At a time when the world came to a complete halt, Abigail Sinclair was restoring faith by encouraging others to get up and dance and pursue their goals — whether it is related to physical, mental or emotional health — right from the comfort of their own homes. While others have gone back to regular proceedings, Sinclair remained steadfast in her virtual wellness movement she calls Abz Dance Fitness.
“The company was founded during COVID-19, which is why it began online. Over time, we discovered that it made it easier for busy working women, moms, who are mostly our clientèle, to stay consistent no matter where they are in the world. Our clients also love the convenience of not being in traffic or having to get a babysitter,” she told Lifestyle.
With a mix of high- to low-intensity interval training, students are motivated to go at their own pace. All dance levels are welcome to the one-hour class which features different musical genres for your fitness pleasure, including old- and new-school dancehall, soca, Afrobeats, reggaeton, hip-hop, pop, R&B and gospel.
“At Abz Dance Fitness, we create a structure every Tuesday and Saturday at 7 to 8 p.m. We provide a mix of the genres in our curvy body boot camp once a month, with a trainer to tone the body. And we sometimes teach choreography of the latest dance trends or create our own, so we can turn your two left feet into a left and a right,” she added.
There is also free nutritional advice every last Saturday of the month, in the support group of women on the same journey.
As someone who was always a fan of dancing, noting that dancers have the nicest bodies and the best self-confidence, fitness came into play as a byproduct for Sinclair, who used dancing to get into and stay in shape.
“I was unhealthy and unhappy, and I knew that I had to make some major changes if I wanted to set myself up for success in a long and healthy life. To be honest, I dreaded my first dance class after years of not performing on stage. But I committed myself to just giving it a shot. I fell in love again,” she shared.
Fast-forward to years later and a couple of pounds lighter, Sinclair decided to bring this fun approach to others who had fitness dreams to discover.
“I believed I could make a difference in how women view losing weight or staying in shape. I experimented with different ways to lose weight. They were boring, or led me back to old habits. I wanted to provide a pressure-free environment where ladies could achieve the same results as a rigorous exercise programme,” she said.
And by embarking on this mission, becoming a dance fitness instructor has afforded other women, like herself, the opportunity to experience an alternative and enjoyable technique that would guide them on the healthy path.
“According to my clients, even though they are covered in sweat, they don’t feel like they are exercising, or that the activity is tiresome. They had fun while burning calories, felt less sleepy, functioned better at work, and they ultimately became more content.”
When coming up with a name, the entrepreneur went with Abz as a play on the name ‘Abigail’ and the expression ‘abdominal workout’.
Sinclair shared that there are a host of health benefits to the dance sessions. They are effective for burning calories or shedding weight; reducing stress or anxiety; increasing flexibility, strength and balance; improving brain, lungs and heart health; improving consistency; as well as boosting self esteem and confidence.
“We’ve seen our ladies blossom into different people, some in a few weeks. Our shy ladies are now dancing at events; sharing videos of them now eating healthy; participating in physical activities with their children. We are even receiving videos of them entering dance competitions,” she said.
She went on to highlight that just recently, “one of our ‘Abz Babies’, as we affectionately call the children of our dancers, got accepted to dance at the JCDC Festival. Watching her mom in class ignited a spark to pursue dance as a co-curricular activity and for competition.”
So what should first-timers expect when they’re attending Abz Dance Fitness class? Sinclair revealed that they can look forward to a warm, welcoming virtual environment and an exciting at-home fitness experience.
“We aim to provide a fun, high-energy environment that supports you on your health journey through dance, the guidance of our inspiring instructors, and upbeat music from a variety of genres. Expect to have fun, learn new moves, relieve stress, go at your own pace, and release your inner diva,” she advised.
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