“Cardio dance fitness was the only option where I wasn’t risking getting hit in the face repeatedly with a ball,” said Kara Vasseur, 25 — a self-described musical theatre nerd who stumbled into dance fitness via her PE requirement at Davidson College. “I definitely didn’t expect to fall in love — you can thank my instructors (now mentors) Megan Hively and Nicole Jordan for that.”
Three years later, Vasseur just launched her own dance fitness company, MiSFIT Dance, to offer an inexpensive cardio option with zero pressure of fitting in.
According to her website, the “classes are big, pop-up, sweaty dance parties happening all across the Queen City.”
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In 2013, Vasseur started teaching dance fitness to offer an alternative to high-priced studio classes. At first, she taught free community dance fitness — then she transitioned into teaching ‘Twerk For Your Beer’ classes at breweries after connecting with the Work For Your Beer brewery fitness guide in 2017.
“Their focus on creating community and uplifting affordable fitness was a natural fit,” Vasseur said of Work For Your Beer.
From there, Vasseur was inspired to start a dance fitness company ‘for misfits’ that was all about embracing yourself for who you are, flaws and all.
“I’ve always felt out of place, especially in the world of fitness,” said Vasseur, who also has a full-time job in nonprofit communications. “I’m a certified personal trainer and group instructor, and I still feel like the oddball out most places I go. And if I can feel that way, being as entrenched as I am in fitness, I have to believe other people feel that way, too.”
Now, MiSFIT classes are popping up at different venues (included The Rabbit Hole, Free Range Brewing and Lenny Boy Brewing Co. in November), with routines intended for every fitness level, at a price tag of $8 – $10.
As for the name of the business? “It means not comparing yourself to anyone else in the room, in the world, on social media,” Vasseur said. “It means becoming a part of a community that loves and accepts you for for,” Vasseur said. “And, I guess more tangibly, it means having a judgment-free place to dance your damn heart out and work up a sweat.”
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ABOUT THE CLASS: ✔️ Each class is one hour long & high-energy from beginning to end ✔️ We’ll never charge you more than $15 (& sometimes we bring booze) ✔️ While we follow a Zumba-ish format, it’s more like Zumba’s cooler cousin 😎 ✔️ We pop up all across CLT! You could say we’re homeless (we’d say we’re misfits 🙃) ✔️ An👏y👏one👏 can dance with us. We leave our egos at the door & WERK it like no one’s watching. We’re all weird here.
The class choreography is closer to what you’d find dancing at the club than what you’d experience at a traditional Zumba class. Expect a high-energy vibe, a “bumpin'” playlist (perhaps with explicit content) and the push to break a sweat.
“I’ve always been super nervous when I first try out classes. I want you to know that you don’t have to be ‘right,’ or dance ‘well.’ If you show up, you will be so, so welcome,” Vasseur said. “I hope people leave more confident, more sweaty, and with a bigger smile than they came in with.”