As you walk through the door of Soul Step Dance & Fitness Studio you’re greeted with a beat. The beat, a bit like your morning coffee, pulls you from your haze and invites you to move.

Emily Fine, the founder of Soul Step, meets you with sincere enthusiasm and a smile. It’s easy to recognize the passion in her voice as she introduces herself and the studio.

“Dance is an art form just like painting or playing a musical instrument,” she says. “It’s a way for you to express who you are. In today’s world we’re kind of forced to be a certain way and look a certain way and conform to life’s rules. Through dance we’re able to get back in touch with who we really are at a deeper level.”

A Northern Michigan native, Emily attended The Dance Center and Dance Arts Academy in Traverse City. She can’t remember a time growing up when she wasn’t dancing, but guesses she started around age 6.

Though she started with traditional styles such as ballet, jazz and pointe, Emily soon learned she wanted something more from dance.

“I kind of new from an early age that I wasn’t totally fitting the mold in the traditional dance community,” she says. “I started to realize that I wanted to express myself further than that. I wanted to be different and not conform.”

She brings that same idea to her studio now.

Emily offers dance and fitness classes for all ages and skill levels making it easy to incorporate a creative and fun workout into your family’s everyday lifestyle.

For the kiddos:

This summer, kids can take part in the Youth Hip Hop Expressions Summer Camp. The camp will take place August 3-5 from 10am to noon and costs $100 per student.

The main focus of our kids’ classes is to help them build confidence and be able to feel comfortable with who they are and express what makes them unique,” Emily says. “Rather than making them conform, we focus on helping kids to embrace just who they are.”

Kids can also check back in the fall for a full schedule of classes designed specifically for them.

For parents and grandparents:

 Emily’s newest program, Dance Your Yoga, combines the two movements for a mind-body workout.

“Yoga is a little bit different because it does focus on calming the mind, and I think in today’s world that’s absolutely necessary,” Emily says. “People are very busy and stressed, and stress really is the No. 1 cause of disease and illness. Yoga connected with movement takes on a therapeutic form.”

Adults can also sign up for other classes including Cardio Funk, Fusion Rhythms and Burlesque Funk. Look here for a full class listing and descriptions.

“Everyone was really born to move,” Emily says. “Life is constantly changing. Our cells are constantly moving and flowing, and it’s really a natural state to be in movement. Dance allows people to connect back to that natural state of freedom and playfulness.”

Learn more about Soul Step Studio on Facebook or find them on online.

Photo(s) by Soul Step Studio