Elizabeth Mooney has been dancing since the age of 2 and has been teaching dance and fitness for over 10 years now. She is the creator of Country Fusion, a fitness workout that incorporates country music and dance. This workout burns 500+ calories in 50 minutes. It is designed for all ages and levels. Elizabeth is also a professional dancer and choreographer who teaches line dancing at various locations throughout Northern NJ. She competed in the Boston Showdown with her dance partner and with her own choreography in the United States Line Dance Choreography Championships.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I come from a fitness and dance background and wanted to create a fitness program that would make my clients feel good about themselves while building confidence and having a good time. I grew up going to 1000 Acres Ranch (now known as Stony Creek Ranch) in upstate New York and loved the Country vibe.
In 2014 when I was up at the ranch, I was listening to some country songs and realized that country music was becoming less twangy and had more of a sexy vibe and was something that I could really dance to. In March of 2015 I was teaching a class and realized that there were no country based fitness classes and from there, I had a vision to create a country based fitness class and began to work towards bringing my vision to life.
Tell us about your business.
Country Fusion is a fitness program based on country line dances and infuses 4 wildcard (non-country) dances. Wilcard songs can be swing, bachata, salsa, merengue, or any dances along those lines. The class is based on a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – so the playlist is set up to start out slow and vary between faster and slower songs to rev up the heart rate, burn more calories and speed up your metabolism.
Some of the dances done during the class are classic country line dances and other dances are fitness ones that I choreographed. The dances get participants moving and using their whole body to create a full body workout. In one 50-minute class, participants burn 500+ calories.
In regards to fitness certifications, I am a personal trainer certified through AFAA and NASM and am a certified instructor of Zumba, Pole Dance, Pound and Ballet Barre.
I also won the Bronze Award in Latin and Ballroom at the Manhattan Ballroom Dancing Championships.
In regards to career accomplishments, I produced and starred in my own Off-Broadway Burlesque show, Arcana Lace and was featured on page 6 of the Daily News, Manhattan with a Twist, Residence Magazine (May and July 2013 issues) and East Meadow Life. I also appeared on the CBS morning show, the Couch, where I discussed Arcana Lace and my fitness class, Burlesque Booty Camp. I was able to get Country Fusion press coverage from the Daily Record (NJ.com) and that story was picked up by the Associate Press. I also got Country Fusion covered by Morris Essex Health and Life, The CNNEKT, Roxbury Register and the Successful Woman Podcast with Gil Donnell.
Lastly, I have a Country Dance Workout DVD with World Dance New York.
Where is your business based?
Country Fusion is located in Northern New Jersey and New York, but is growing. We are actively certifying new instructors, if you would like to bring Country Fusion to a location near you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a certification workshop in your area.
Country Fusion is also an approved provider of Continuing Education Units (CEU) credits through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), two of the largest fitness associations in America. Participants of the instructor certification class receive .7 CEUs which can be applied towards the individuals license renewals for group and personal training classes.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
To get Country Fusion up and running I created my business plan, registered Country Fusion as an LLC, picked out my class playlist, choreographed fitness routines, created a name and brand and started teaching at local gyms.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Country Fusion has grown through promotion on social media via Facebook. Country Fusion was also part of the ECA Fitness convention and has done demos at local fairs and festivals to gain brand awareness.
Another method of raising awareness for the business has been through line dance instruction at local bars and restaurants in Northern NJ. Dancing in social settings allows possible clients to get a taste of country line dancing and the results Country Fusion classes can offer.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
A big challenge in getting the business started was developing brand recognition and creating a large client base for Country Fusion.
How did you overcome these challenges?
To overcome challenges, I work with my friend and assistant, Kaitlyn Reynolds to promote Country Fusion on social media pages, organize participation in local festivals and fitness events, reach out to possible gyms and media outlets to grow awareness of the brand and make connections with local venues to host country line dance lessons.
Promoting Country Fusion through these various venues has helped to grow the brand recognition and grow my the client base.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Friends, family, music and doing research have all kept me motivated during difficult times.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Country Fusion is different from competitors because it is based on country music combined with interval training. Country Fusion is not just a brand, it’s a lifestyle. People who come to Country Fusion classes make friendships with each other and really grow to enjoy working out and leading healthier lives. They learn the dances, develop confidence and look forward to coming to the class.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Take one day at a time and do the best you can in each day that is given to you.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Have your vision and stay focused on it – always keep your eye on the prize – believe in yourself, be the best you can be, and every day do something to work towards your goal.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My favorite resources are fitness magazines, youtube, search engines (google) and social media.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
- I am currently looking to develop more press opportunities for Country Fusion and find a production team to help develop fitness videos.
- I am also looking to certify more instructors to bring Country Fusion to new locations.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months are to continue to:
- Grow Country Fusion
- Certify more instructors
- Film another fitness video
- Advertise Country Fusion at more events
To achieve these goals we continue to promote Country Fusion through social media and run instructor certification workshops. We are also participating in local festivals this summer to promote Country Fusion and get the name out there and will be adding on additional night time events at local bars and restaurants in Northern NJ to get Country Fusion out there.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Youtube www.youtube.com/channel/UCaSxBUK9sdBXL7j-Z_jPEwA (Country Fusion)
Hashtags #CountryFusion #CountryMusic #Dance #DanceFitness #countrylinedance #countrylinedancing #dancer #fitness #fitfam #fitlife