Fet~ness Movement-Soca meets fitness and causes madness!
OUR AMBASSADOR5™ SERIES SHOWCASES 5 QUESTIONS/FACTS WITH A CULTURAL AMBASSADOR WHO IS ACTIVELY PROMOTING CARIBBEAN CULTURE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
By Marissa Williams
She has achieved the impossible. She has brought together a group of Caribbean women to work out religiously every week. No drama, no chaos- just a focus on health, wellness and having fun. For the majority of women in the class, going to the gym or any kind of fitness routine used to be sporadic activities at best. That was until we ran across the Fet~ness movement. A fitness program that marries the average Caribbean woman’s two loves; music and dance. Between ‘Tun Up Tuesday’ class, ‘Waistline Wednesdays’, ‘Tabatha Thursdays’ and core classes Saturday , we have all finally found a fitness program that we love and can stick too. The 2B Karibbean team had the pleasure of speaking to Keisha Huggins, the founder of the Fet~ness movement. A cultural ambassador who is serious about spreading Caribbean music & culture throughout the U.S. using fitness as her tool, and, she is getting quite a few folks fit and lean in the process.
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Video Credits: Bronson Blair of Prothro Productions
About her fitness journey and the Fet~ness initiative
Keisha has been in the health and wellness industry for about twenty years and has recently been certified as an instructor. Like many of us, she struggled with fitness fads, unsuccessful diets and see-saw weight loss. Until one day she went to a cooler fete and had an epiphany. She and her friends danced way into the morning hours and after leaving that event, she reflected on how much cardio movements she used dancing to the soca music. From there it was easy for her to marry her love for her culture & music and her desire for a healthier lifestyle, and, so Fet~ness was born.
About challenges she faced bringing this movement to the U.S.:
For many who are not familiar with Caribbean music or culture, they easily dismissed Fet ~ness as simply another dance class with a Caribbean flavor. It was also difficult to get facilities on board for them to truly understand that this was not just another dance fitness class but more of a cultural movement. Keisha strived to change this perspective by diversifying the class offering and being persistent with her message. The results speak for themselves and highlight that Fet~ness is a full fitness program. One of her students lost over fifty (50) pounds, her endurance increased and her journey is one of many that testify to the success of the movement.
About her Proudest Moments:
She has had many proud moments with the Fet~ness movement, but, the one that has stood out the most in her mind was presenting at the Black Women Expo in Chicago. She reflects on how intimidating it was being in front of such a large audience but was very encouraged by how well she was received by the people in Chicago. Another proud moment was when the daughter of one of her clients was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said ‘Fet~ness instructor.” This girls’ parents are of American and Antiguan descent and she was introduced to the class as a way to stay fit and also stay tied to her cultural heritage. For a cultural ambassador such as Keisha the moment filled her with enormous pride.
About being a cultural ambassador through fitness:
Fet~ness is focused on spreading Caribbean culture and also exposing other less known cultures to the world. One example of this is an event being hosted by Fet~ness as a means to bring the diaspora together through fitness and encourage unity. At the end of September, Fet~ness will be hosting Atlanta’s first International Fitness Festival, bringing together instructors from Guyana, Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad, America and the list goes on.
About differentiating the Fet~ness brand
Keisha is focused on maintaining the integrity of the culture and her brand. She believes that creating a space where people feel comfortable to ask questions and by encouraging conversation she can achieve this.
She references similar fitness programs such as Zumba which have made lots of strides with opening the market for world music in fitness, but, at the same time have suffered the consequence of losing the cultural aspect behind their movement.
For more about Fet~ness visit the Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Fet4life or Instagram @msfeteness