It was a cold, rainy, January morning in Cincinnati - it was one of those mornings when it feels like your bed is literally whispering your name.
I was about to check out a DANSATION (dance fitness) class led by Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer Rachelle James of RJ Fitness & Nutrition... and *spoiler alert* about 30 seconds into the class, I was so glad I left the warmth of my bed behind!
Rachelle teaches DANSATION at both Corryville and Oakley Recreation Centers, and I attended her class in Corryville. Upon walking into the class space, I immediately felt a shift in my energy as I was warmly welcomed into an incredibly uplifting, diverse, and flat out fun environment. Nope, I wasn’t late to the class - it hadn’t even started yet and I already felt the positive energy radiating throughout the room.
Now, when I tell you that I have very little rhythm when it comes to dancing, I am not lying to make you feel better or to talk you into attending Rachelle’s class. Ya’ll. I am not a natural-born dancer, but I didn’t let that stop me from checking out DANSATION… and , you shouldn’t either! (...and hit me (or Mer) up if you need to go with someone to make yourself feel or look better.) Prior to taking this class, I knew very little about it, besides what the class description promises online. DANSATION is described as a dance fitness workout, and “One of the most energizing, motivating, and fun ways to get your body into gear.” It’s a bit like Zumba, a bit like jazzercise, but incredibly unique and authentic to Rachelle herself.
During the class, we danced to R&B music, pop music, latin, hip-hop, bhangra, afro-beats… there was no shortage of fun music and the hour absolutely flew by. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had so much fun in a workout, even if part of that was because I had to laugh every time I caught a glimpse of myself groovin’ in the mirrored wall.. I never once felt as though I was being judged, and there was no pressure to do everything perfectly or to keep up with all of the dance moves. The focus is on having fun, and Rachelle has created an environment where women can come and feel supported and empowered all while improving themselves in body, mind, and spirit.
After exchanging high fives with my fellow dancers at the end of the class - a ritual that I think is so sweet - I sat down to chat with Rachelle. The first words out of her mouth were, “Did you have fun?” … if her focus on making sure that all of the women who come to her classes are having a great time wasn’t clear before, that absolutely solidified it.
Rachelle started RJ Fitness & Nutrition in 2013, and her business first began with only dance fitness. It expanded into boot camps and strength training, and then evolved even further into her online programs. She offers personal training services as well as a “Redefine 12” program, which is designed to be 12 months of video workouts with unlimited email and text support throughout the program to transform the client’s strength, health, and well-being. Rachelle even leads international wellness retreats; last year, she took a small group of women to Costa Rica, and she is looking forward to this year’s retreat in Greece… talk about a great way to get people excited about health and wellness! … and check out the amazing photo below from her Costa Rican retreat, does it not look like a perfect stock photo?!
Upon meeting and talking with Rachelle, it really is no surprise that she has had so much success. The environment of self-love and empowerment that she has fostered among her clients is undeniable. When I asked her about her vision behind DANSATION specifically, Rachelle explained that in this class, she wants to create an environment where no woman feels the pressure to do everything right or to have a certain body type.. There is room for creativity within the dancing, and she encourages her clients to reach within themselves and to make the time their own.
Rachelle’s authenticity speaks volumes, and it’s easy see why she has grown such a devoted following. Her mission is to empower women to be better, stronger, more confident versions of themselves. Rachelle really focuses on helping her clients eliminate the fear that often comes with working out or with trying new things. She explained that it seems fear is what holds so many people back from truly flourishing and realizing how much they are capable of, and she has made it part of her mission to help women conquer this. (Rachelle doesn’t have “Life-Coaching” services listed on her website, but seriously, sign me up when that’s available!)
Check out all that RJ Fitness and Nutrition has to offer here, give Rachelle a follow on Instagram and Facebook and check out DANSATION if you want to smile and sweat your way through a fun workout; you’ll be so glad you did!