Interested in bonding with your kids while you get a good workout and relieve stress? Cool Moms Dance Too (CMDToo) offers family dance fitness and expression classes to promote both physical and mental wellness.
The business is rooted in healing for co-founder and CEO Quyionah Wingfield, who used the power of dance to reconnect with her two young daughters after her husband passed away suddenly in 2013.
“We were just making it day to day. I was more of a ‘provider-get everything done’ type of mom. I didn’t know how to engage, because I was in so much pain,” Wingfield said.
One day after work, Wingfield decided to dance with her girls and everything changed from there.
“We started talking more because we had something in common. My daughter was being bullied in school for months, she never told me until we started dancing together,” Wingfield said.
Then, she thought maybe her friends could benefit from her discovery.
“It just hit me. Mom’s are all stressed out trying to manage everything,” Wingfield said. She suggested, ‘Why don’t you try dancing with your kids and see if that will get them talking to you more about what is going on in their world? It was working. That was the inspiration behind the girls and I co-founding Cool Moms Dance Too.”
The name came as Wingfield defended her moves to her daughters.
“They were looking at me funny. I said, ‘I’m cool, I can dance’,” Wingfield said.
A cool mom is present and willing to meet her children where they are. Class participants agree.
“CMDToo made me feel like a cool mom. I was surprised to see my son have fun because being a preteen usually comes with a lot of complaining and not wanting to do things but he was thoroughly engaged. I also like the community created with other moms and dads enjoying time with their children,” Selina Armstrong shared.
Wingfield was a dancer in her youth but took some time to learn the fitness world, safety rules and what her clients wanted and to raise the capital needed to launch her business in 2016.
“I became a certified group fitness professional and have the credentials to run a class. I partnered with dance therapists to figure out the best way to engage in dance expression,” Wingfield said.
Both daughters – Jaira, 12, and Serenity, 10 – assist with choreography. Jaira also helps with product design and marketing.
The result is a hip-hop family fitness class with dance movement therapy activities. For example, after the warm-up and cardio, you may do a group activity like mirroring.
“One person goes to the center of the group to be the leader and express what they are feeling through movement. We support them by mirroring them and cheering them on,” Wingfield said.
Keyanna Roebuck was so moved by her CMDToo experience, she trained to be an instructor and is leading an eight-week summer class with The Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.
“Cool Moms Dance Too provided an outlet for my daughter (who loves to dance) and I to connect by doing something fun. Since becoming an instructor, I have experienced an increase in confidence and my overall well-being. I am a bit shy by nature, but once I am in class and dancing, I feel more open to connect with others and express myself through dance, which is much easier than using words,” Roebuck shared.
To reach more participants, CMDToo has partnered with organizations such as NAMI GA, Georgia PTA Association, and radio station V-103. In collaboration with Atlanta Hawks cheerleading coach Vera Musgrove, CMDToo families practiced for eight weeks and performed at an Atlanta Hawks game this spring. And youth dancers at CMDToo summer camp later this month will team up with re:imagine/ATL youth videographers and Notes for Notes youth musicians to create a music video together.
What’s up next for this busy entrepreneur?
This August, CMDToo will launch live streaming for classes for a small fee, either per class or per month.
“My long-term plan is to grow this initiative by training more fitness professionals, health professionals and moms to provide classes in more regions,” Wingfield said. “We are changing the way we look at mental health. To look at it from a fun space and then maybe more people would be comfortable talking about things that aren’t comfortable. That’s the ultimate goal – to get families in that space.”
For more information and to register, visit coolmomsdancetoo.com.