For as long as I’ve known Simone, she has always been into dance. And when I regularly seen her promote her dance fitness classes on her social media pages, I couldn’t help but feel proud for her. Not everyone can turn their passion into a business and while I interviewed her for the blog, I knew she was truly passionate about what she is doing. Meet this week’s “Woman on the Move”, Simone.
Q: How did Boss Chick Dance Workout get started?
A: I completed my Master’s in Dance at NYU. While living in New York, I developed a passion for fitness. I followed a fitness blog and that eventually inspired me to do my own fitness video. When I moved back to Miami, I got offered a job to be Madonna’s head trainer for her new gym center, Hard Candy Fitness. I would’ve been traveling to different countries and training their trainers all the dance choreography for their dance fitness. After I made it through all the rounds is when they told me that I would have to move back to New York to take the job. But I just moved back to Miami and wasn’t willing to pack up to move to New York again. From that whole process I was inspired to start my own dance workouts, for women only.
The reason I chose to do women only fitness classes was because I started to read articles about how obesity and heart disease are the leading killers in African-Americans. And then I also read another article about how black women don’t workout for superficial reasons, such as messing up their hair or not wanting to sweat profusely and so forth, so I really wanted to create a workout that would motivate women of color to workout and be healthy. The simple solution to battle obesity and heart disease was to just start working out.
Q: I notice that you travel back and forth between Miami and New York for your fitness class. How did that happen?
A: I started in Wynwood and it has expanded throughout Miami in Doral, Kendall and Broward. It’s expanding through Miami by word of mouth and I couldn’t be more grateful. I lived in New York for 4 1/2 years and I still had a lot of connections out there. I did a few classes to see how the response would be and I had a great turn out. So I found a space and trained a few people to teach the classes twice a week in New York. And every other month, I go and teach a master class there. Now I’m doing a tour around the U.S. called “Fit and Flawless” and will be doing master classes in those locations as well.
Q: How did you get the idea to start a U.S. tour?
A: I started receiving random messages from people on Facebook asking me to come to their city and teach a class and since I love to travel, I thought it would be a great way to teach a master class where people are interested in what I have to offer. I’ve launched this tour to get ALL women active. I’ve done one in New York and Atlanta and have plans to go to Boston, Philadelphia and Vegas over the summer. I’m also working on offering regular classes in Atlanta. I found two teachers there that I am going back to train.
Q: What’s next after the tour?
A: I really want to expand and find different ways to reach young girls and women promoting an all around healthy lifestyle. One of my boss chicks that attend my Broward classes, works with disabled children and brought the idea to me of possibly doing something with those young girls. She thought it would be great to get them active and healthy and also work on building their self-confidence.
I’m also starting a summer camp for girls, in the month of July, ages 7-13. They will learn hip hop, street jazz, and dance choreography routines. At the end of the month, they will have a dance show case where they perform what they learn for friends and family. Throughout this summer camp, I will also dedicate time in each class to discuss the importance of health and building their self-esteem and confidence. But the most important thing is for them to be happy and have fun.
Q: What does every woman walk away learning from your dance classes?
A: You quickly become comfortable with the movement of your body. The classes are challenging, which allow each woman to get one with themselves and become comfortable with who they are. I think they have fun, feel sexy and free and connect with the other women in the class. That’s really important because it can be awkward in a room full of women but I make sure to rid of any awkwardness and have them feel like they are a part of something. They will also really learn to dance. All the choreography is real hip hop. I’m giving them that same level from when I teach a class at Miami-Dade College. Whether that was the intention from when they came to the class or not, they are learning how to really dance hip hop.
Q: You also teach dance at a college, how did you get into that?
A: One of the main reasons I got my Master’s in Dance was to be able to teach dance at the college level. I teach contemporary dance, ballet and composition choreography. I’ve been teaching children how to dance since I was 16 but on a college level, since January of this year.
Q: What inspires you to dance?
A: One of the main things that I like is discovery. With dance, there are an endless amount of ways to move your body. There is always something new to learn and that within itself is inspiring. You also learn a lot about yourself in dancing, when you are truly into it. Being able to share parts of who you are through movement is what I love the most.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring dancers?
A: The first advice I would give is to be disciplined with your craft, in the sense that you have to go hard at it. But in that, learn to understand and appreciate the individuality of your body and how it’s different from any other body. The dance world is very critical and we become critical of ourselves. We spend a lot of time in the mirror, so we are always being criticized by instructors, others and ourselves. If you are not strong enough and recognize what your body can do, the dance world will chew you up and spit you out. Don’t be scared to be bold and creative and crazy with your movements. The dance world needs more of that.
Note: For class times and locations, visit her website at www.bosschickdanceworkout.com ; Twitter account @thebcdw ; Instagram: bosschickdanceworkout ; Facebook: The Boss Chick Dance Workout