost every year because of ulcerative colitis. Dancing with this sickness was terrible and very difficult, because if you feel nervous, then you’ll have to run to the toilet. I was very weak and couldn't eat before the shows.

During the last few weeks I felt very sick, but thought that I had recovered because I didn’t feel like I had a fever. I went back on stage, but had a fever of 42°C (107 °F) with vomiting and diarrhea and had to run through the can-can. It was very hard because I also had 6kg (13.2lb) of feathers on my back and had to keep smiling. I don’t think they understood that I was sick, and didn’t know why I could not give them 100%.

At the end I didn’t sign another contract. I danced on a cruise ship and then on the Costa Concordia before it sunk. I was very lucky because I had two contracts there, then three months later I heard that my friends had to swim ashore—it was crazy. Dancing at the Moulin Rouge and on the ships was a beautiful time, but I always felt weak, sick, and I just managed to do the show.

I went to Australia in 2012 and for some reason I felt a bit better. It had a different climate, and I felt like I could get better and stop having to take the medications. Unfortunately it is much more difficult to get a job as a dancer. So, I got into the hospitality industry in Australia. Two years ago I was managing a club in Australia, and I got much worse. It got to the point where I was so anxious sitting in a car or public transportation that I just had to get out. I did a lot of research and saw many specialists for the sickness but nothing was really helping me. I knew that the medications were affecting my immune system, but I was not doing very well and also had to take anti-depressants. During this same time, I wasn’t exercising at all and I wasn’t eating the healthiest foods.

Noemi N Nagy JumpI read many books about healthy eating and how we can change our neurotransmitters and brain connections. So, tried to learn more and tried a diet to get back my healthy gut bacteria. After a while I realized I was feeling better, was less anxious, more patient, and wasn’t having any attacks. I also realized that I needed to quit my job because I was constantly getting bronchitis and other illnesses. So about a year and a half ago I decided to get into fitness and help people change their lifestyles. Changing the diet and adding exercise helps our physical health, mental health, and pretty much everything!

Even when I had been so sick in Paris, I still had to be on stage. Even though I was running between the toilet and the stage, but I was never going to give up. I just met another girl who had the same problem and it is holding her back in everything—work, relationships—and I really want to help her because I’ve been through it. I’ve started to teach her how to eat, what supplements to take, and how exercise is so important for feeling happier. It also helps stimulate the right enzymes and hormones that help you feel so much better. People just need it in their lives.

Starting about six months ago this year, I’ve been feeling very well, and so much stronger. It takes a while to transition, and doesn’t just happen one day. It takes a long time to become strong and health—and a long time to change bad habits into good ones. The human body is so interesting and I think every dancer should learn about bodyweight strength training and practice Pilates and calisthenics to feel stronger. About a year ago, I started exercising and I changed so much and I got so much stronger. I have never felt as strong as I do now—and I haven’t lost any of my dancing technique. I really love it and it's made a big difference.

Dragon Door: What type of fitness classes are you leading?

Noemi Nagy: They’re called F-45 and they’re 45-minute classes of high intensity interval training focused on functional exercises. One day is a cardio session, and the other days are resistance training. The workouts change day to day, and we use a lot of different types of equipment like barbells, benches, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, Swiss balls, and many other different things. Then we have computer screens that display the workout, and at the beginning of the class, we explain all of the exercises. One thing I don’t like about the format is that we only have two minutes to go through eighteen exercises. I can only cue so much in that amount of time and sometimes get nervous about having to tell them everything so quickly. But it is actually a great class.

I’ve also started to teach a very basic beginner’s mat Pilates class, Barre Attack, and specific stretching classes. The Pilates class is very good for people who are just starting out, and need to learn how their bodies function, where they need to get strong, and where they will want to stretch. Some people have very poor posture because they sit at a desk for such a long time. They have hunched backs and their shoulders are forward—and then they start to lift barbells! It’s important to work the body properly first—especially before lifting heavier weights.
Noemi Nagy Elbow Lever

I have also started to teach Animal Flow, but now I would like to get into really practicing everything I've learned, because if you're not practicing then you'll forget it. And studying so many different things, I am somewhat overwhelmed!

Dragon Door: What brought you to the PCC?

Noemi Nagy: I am registered with the Fitness Network of Australia. They send a magazine every month as well as newsletters and emails. When I did Animal Flow in July, Alisha Smith was our instructor and mentioned different courses coming up, and to check the website. I learned about the PCC and saw that it was coming up and thought, wow! I’ve always wanted to work on the muscle-up, all the different push-ups, and squats. It looked so interesting, and it also looked very advanced, but I knew that I definitely had to do it, so I signed up!

Noemi N Nagy, PCC InstructorDragon Door: What are your favorite moves from the PCC?

Noemi Nagy: All the bar exercises are extremely challenging, so pretty much all of them! And I would definitely like to master the muscle-up because you always just see men do it. It would make me so happy to do it—and say, "See, we can do it too!" I'm also practicing the fourteen different kinds of push-ups in the PCC books! I try to go through all of them—and when I'm finished I've done about 100 reps! The front and back levers are also extremely hard. The headstand was great, the pistol squats, and of course I want to master the human flag!

Dragon Door: How do you plan on using what you learned from the PCC?

Noemi Nagy: First, I wanted to practice them and learn how hard is it to get to the advanced movements. I want to practice and learn the regressions and progressions of each exercise so when I teach them in the future, I will know how hard it is, and how to help my client gain the strength to do them. I am also going to start an outdoor boot camp class and build the PCC exercises into the sessions using bars, stretches, and partner drills. Exercising outside is the best, and there are so many great outdoor locations in Australia—and we have a long summer.

Noemi Nagy PCCNoemi Nagy is a PCC instructor in Sydney, Australia, she can be contacted through email at Follow her on Instagram: