The amazing Alice Bracegirdle, founder and CEO of Bellyfit, shares her passion and joy with Joy Yoga readers.
1. Why Bellyfit?
As with most successful business ventures, Bellyfit® was created out of a personal need that turned out to be the need of many. In early 2003 I found myself at a personal low. After having traveled the world, run several businesses, certified as a Fitness Leader and worked as a professional Belly Dancer, I found myself back in my hometown of Perth, Ontario–a single mother on welfare fleeing from a violent, abusive relationship. Realizing that the health of my two-year-old daughter Shalom and my own health were suffering tremendously due to stress and depression, I knew I had to make a change. I recognized the need for an exercise experience that balanced body, mind, spirit, heart AND empowered me to be a strong, sensual, balanced woman.
Further inspired by my vision of a future in which all girls are educated about healthy body image and women in general are empowered in their natural bodies and in their lives, I conceived of Bellyfit® – a holistic fusion of Belly Dance, African Dance, Bollywood, Fitness, Yoga, Pilates, body/mind/spirit philosophy, and deeply motivational and inspirational music.
I continue to be inspired every day by the now 100+ authorized Bellyfit® Instructors across Canada and the USA that myself and my team have trained. These women are not only empowering themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually with Bellyfit®, they are also empowering themselves financially and making a huge difference in their communities.
Strong women = strong families.
Strong families = strong world.
2. What do women like about it?
Women love that they can get a great workout while feel feminine and powerful at the same time. It is all about a balance between grace and strength, body and spirit, mind and heart. Women come away from the class literally feeling ‘high’ from the experience. I have had many participants tell me that their Bellyfit® class is the closest they come to having a truly ‘spiritual’ experience. It also honors the many different shapes and sizes that we as women represent and gives us an opportunity to feel great in our bodies no matter what we look like.
3. What inspires you?
My stunningly beautiful and astounding nine-year-old daughter Shalom. My incredibly sexy, brilliant husband Rowan. My over the top powerful and supportive mother. My eternally wise and devoted father. And every woman in the world who knows how important it is to move and be moved.
4. What must-read book is on your shelf right now?
The Tipping Point. Really great book about how trends take off.
5. If you could tell a class of 100 people just one thing, what would it be?
When women come together great things happen. When women move and breath and cry and laugh together miracles happen.
hemalayaa: bollywood dance queen’s inspiration, love, joy