Hi. We probably haven't met yet. My name is Ashley and I'm the creator and owner of Mama's Got Groove LLC.
I'm also the sole instructor, a mom of a preschooler, soon-to-be mom of a newborn, and an experienced technical writer.
So how did I go from being a full-time technical writer to a business owner/dance instructor? That's a great question.
My love for dance fitness began in 2008 when I first began my weight loss journey, long before having children was even a thought in my mind.
I started attending Jazzercise classes religiously and I was hooked. It was the one fitness regimen that I looked forward to and was consistent about attending.
What a revelation!
From then on, I knew that choreographed aerobic movement paired with awesome music were necessities for me to stay on track with my physical activity. I also love high intensity interval training, weight lifting, and a good barre workout too.
I worked out all through my first pregnancy until 38 weeks when I decided to stick to walking twice a day until the baby arrived at 41 weeks and 5 days.
As a first-time mom, I had the common misconception that I would be cleared at 6 weeks and then go right back to attending group exercise classes as I had done for years.
When people say a baby changes everything, they're not kidding. Your mind, heart, and of course, your body change permanently. Your priorities shift and you look at the world in a totally new way.
Working full-time and being away from my son during the day made it really difficult for me to logically and emotionally leave him to go workout at a group fitness class.
So after the birth of my first baby - a time that many women already find themselves incredibly isolated - I had lost the community and connection that I had cherished for years. I was able to justify going to classes maybe once every month or so without feeling too terrible about being away from him, but it was also a matter of convenience. Since I was breastfeeding, the pain of having to pump rather than being able to nurse him, especially after pumping all day at work, was frustrating and kind of made me resent the notion of going elsewhere to workout.
By the time I started attending group exercise twice a week regularly again, my son was a little over two years old and I had just found I was pregnant with baby #2.
When you know better, you do better. So having it fresh in my mind how attending group fitness classes changed for me after having my first baby, I knew I had to be proactive to prevent the same thing from happening with baby #2.
That's how Mama's Got Groove was figuratively and literally born.
I conceptualized what I would want out of a mom-centric dance fitness class, and the development continued from there. I choreographed dances in the ladies' restroom at work on my lunch breaks. I hosted demo dance parties with my mom friends in my garage to solicit feedback. I registered the business, became re-certified in CPR/AED/First Aid, and studied to become an ACSM-certified Group Exercise Instructor. I did all of this while growing a baby in my body, being a mom to a very active and wonderful toddler, and trying to balance and constantly improve my marital life, social life, and entrepreneurial life. I attended business boot camps, built up my business acumen, and most importantly, worked on destroying my limiting beliefs.
Over the course of my pregnancy, this "nice idea" was growing into a fully-developed program. It was no longer just a pipe-dream. This wasn't a whim or passing thought.
I realized this was a calling. This was my opportunity to work out while solving a problem for myself and so many other moms out there. This was my way of helping mothers finally make their health just as much of a priority as their commitment to their kids.
So there you have it. There's the "birth story" of Mama's Got Groove, without any of the gory details (full disclosure: the detailed story includes sweat and tears, but fortunately no blood).
Our classes are scheduled to begin in January 2017 to give this mama some much needed time at home to recover and bond with our baby girl when she arrives in early September 2016.
Be sure to check the blog regularly as we'll be announcing pre-registration for 2017 classes in November and December. You can also join our mailing list to stay up on the latest promotions and news about Mama's Got Groove.