Global Dance Sensation – The Kendall Nielson SHiNE Dance Story

The Kendall Nielson SHiNE Dance Fitness Story

Kendall Nielson’s journey from the world of real estate to becoming a passionate global well-known advocate for dance and fitness is a testament to the power of pursuing one’s true calling. In a candid interview, Kendall shared the motivating factors behind her career shift, “The reason I left real estate was to stay home with my kids. The pressure to have young ones and maintain the workload of being a Broker was too heavy for me. It was hard for me to admit because I wanted to be able to do it all and make it look easy, so I had to set my ego aside and make the choice for my own sanity and my family.”

Kendall’s journey into the world of fitness and dance began as a full-time stay-at-home mom in 2008. She recalls her initial reluctance to step into the group fitness room at the YMCA, as it seemed intimidating. However, it was a wellness retreat with her mother that marked a turning point. The retreat offered a variety of dance classes that ignited Kendall’s passion for fitness.

She described the experience, saying, “With each class, I could feel my soul lift. I felt so happy, sweaty, and creative, and it was pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I liked it. I knew that this feeling was something I wanted to bring back to Eagle with me.”

With a desire to bring the joy of dance and fitness to her community, Kendall set out to find a fitness format that resonated with her. Fueled by her love for music and dance moves that made her feel like a backup dancer to Beyoncé, she decided to create her own class. Kendall’s initial goal was modest but achievable: “My goal was to get at least 5 other women to come to class, and if they each paid $5, it would cover my rent for the space. I felt like that was doable.” Thus, SHiNE Dance Fitness was born, built on the foundation of community and empowerment.

Starting with YouTube as a stay-at-home mom was a bold move, and Kendall acknowledged the doubts that arose. However, she explained, “I thought to myself I have nothing to lose, and no one really is going to see it. If it does well, I can then share it, and if it bombs, I can always take it down.” Ten years later, in 2018, SHiNE reached 170K subscribers, a testament to Kendall’s determination and the community she has built.

The evolution of SHiNE didn’t stop at YouTube. Kendall was approached by a fitness company that wanted her to create an instructor training program to certify their coaches as SHiNE instructors. This unexpected opportunity led to the establishment of national certification programs, which have continued to grow and evolve over the years. Kendall’s journey has now expanded from her local community to reaching individuals worldwide, with over 700 instructors around the globe.

Eagle may not be the first place that comes to mind for a dance and fitness company’s headquarters. Kendall’s decision to establish her base here was driven by necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. She shared, “I found a place that was half a mile away and ready to move in. It was soundproofed, had mirrors, and despite being half the size I was used to, it felt like the right move. With the help of our community, I was able to make that dream a reality.”

Reflecting on the journey from their early YouTube days to where SHiNE stands today, Kendall notes the remarkable progress they’ve made in terms of sound quality, resolution, and the confidence of their dancers. This journey is not just about dance and fitness but also about the sense of community and empowerment that Kendall and SHiNE have created over the years.

Connection is at the heart of SHiNE, both locally and online. Kendall Nielson and her team have fostered a sense of community by offering various opportunities for people to connect. This includes annual retreats, like the one in McCall, which have become a cherished tradition. Furthermore, the concept of “SHINECATION” has been introduced every other year, bringing together SHiNE enthusiasts from YouTube, online students, instructors, and local participants. In the digital realm, monthly Zoom calls, dedicated Facebook groups, and newsletters keep the community engaged, allowing everyone to stay connected and inspired.

The remarkable growth of SHiNE on YouTube, with over 270,000 subscribers today, can be attributed to Kendall’s unwavering commitment to consistency. For over a decade, she has consistently posted videos, uploading new content every Friday. Additionally, staying attuned to audience preferences by choreographing routines to trending music has been a winning strategy. A key takeaway from Kendall’s experience is the importance of listening to what the audience wants – even if it means embracing songs that may not be personal favorites.

SHiNE’s online dance classes, aptly named “REALITY FITNESS,” provide subscribers with a unique and relatable experience. The unscripted nature of the classes, with students sometimes not knowing the playlist, creates an authentic and engaging atmosphere. Subscribers enjoy quality sound,

ad-free content, and a consistent posting schedule. With various instructors, each bringing their unique style, and a diverse playlist for every class, SHiNE’s online community finds joy in every session.

Innovations are also on the horizon. SHiNE’s offerings have expanded to include SHiNE LIGHT, a low-impact version of SHiNE Dance Fitness, and the new UPLIFT format, a strength training program set to iconic music. Members of the Plus Plan gain access to archived classes and the Playlist Builder, offering endless variety and customization.

Kendall’s advice for those looking to transform their passion into a successful business is simple but powerful: start. Take small, consistent actions every day, and ensure that your journey is fueled by love. Loving what you do makes the commitment, time, energy, and passion feel like a labor of love rather than work.

Balancing the roles of a mom and a successful business owner has been integral to Kendall’s journey. She began her entrepreneurial adventure when her kids were 8 and 11, making them an essential part of her journey. Kendall’s transparency with her children about their importance as her number one priority has helped her find equilibrium. Involving her children in the growth of SHiNE has allowed them to witness the positive impact it has on people’s lives.

SHiNE Dance Fitness is deeply committed to giving back to the community. The company supports Mel’s Scholarship Fund, named in honor of a beloved friend, Melanie Webb, who fought a brave battle against breast cancer. This fund enables those facing financial constraints to experience the gift of dance. Those who contribute are affectionately known as “Mel’s Angels.”

2024 holds even more opportunities for individuals to connect, dance, and uplift their spirits with SHiNE.

To join a SHiNE Dance Fitness class, become an instructor, or join an online workshop visit shinedancefitness.com.

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