(Hamilton, NY – Dec. 2013) Corey Sawyer and Jim Scholefield opened a new fitness studio in Hamilton. A “soft opening” was held Dec. 20 with a kick-off Holiday Dance Fitness Party benefitting the Hamilton Food Cupboard. We asked Corey to tell us a little about their new business.
What is The FITT Stop?
We are a Fitness Studio featuring Group Fitness Classes including Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Sentao, Hip Hop Core, Pilates, Yoga, Insanity workout, Brazilian Samba Dance, and also offering Adult Salsa and Bachata/Merengue individual and partnering classes. I will be offering Personal Training Services and nutritional counseling in late January to early February.
How did you get interested in this field?
I’ve been involved in the fitness industry for over 30 years, either as a participant or an instructor. And I’ve always loved music and dance. But most of all I enjoy the feeling I get from motivating others to become healthy, more fit and self-confident. And since I discovered dance fitness classes it’s an absolute joy to teach each and every class. The smiles on the students’ faces speak for themselves.
What is your background in the industry/service?
I began teaching aerobics classes in the early 80’s and taught on and off over 20 years. In 2004 I began instructing circuit training and step aerobics as well as nutritional and weight loss counseling.
In 2009 I discovered Zumba Fitness and trained to be an instructor in the basic Zumba class format as well as several of the “specialties.”
I started teaching for Joy’s Dance Studio in Hamilton (as well as other locations) in January of 2010.
In 2012I decided to get more serious about teaching fitness and became certified as a group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of American (AFAA).
In September 2013 I took an AFAA Pilates workshop and began teaching shortly thereafter. I am currently studying to become a certified personal trainer.
My fiancé Jim Scholefield (who I met in my Zumba class in 2012) also became an instructor and we team-teach both Zumba and Zumba Sentao. He also has a vast amount of experience in business management so he will be the brains of the operation and I will be the motivating force for getting people interested in a fun way to get fit.
How has the business been received in the community?
We have found that group fitness is very well received, because it’s not just about health and wellness. It’s a way to get fit and healthy in a fun atmosphere. It’s a social “thing” as well. People come to classes together – friends, sisters, mothers and daughters choose group fitness for quality time together.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a business right now, and why?
People who are hesitant to come to a dance fitness class because they feel they aren’t coordinated enough – my answer to that is a resounding “YET!” Participating in group fitness INCREASES your coordination and agility and the gradual building of stronger muscles and endurance helps you to be stronger and more balanced in your everyday activities. And we are truly a NO JUDGEMENT zone. My favorite saying is “there are no mistakes in a Zumba class – only unplanned solos.”
What has surprised you most since start-up?
The positive feedback from our current students and their willingness to help out and do whatever they can to help us succeed. We have built a very close relationship with a core group of students – we just love their loyalty to us as instructors as well as their generosity. Many of them are as excited as we are about the new studio.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the field?
The male population believes that group fitness classes are “something girls/women do” and many times they consider running on a treadmill or a stationary bike a better cardio vascular workout. On the contrary – group fitness classes burn more calories (average 600 – 800 or more) in an hour than running on a treadmill and it’s a total body workout as well so you build lean muscle in the process. And….it’s FUN!
What would you most like the public to know about the product or service you provide that they may not already know?
We want our studio to be THE PLACE that people of all ages, genders, and fitness levels can come and find a fitness format that works for THEM and they can have fun doing it. One thing we are very focused on is providing an aesthetically pleasing environment. We don’t want this to look like a “gym.” It will be warm and inviting – a place that people will feel comfortable. We’ll have soft lighting and gentle music for the Pilates and Yoga classes and a “kickin’ sound system” and party atmosphere for the dance fitness classes.
What are your plans for the business for the next year?
We will continue to streamline our business to make certain we have something to offer everyone. Jim and I and the other instructors we have teaching at the studio are all committed to learning new formats and continuing to educate ourselves in the fitness industry. Personal Training and Nutritional Counseling is something I’m very excited to begin.
What are your plans for the business for the next five years?
We would LOVE to be able to expand the studio to include more space for larger restrooms with shower and rooms for spa type services like facials and massage therapy.
Was there anything you expected us to ask that we didn’t or wished we’d asked but didn’t?
We are very committed to doing what it takes to keep our business successful in Hamilton and the surrounding neighborhoods. People in this area tend to be quite health conscience and we hope they will embrace what we are trying to achieve with our fitness studio – providing a wide variety of choices so they can find what works best for them and then motivate and inspire them to be the best they can be.
The FITT Stop is located at 2352 State Route 12B in Hamilton. For more information, call (315) 832-0579.
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