Live. Work. Create. This mantra was on the wall that greeted me at kādifit on a recent Saturday. Inspiration and perspiration are what you can expect when you enter this boutique gym located in Cornelius. Offering a variety of classes, I went to take the signature Kardio dance class.
I love to dance and I danced most of my young life until college. Sequins, spandex and red lipstick were a huge part of my adolescence. With that background, I couldn’t help but think, I got this.
The Kardio dance class started at 9 a.m. I got there early and watched a Primal class in action. Participants rotated between stations that included jumping rope and boxing drills. I was so impressed and definitely want to go back to try it.
In addition to the Kardio and Primal class, other class offerings include Yoga and Boga. There are three different types of Primal classes: core, fight and revolution. These classes are centered around customized strength and cardio exercises to train your body in a way that is functional and sustainable. Boga is a mat workout, combining strength and flexibility.
As the Primal class wrapped up, we, the Kardio dancers, picked our spots. Katie Dixon, owner and creator of kādifit, came out, greeted everyone with a warm smile and gave us a positive message to set the tone for our class. Katie told us that “today was about celebration.” She emphasized that this class was our moment to have fun, to do something good for our bodies and for us to have an opportunity to leave everyday stresses behind us.
During our hour workout, the class was led through choreography, high intensity moves like jump squats and jumping jacks to songs from Beastie Boys, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Muse. Everyone in the class laughed, sang along and Katie’s energy was infectious. I shook it like salt shaker and got low (and got back up again). And boy did I sweat.
Class ended long before I wanted it to end. Drenched in sweat by the end of class, I was impressed by what Katie said to us as we cooled down. She emphasized the studio’s August theme of “own it” and to live an intentional life. Walking away from class I was inspired, tired and in a great mindset.
I had a chance to interview Katie and discuss her passions, how kādifit came to be, building a community, and “owning” whatever it is you want out of life.
Tell me about your passion.
Katie Dixon: The quote “Keep the Passion” is something I have said since I was a teenager. Beyond anything we do here, at kādi, with fitness, my number one passion, the reason I get up in the morning, is to inspire. I enjoy nothing more than to encourage a class of 30 people who are breathing hard and sweating, by saying things like, “Small steps ultimately climb mountains,” or “be better than you were yesterday!” Because if all we do is focus on the steps or reps, but you don’t leave inspired, then what’s going to keep you motivated tomorrow? And what would make us any different than any other “gym” anywhere else?
Dance was my first passion, and still gives me exhilaration and fulfillment every single day, as I get lost in a song, sweat and sing along with a room full of maniacs. But, boxing (Primal Fight class), has quickly become another love of mine. There’s nothing like taking out all of your stresses, negativity, or anything else that you need to release, into a punching bag. In turn, it keeps your marriage strong.
What inspired you to create the kādifit concept?
KD: I always wanted to open a studio. In college I majored in business marketing with that hope on the horizon. But fear got the best of me, and I chose to work a desk job after graduation. It was the easy route, and it’s what you’re “supposed to do.” In hindsight, I am glad I did it, because it gave me hands on application and experience.
Well, after five years behind a desk, my friend asked when I was going to open my studio. “What do you have to lose? Your house? Your car? You have friends and family who would help you.” I knew, at that moment, that what I would have to lose, not ever trying, would be far greater.
The concept of “lifestyle design,” and inspiring people beyond fitness, beyond the four walls of the studio, unfolded during the first year of business. I realized that people are never more empowered than they are at the end of a workout. That’s when you really feel like you can take on the world! Everything we do in our life is connected. Fitness isn’t something separate that you just fit into your life. If you treat it as the building block of your day, and a catalyst for inspiring the other avenues of your life (career, hobbies, goals, relationships), you’ll be living far beyond the status quo!
Any tips for people thinking of opening a business?
KD: What’s the worst that can happen? Typically the things you fear aren’t going to kill you. If your dream outweighs all that you’re willing to sacrifice, you’ll make it. Be willing to pay the price. There are small costs every day to deal with: time commitment, financially downsizing, hard work, less sleep… Successful people are willing to pay the price, over and over and over, until they’ve made it. It’s not going to be easy. But if you truly want it, it’s worth it!
With her closing thoughts, Katie said, “If you remember anything from what I’ve said, remember to live YOUR story.” Kādifit was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and I look forward to going back.
If you’re interested in trying the kādi experience, as a first time attendee, you are eligible for a free week trial. During that time you can take as many classes as you want. As Katie said, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
Connect with kādifit
19725 Oak Street, Unit 3
Cornelius, NC 28031