Dance and fitness combine to empower the community

Dance has many benefits, but most importantly, it serves as a form of expression as well as a great exercise. A Brooklyn studio is combining the two to offer affordable classes, catering to dancers of all ages and skill sets.

For the casual dancer, it’s not always easy to find a low pressure environment where you have the confidence to dance your heart out. However, Brooklyn’s Fit4Dance NYC studio is looking to put visitors at ease, while providing a way for them to embark on the journey of a healthier lifestyle.

“It’s a low pressure atmosphere and you can take it at your own pace,” said Fit4Dance Founder Laci Chisholm. “I struggled with my weight & dance was what helped me lose weight and get back into shape.”

Chisholm has a long history as a dancer, having started dancing not long after taking her first steps as a toddler. Throughout her childhood growing up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, she intensely studied and honed her craft. Even while pursuing her undergraduate degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she continued her passion as a member of multiple dance teams. From there she founded an after school dance program for students in an underrepresented community, while teaching and choreographing routines for students.

Since moving to New York City, in 2006, Chisholm studied and performed dance and worked as a fitness instructor, inspiring her to start Fit4Dance in 2014 (their storefront has been open since 2016). From the second one steps into the studio, they will notice the high energy that flows throughout the space during classes to provide a fun, fitness-driven and encouraging environment.

A photo taken at a Fit4Dance class. (Photo: Fit4Dance)

A combination of Chisholm’s passion, experience and weight loss journey are what make the Fit4Dance experience so unique.

“Whenever people see us they think that we’ve been this way all of our life, but we haven’t. It was a process,” she said of herself and other instructors. “If you like to dance, this this is something you should seriously consider. Its not only effective but fun. There are a variety of classes to suit your tastes. The more you do it, the easier it gets and we’ll be here to support you along the way.”

The Fit4Dance location in Brooklyn (Photo: Fit4Dance)

That variety of classes covers all types of movement from regular group classes, private classes, corporate events, choreography and recitals. For adults, the options are available to partake in Zumba, Sensual Stretch, Afro Soca, Ballet, Bootcamp, Body Sculpt, Jazz, Modern, Belly Dancehall, Haitian Dance, Afro Cuban, Swing Dance, & Praise Dance. As you can see, they have just about all the categories covered when it comes to dance. Even better is the fact that you don’t have to be an experienced dancer, as all are welcome to come learn.

Another unique offering can be found in their children’s classes. These classes focus on ballet, jazz, creative movement, Afro Caribbean and Hip Hop.

Chisholm said her biggest goal with the dance studio is to”bring quality and affordable dance and fitness instruction to women and children in Brooklyn.” However, all are welcome (men included) who are there to take their dance workouts seriously, while also helping to provide an inclusive environment for fellow dancers. As it is a studio focused on working out and adopting a healthy lifestyle and habits, she said there is a reason she targets women and children of a specific demographic.

“We just target women and children of color because we are dying at a higher rate than any group of people in the world from preventable diseases,” Chisholm said.

“We offer a comfortable space where women can have fun, learn to dance, improve their fitness and health, meet new people, explore other cultures, and freely express themselves,” she said.

She said the same goes for kids, while also adding an educational aspect to the dancing.

“We aim to establish quality children’s dance programs that will increase children’s flexibility, physical strength, and stamina while also improving their social and communication skills,” said Chisholm.

If the amount of diverse dance classes they offer was not enough, Fit4Dance also holds community acupuncture events, family fitness and summer day programs. The studio even hosts free weekend Zumba classes aimed at promoting black women’s health.

With a visit to Fit4Dance, you will not only find an energetic and fun atmosphere where you can sign up for a variety of dance classes, but you will find a business whose leaders are dedicated to improving the community one life at a time.

“Fit4Dance will continue to have a measurable impact on women and children in Brooklyn We will help women meet their fitness goals while also helping them relieve stress and gain a more positive outlook on life,” Chisholm said. “By offering dance fitness classes in a caring, supportive  atmosphere, the community will begin to look at fitness as a pleasant and consistent part of their lifestyle.”