If you've ever dreamed of having moves like Beyoncé, ConfiDance Fitness in San Francisco, California, has the class for you. Called Don't Worry, Be Yonce, the class offers students the chance to learn routines set to Queen Bey, all while working up a sweat.
And that’s not the only class that ConfiDance Fitness offers, each creatively named class offers students a chance to expand their dance skills while getting in a killer workout. Owner, Shonna Chiles, started ConfiDance Fitness five years ago to provide a competition-free environment for adults who wanted to learn to dance.
The idea started when Chiles stepped down from her role as an NBA dancer and began taking dance classes. She sensed a competitive feel in class, as well as hesitation from new students. “It was this nervous kind of energy who had never danced before,” Chiles recalled. “I decided I wanted to give teaching adult classes a try.”
Chiles began thinking about what she loved—heels and Beyoncé, and the idea behind her class was born. She began teaching on Saturdays at a boutique studio in the Marina District in San Francisco. Her first class had 11 students, but by the end of the first month, there were fifty people in the class. From that first month on, it was clear that people loved what ConfiDance offered—a family, growth, and confidence.
Chiles feels like this incredibly important in a place like San Fransisco because so many people move to the city from other parts of the country and don’t have a support system around them. “You move into an environment where you don't have friends, you leave your family. They find the studio and find family alongside you know, self-improvement, growth, and development that you wouldn't even imagine comes from taking dance classes.”
Classes are so popular that it can be tough to fit everyone into the classroom, but Shonna's still thinking of new ways to acquire new customers and offer the class to more students.
After relocating to Oklahoma City recently, Chiles flies back to teach at the studio once a month and focuses on pop-up events around the city, including partnerships with lingerie brands and a day of choreography that ends with a video shoot.
What Chiles found in San Francisco is a nationwide trend. According to the 2020 Mindbody Wellness Index, dance fitness is the top fitness class in America, with 20% of regular exercises taking part weekly.
“I tell people all the time that everyone wants to dance,” Chiles said. “It’s something that I think every single human wants to do, whether they say it out loud or not.”