Work It Out: Dorcas Green of Bella Fitness & Nutrition Bar

Center: Dorcas Green, Bella Fitness Studios (Sauk Village, IL) When it comes to clean eating, healthy living, and invigorating activity, Chicago’s very own Dorcas Green is the wom an with the answers. Dorcas Green is the creator of Bella Fitness Studio, an all-woman staffed workout facility that offers a contemporary twist on fitness. Bella Fitness provides a personalized environment for women who desire to work out in a fun, optimistic environment through unconventional physical activity: dance. The studio offers a number of dance themed classes including Zumba, Hip-Hop, and House Music, as well as vending natural juices and smoothies. Dorcas shared with me her vision behind the creation of Bella Fitness Studios, her motivation, and her mission:

BGF: What inspired you to start Bella Fitness Studio?

Dorcas: I am a dancer, first. I noticed that women were becoming more involved in dance classes, as a means to be active, versus a standard workout. There are so many more women looking to become involved in dance-related fitness, but the facilities and instructors may not always be available in our communities, or the diversity in class options may not have been as readily available. The need for our people, our communities to have access to programs like this is so important. The way I saw it, if no one was going to put a dance and fitness studio on the Southside of Chicago, then I was going to be the one to do it. Additionally, I chose to leave corporate law administration and become a full-time entrepreneur because I knew there was a better way to pursue my purpose in life. I love health and wellness, so I took the opportunity to explore that. Being an entrepreneur allows me to always have my children with me, everyday. Through me, my Black boys can learn early that they CAN DO whatever they desire, if they work for it. Self awareness and self love are key motivators for doing things my own way.

BGF: How do you deal with the pressure of knowing so many people, women specifically, now look to you as a Fly Black women, for insight and look up to you as an inspiration for their own growth and expansion?

Dorcas: It is surprising to know many of my class attendees and other people have such regard for me because, in my mind, I am just a hard worker. I am resilient and I am a firm believer in having faith in yourself. That is what I also aim to promote through my classes. I exude that. I had to think of it as I do with my children. As children watch and learn behaviors from us, so do the women I instruct. It brought me to joyful tears knowing that my studio has become a place of refuge for women, to come and feel liberated because I understand how they feel; I was once a woman seeking an outlet. So I am glad to be that resource for other women, especially women of color. I took a moment to thank God for allowing me to be that vessel.

BGF: Please, give us some everyday health tips that will help us be happier, healthier, and hungrier for better lifestyle choices and opportunities:

Dorcas: Every morning, every woman should make time to meditate/pray and stretch, because women typically have so much to do in a day, we hardly take time for ourselves. Stretching and performing breathing exercises circulates natural oxygen through the body and gets your blood flowing for the day. Just 3-5 minutes of that each morning will give you an energy boost to conquer anything. Also, DRINK A LOT OF WATER. Many do not realize that drinking water helps burn fat!

Tyler Marie LawrenceHey yawl I’m Tyler Marie, or Ty as I’ve come to be called. I am a (West-Side) Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends. I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School here in the city and went on to attend the first Private HBCU, Wilberforce University (OH) where I obtained my B.A. Sociology in 2012. It’s probably pretty clear now that writing is kind of ‘my thing’ but I’m more than okay with that. Other hobbies include eating, playing basketball, modeling and singing. Basically, I spend all my time trying to be as fly of a Black Girl as I can be. Connect with me via: Twitter/Instagram- @_Mighty5