Raquel Kahn wants everyone who comes into her dance and workout studio to feel like Beyonce.
Kahn opened Fit 6-7-8 in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale in January 2018. Initially, she taught dozens of dance workout classes by herself. During that first year, she accumulated a dedicated group of students, and has since brought on new instructors.
Although dancing has been a passion for her since she was a child, Kahn never expected to make a career out of it until she moved to Arizona with her fiancé. Leaving California and employment as a mechanical engineer behind, Kahn took a leap and made her passion her new career.
Her studio offers a variety of different workout classes. Kahn encourages everyone to come in and try their hardest, no matter what their skill is as a dancer.
What style of dance do you teach?
All of our classes are dance fitness classes for adults. They’re mostly catered toward women, but anybody is welcome. Our catchphrase is “where the fitness is fierce.” Our signature class is called the Vixen Workout, which is a dance fitness program that is based on commercial choreographies. So it’s mainly hip-hop, pop, a little bit of Latin and even some electronic dance music. Lots of music you hear on the top 40 soundtrack, so it’s very high-energy and it’s very sassy. All of the classes are follow along classes, so nobody has to be a dancer to join. We have some mixed fit classes and a couple of Zumba classes. Everything is based around fitness.
How did you open Fit 6-7-8?
I worked as an engineer in the energy sector for a while, and then in tech when I lived in California. But then my fiancé decided to go back to ASU for his master’s degree. He was out here for six months while I was still in California and he told me that we should move to Arizona. I was over being an engineer, I had grown up dancing my whole life, and when we moved here I decided to go for it. I took a leap and found this space, which was nothing when I found it. I remodeled it to turn it into a studio and then opened it up. I really had no idea if anyone was going to show up.
What kind of dancing did you do when you were growing up?
I did all kinds of styles. I did ballet and tap as a toddler, and then a lot of creative dance classes. All throughout high school and college I did a lot of hip-hop, modern and contemporary dance. I got into the fitness aspect of it all through CrossFit, and then I started to figure out how to merge both fitness and dance together. A lot of my students did a lot of dance when they were younger and they haven’t danced since they were 16. But it’s definitely designed to be a joyful experience here.
What keeps you driven as a business owner?
For the first year I taught every single class myself. I was working really hard and it was definitely difficult, but now I’m at the point where I can start hiring on new instructors. Now I can offer more variety in my classes, which is great. But what keeps me driven is that I get to see the progress my students make in class. Hearing the stories of my student’s success, and the changes in their lives since they started coming here, it’s what motivates me. I’ve had people who have lost weight and say they feel better going to class. It’s amazing to see their self-confidence build in my classes.
Of course, this is a workout class and I want everyone to get a good workout, but I really want people to feel good here. Now we’re at a point where a lot of members are friends. We’ll all hang out together outside of class or hold studio bonding events. My students all threw me a bachelorette party the other weekend. They did this really cheesy thing where they said their origin story of how they found the studio and why they attended classes. Most of them were nervous when they first started classes and now they love it.
It’s really changing people’s lives, which really makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.
You hosted a Passover seder dinner for your students at your studio, what inspired you to do that?
I have a few Jewish students and one of them — her name is Megan, and she’s an instructor for me now — has a husband who was raised Orthodox. They offered to host a seder here for people who couldn’t go home to be with their family. For example, I couldn’t go home this year or last year, so the idea was to host a community seder here for people who weren’t going to have one otherwise. It was really fun.
What’s the future for Fit 6-7-8?
I love that question because I have no good answer for it. I’ve tried a few times to make a plan for the next five years, or the next two years or something like that, but I end up taking it day by day. For the time being, I want to keep adding more classes and giving more variety. I don’t really have classes in the mornings, so I’ve been getting requests to have some before-work classes. So right now, I’m looking to expand the schedule and do more events off-site, or even host private parties here. Hopefully, we’ll outgrow this space and need to upgrade to a bigger studio at some point in the near future. That’ll be the next big milestone, but like I said, I’m taking it a day at a time. JN