Friday, March 27, 2015

Small Business Feature: BeliRaq

Photo Courtesy of Andrea de Gruchy

Our last small business feature for the month is something exciting and fun. We have the pleasure of sharing BeliRaq Dance Fitness created by Andrea de Gruchy. If you are looking for a good work out, a fun time, and a place you can be yourself, keep reading! Andrea will inspire you to get up and get moving!

Where did the idea for BeliRaq come from?
Photo Courtesy of Andrea de Gruchy
         The idea of BeliRaq came to me when I was developing my first business, which was performing belly dancing for restaurants, hookah lounges, birthday parties, BBQ’s, stage performances, etc. After performances, many women would approach me and ask how I could do all these isolations and look so graceful. Through all of these performances and teaching “technique” belly dance classes, I realized even more how much I wanted to teach dance and perform! But I wanted to do more than just teach “technique” belly dancing. I really wanted to show women that they can get a really great workout with belly dancing, so I created a program that has more spunk and attitude then just “performance” belly dancing. At that time, dance and fitness became one!
Photo Courtesy of Andrea de Gruchy

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
         Honestly, it is really hard to narrow it down because I love everything that comes with owning, managing, teaching and meeting new ladies. But if I had to choose, is seeing the ladies realize that they can dance and get a workout at the same time with belly dance/Bollywood at their own level! To have that “wided eyed” moment that they don’t have to be stick skinny shape with dance experience, they can embrace their own body shape and curves and put their own personality into the movements.

What are some of the benefits of attending a BeliRaq class?
         Some of the benefits of attending a BeliRaq class are the low and high intensity cardio-packed routines while staying in a low/ moderate impact. Switching from low to high intensity in workouts helps you burn calories faster and longer because our metabolism starts to increase which helps to burn calories even when we aren’t working out!
During the lower intensity parts of the workout, we integrate isolations, which are great for body sculpting and toning. I hear all the time that women want a flatter stomach, who doesn’t? So we work on a lot of core that incorporates the upper and lower body movements as well as undulations. Undulations are a great benefit in BeliRaq because it targets spinal flexion and extension while working on engaging the core and stretching out the muscles to become more flexible.
Also, the sensual movements of belly dance help lubricate the hip and shoulder girdle, spine, knees, lower back and every joint in the body. It is proven to help with arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc. (on a side note, I hear many women tell me they tried BeliRaq or are continuously taking BeliRaq because their doctor mentioned that they need to take belly dancing because of the benefits.)
Photo Courtesy of Andrea de Gruchy
As women get older, the many common areas of tightness are the hamstrings, hip flexors, the spine and rounded shoulders making a “hunch-back” look. We make sure to workout these different areas as well as stretching them. In BeliRaq, we target all of these areas by doing squats (which is a multi joint multi muscle workout, it works the quads, hamstrings and gluts all at the same time, which is why men and women do them so often) lunges (which target the quads, hip flexors and hamstrings), forward flexion by hinging at the hips (this targets core, flexibility in the hamstrings, and mid/lower back muscles), saidi (which is a style of belly dancing it targets cardio, hip flexors and gluts) and using chest lifts (which target the upper abs and the upper back muscles) and shoulder circles(targets the joints in the shoulder, upper back muscles, and depending on how much you incorporate the movement you can get a little of a rotation which targets the oblique’s and upper abs) to help posture.
You’re probably wondering, wow, this is a lot, but what about lower abs? We target lower abs by isolating the lower body with hip circles (you can really target lower abs by pulling them in when coming around to the front with the hips), hip lifts, shimmies, hip slides, hip tucks and releases. Overall, BeliRaq is a full body workout! ;)

What new things will we see from BeliRaq in 2015?
         New things that are and will be happening is the brand new logo and website! We have incorporated our new logo on shirts and soon to be coin belts, water bottles, bags, jackets, bummer stickers and window decals. The website is up and running well. Eventually we will be selling products online too! We are also working on certifications so many ladies can teach all over the U.S. We are having more boot camps and workshops outside of a weekly class! 

What advice to you have for others trying to start a business?

Photo Courtesy of Andrea de Gruchy
         My advice to starting a business is to make sure you know in your heart that this is what you truly want to do and if you are willing to be responsible to making it grow. Know what service or product you want to sell. Know that you are the BOSS. No one will set your schedule for you; it’s all up to you to take charge. Money will come eventually, but not right away. It takes time to grow and nurture it, like a baby! The business is like a small child. Most importantly you have to be mentally, emotionally and verbally strong. You will grow, as a business owner so don’t worry if you lack in some areas, just stay positive and focused. One last thing, see yourself as a business owner. For example, in my case, I’m not only an instructor, performer and a dancer, I’m first and foremost a “Business Owner.”


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