Today we’d like to introduce you to Uchenna Emenaha.
Uchenna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I struggled with working out consistently because I often got bored with my workouts. To solve this issue, I decided to vary my workouts by trying different types of fitness formats. Shortly after making decisions, I decided to give Zumba a try and Loved it. I was burning calories and having fun while I was doing it-sweet! After a few years of being a student I go certified as a Zumba Instructor. Although, Zumba is Latin based it also incorporates music from all over the world. I found that as I planned my music for class, I really enjoyed when I had an opportunity to incorporate music from different countries in Africa as well as music from Caribbean. I loved Afrobeat and Caribbean music so much I decided to create an entire fitness format that featured this music called Afrocari.
Afrocari Workout is a unique hour long cardio routine to African & Caribbean inspired music. Afrocari Workout is suitable for all fitness levels, no previous dance experience needed. The class features the newest Afrobeat, Hip Hop, Soca, Reggae and Caribbean Dance Hall music.
The difference between Afrocari and others fitness formats is that it incorporates fitness moves to help not just to burn calories, but to also help tone and sculpt the body. Whenever you can do both cardio and strength training in one workout that is definitely a win.
I currently hold classes one Saturday a month at Houston Dance Factory, but I plan to offer more classes in the coming months. It’s important to me that people have access to affordable opportunities to fun workouts even so my classes are budget friendly (only $5 if you register early). I am also working on putting more of my workouts online so people outside of the Houston area can have access to them as well.
This whole process of designing a new fitness format and taking a leap of faith to start offering classes was not easy, but I am glad I overcame my apprehensions and did it anyways. The feedback has been amazing and each class I have held has been a packed house! I hope to inspire others to step out on faith and make their dreams a reality as well as to enjoy working out and being healthy!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Early on, I had to overcome self-doubt and negative thoughts. It’s not always easy doing something new, it takes courage. Thankful, I have a great support system who encouraged me to follow my passions and I am glad I did! Once the music starts, my energy is up and I am in the zone! Class is always amazing, preparing for class has helped me develop my marking and business skills. It’s not always comfortable for me to promote my classes, I never want to come off as a salesperson. Marketing is a whole new area for me, however I have had to learned new and creative ways to reach my target audience and share my workouts with more people. Social media (FB: wheredancelives, Twitter: @wheredancelives, IG: @wheredancelives ,YouTube: @wheredancelives) has been a great way for me to connect with people in the Houston area grow my client base.
Also, being a small business I’ve had to be creative about how to make things happen that is why I designed my business website (www.wheredancelives.com) myself. I was not an easy task, but this finished product was worth it.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Afrocari Dance Fitness story. Tell us more about the business.
My company is Where Dance Lives and my featured workout I created is called Aforcari Dance Fitness. I love this class because the energy and the dance moves are so fun and rhythmic that ever can’t help but have fun! I designed the workouts to be beginner friendly and the workout is adaptable for all fitness levels from beginner to athlete. As a small minority business owner, I am passionate about working to help other similar business as well. After every class I invite 1-2 small business to set up a pop-up shop and feature their products. I have had artist to fitness apparel business come to class and share their products with attendees. After other workouts, most people exit the building and go straight to their cars, but the pop up shops provide a great opportunity for people to mix and mingle after class.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck, I believe in prayer and divine purpose. I take time to meditate daily and ask God for guidance and direction concerning my business. This practice of prayer and meditation combined with developing my craft is what has allowed me to be successful.
- $5 Early Bird
- $10 at the door