Grace Through Strength: Ali and Sheena #GearUpwithAkma

In the second leg of the #GearUpwithAkma weekend workout series, we are featuring former professional Ballet Dancer and founder of Bedroom Ballet, Ali Black; and certified crossfit, strength and conditioning, and gymnastics Trainer, Sheena Mabilangan. 

Ballet and Gymnastics are both a mix of athletics and art. When we see ballet dancers and gymnasts twirl and tumble we often forget the strength that all the grace entails. Read on to see how these two go-getters manage to create art through their athleticism.



Ali is wearing the Ari Mesh Bra in lilac and Miley Leggings in dusty lavender.


Ali’s love for ballet started when she watched the movie, Barbie Swan Lake. After watching, she recounts how she begged her parents to let her sign up for ballet. Her ballet journey took her to great heights as she became a professional ballet dancer at Ballet Manila, Lisa Macuja’s dance company, at only 16 years old. There, she was part of productions such as Giselle, Don Quixote and of course, Swan Lake.

In her 10 years of experience, she has formally trained in the Royal Academy of Dance and Vaganova dance method. She danced competitively and bagged a medal at the Philippine Dance Cup and was a semi-finalist at the Asian Grand Prix. 

Ali decided to give back to her home, and started teaching ballet to kids and adults at Ballet Manila. Ali is also the founder of Bedroom Ballet where she teaches ballet to anyone of any skill level, age, and goal.


At times, ballet gets overlooked as a sport. However, some people don’t get to see the technique that goes into the artistic performance. Ali mentions how inspiring it is to see ballerinas make strenuous movements look effortless and graceful.

Ballet technique is a very unique form of movement, and Ali recommends that you take everything one step at a time and not get intimidated. “Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late to learn either. Trust me, I’ve had a student that started dancing at 60 years old and is still dancing at 66” says Ali.


If you have always wanted to take ballet classes, Ali offers one-on-one classes. You can book a session through this link:

Don’t forget to check out her IG page as well: @bedroomballet


Sheena is wearing the Riri Crop Top in white and Nani Compression Shorts in Black. 

Sheena grew up in Australia living an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, she experienced one of the most notorious injuries for athletes–a torn ACL. But this didn’t push her away from the athletic world. She discovered crossfit which is a mix of gymnastics, weight lifting, and endurance. Discovering crossfit pushed Sheena to find new limits and truly challenge herself. This mentality is the same attitude she applies to her coaching

Sheena isn’t only a fitness enthusiast; her long list of credentials include certifications (3 and 4) in personal training and allied health, a CF L2 Trainer certification, and a qualification for CrossFit Gymnastics. In her five years of coaching experience, she has coached clients in Melbourne, Far North QLD in Australia, and in numerous workshops here in the Philippines. 

Sheena shared with us how much she loved coaching. Coaching gave her a chance to not only travel and see different communities, it has also given her a chance to see people move beyond their capabilities. She says that it’s rewarding seeing people turn their self doubts into something pretty phenomenal. “They start to become the person they thought they couldn't be” said Sheena. 


As an experienced coach, Sheena shared with us a few tips for beginners in fitness.

  1. Register and commit: If you have always wanted to try something new, the first step is showing up.
  2. Don’t let fear stop you: Remember that limits can be broken if you don’t let fear get in the way.
  3. Take it easy: Remember that showing up is a huge achievement in itself.
  4. Better together: If you’re nervous to try a new workout or get into a new sport, ask a friend to join you!

IG: @heygrrrl_

Hey GRRL is a platform founded by Sheena, Raissa (another #GearUpwithAkma coach 😉 ) and three other girls made to educate people on the importance of overall health and well-being. 


We're halfway done, but you can still sign up for the upcoming #GearUpWithAkma classes here