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Life & Work with Rena Dixon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rena Dixon.

Hi Rena, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Since my adolescent years, I’ve always been obese. In middle school I was the “chubby girl”, in high school I was the fat girl”, in college, “the Big girl” and so on! It was so annoying being describe by my weight. I’ve never really lacked confidence or hated being plus-size, but the heavier I got, the more uncomfortable I was. I could barely shop in my favorite stores due to lack of extended sizes and even started to hate the way I looked in certain clothes that I would normally love. At that point I decided it was time for a change and so my journey began.

I was on the hunt for a way to lose weight without feeling so much pressure. I started doing online dance fitness workouts from home. The next step was attending Zumba classes at my local Club Fitness where I fell deeper in love with dance fitness. One thing led to another and I was ready and finally certified to become an instructor. One year later, I took a leap of faith and created Curvy Gang Fitness, LLC.

Over the last 5 years, I have successfully lost over 100 pounds. It has been one heck of a journey, but I’m thankful for the process. During this journey, I have found that it is so much more to losing weight than working out and eating right! If you don’t have the mindset, it will definitely set you back. It has been a blessing to help women like me, who have also struggled with their weight, find a fun and creative way to drop those pounds. I now teach 3 different classes at two locations in north county! Classes are steadily growing so I’m excited for the opportunity to help more

Trapercise: a high intensity dance class energized by trap music!

Curvy Camp: station style workout for a full body burnout!

Curvy&Confident: A sensual and intimate beginners dance class for ALL my curvy women!! Curves come in many different shapes and sizes so what better way to celebrate our curves than with a little body appreciation. This is an environment in which we encourage one another and help build self-confidence.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Entrepreneur is not for the weak I can tell you that! I have definitely ran into a few. One of my biggest struggles was finding locations to host classes consistently . I work full time as a Legal Admin and a mommy so booking venues was more convenient for me than running my own physical location. At one point, I was teaching at 5 different venues in 1 week just to host classes. I felt like spending way more money than what I was receiving.

I found that teaching more frequently at the same venues instead of multiple ones really help build me a solid clientele. Another struggle was conquering the market. It’s so many instructors and studios in north county (Florissant) so I knew I had to be different in order to get clients. I started teaching a class near fairground park off natural Bridge and Grand (Stl City) to bring more healthy fun fitness options to areas that lack those types of resources. It has been a struggle to get people to travel to those areas but I’m continuing to push through in hopes of turning that around.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I considered myself as a jack of many trades but not all. I currently work full time as a Legal Assistant for a major Credit Company. I love the company I work for, which is why I’m willing to be a part time entrepreneur. I also am a full time mommy and it is nothing shy of a blessing. I would say the work I am most known for being the Owner/CEO of Curvy Gang Fitness and a plus-size model (print/runway) in the St. Louis area!

I think what sets me apart from others is my Energy. People always compliment me for being full of life and it helps push them through the class. I set an atmosphere in which the workout class feels like you are at the club with your girls! I’m proud of how hard I push myself in classes to help others full apply themselves! My clients don’t know how tired I be but they are the reason I keep going!

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I definitely see the fitness industry continuing to expand more in the next 5-10 years. I see a lot of opportunity for growth in fitness technology, such as, virtual classes and equipment. I also think the trend of being extremely fit to be healthy will change as well, allowing people of all shapes and sizes will become more inclusive and respected in the fitness instructor/trainer world.

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Image Credits
Tre Cooking Photography

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