January is that time of the year, as life coach Matthew Hussey puts it, “January is like the first Monday, the way you act on Monday sets the course for the rest of the days.” And this January, Five Question Series is going to be nothing short of an adrenaline-filling overdose of inspiration. Are you ready for the first, fierce story?
I like structure… no, no, I prefer structure. I am not exactly an early riser; I like to wake up at 9.30 am—even though most of my school classes start at 8.30. As part of my obsessive need for structure, I start my day with to-do lists. They are everywhere—on my phone, on my bedroom walls, my brutally scribbled planner is always begging for mercy, and if one day I lose my mind, I am pretty sure I am going to start to-doing on my body.
Anyway, long story short. As part of my to-do list, I always make sure I spend at least 10 minutes on Instagram (hey! Have you checked out the 5Qs Instagram page?), including other social media platforms. Why? Because the sky’s so high, and if only you were born in 1945, would you discredit how social media is an untapped resource for people wanting to start their own thing. And thanks to my 10-minute daily ritual, I struck upon my pot of gold.
Meet Monica Gold, founder and artistic director of Find Your Fierce.
To say Tough Lover is one of my favorite performances of Christina Aguilera would not be a lie… actually, it’s my absolute favorite. It’s my dream performance… the one where, in an alternate universe, I am Aguilera and completely killing it on stage. Dreams die, and I have made my peace with never being able to morph into the superstar.
Back to the Toronto-based powerhouse Ms. Gold and her equally amazing brainchild Find Your Fierce (FYF). A dance and fitness company FYF focusses on empowering women and men to feel strong, sexy and fierce and offers dance lessons and workshops in commercial styles, specifically Jazz Funk, Hip Hop, and Heels.
To say ‘Finding (and Being) My Fierce’ might be my 2018 mantra will not be a lie… actually, it’s most certainly going to be. Being confident and fierce, and totally slaying it—whether it’s a craft you are passionate about or through your everyday actions—is not such a bad way to live.
Q1. May I know what sparked the idea of Find Your Fierce?
Find Your Fierce was a phrase I first used when I started teaching at university. I developed the first heels class there and I would use it sometimes as a motto as I had recently been inspired by the notion of the ALTER EGO from one of Beyonce’s albums. As a person who was petite and friendly but not generally labeled the most confident or powerful at first sight, I could genuinely relate to the idea of becoming someone else when the music came on: A person that was confident, strong, powerful, captivating & FIERCE*AF.
Long story short, I fell in love with that person. A year after leaving university and immersing myself in the Toronto dance community, I started teaching at a new studio and I asked them if I could call my class Find Your Fierce rather than simply calling it a “heels” class. They had no problem with it, said I could market it however I wanted and so I went to town with it. I started creating posters promoting the class and posting them on Facebook and Instagram and people started bringing it up in conversations or calling me Miss Fierce and that’s when I think I started to realize it was something people could actually relate to.
With that said I started branding it about 3 years ago when I started teaching, but the company itself has really only existed for 1 full year. So, it is still very fresh and growing.
Q2. What was the most challenging thing to deal with once FYF kick-started?
Honestly, the most challenging thing is often helping people get over their nerves. I know so many people see what I do and keep telling me they’re dying to take FYF classes, but they are apprehensive or live too far. As a result of this feedback, I started creating online FYF tutorials for people in hopes that those far away can participate and those who may have always wanted to come will feel a little less intimidated to do so.
We are still in the infancy stage of the company in my mind, so there is a LOT of learnings happening along the way. Learning to deal with people, learning how to balance building a business while balancing creating choreography and creative directing, learning how to build a stellar team inside the studio as well as outside of it… it can be overwhelming, but I truly believe in FYF so I’m taking one step at a time.
Q3. Which video would you say was the breakout moment for FYF?
I don’t think there ever was a breakout video. There are videos that I LOVE that haven’t done as well and there are videos that I thought were good but not my favorites that have done incredibly well.
What people don’t see though is the slow build. There was never an explosion from one single piece of content that put me on the map. It’s been a constant, consistent release of content that has allowed me to reach the audience that I have today.
Music, old and new, inspires my different, creative ideas but, truthfully, now, as the company grows, my dancers are a big part of what keeps me motivated. I’m very lucky to have a team that is super gung-ho for any kind of crazy idea I throw at them.
Q4. What’s your daily schedule like?
In this industry, it is very difficult to have a super structured life. You have to be able to figure things out as they happen. With such a small team on the business side (I officially have one assistant and an amazing person who helps me out with some logo designs), I end up wearing many hats from marketing to editing videos, to planning shoots, organizing the dancers videographers, photographers, trying to teach myself apps like MindBody, building and updating my website, connecting with brands to collaborate with, adding new offerings like our new Fierce Fitness cardio dance fitness classes for people who want a ridiculously FUN way to work out without having to have any dance experience… and the list goes on as any start-up person knows. It’s a lot, but I love it and don’t mind doing any of it because, like I said, I believe in FYF.
Q5. What are the exciting things lined up for FYF in 2018?
There is so much to look forward to! For one, as mentioned above, I’m REALLY excited about our Fierce Fitness classes. It’s essentially a JLo meets Beyonce meets Zumba dance party. Outside of that, lots of creative content to come and then, of course, there’s the next FYF show happening the first weekend in April, where all the women who have trained with the company get the opportunity to perform live. There are LOTS of things in store and we’re excited to make this year the FIERCEst one yet!
Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much.