Raquel Kahn has been dancing since she was a little girl. Whether taking ballet, tap and jazz classes during high school or being on the dance team in college, dance made Raquel the happiest; but she never dreamt she could make a career out of it, until now.
She opened Fit 6-7-8 (a play on how you count in dance to the music; 5-6-7-8) in January 2018. She moved to Arizona in the spring of 2017from San Jose. Before that she lived in Houston, where she worked as a mechanical engineer in the energy sector. “I was in the tech world [in San Jose], and it was cool and fun, but the work really didn’t fire me up,” says Raquel. “When I moved to Arizona I was thinking to take the step of building my own studio – so I went for it.”
Looking for some different exercise to challenge her body after college, Raquel discovered CrossFit. She became a CrossFit coach while living in California.
“When I was doing CrossFit, I always felt very comfortable and welcome, but I know that any gym can be intimidating for women,” she explains. “I never would go to the gym before CrossFit. You feel like if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing that you are going to get weird looks or just not feel good. Working out or any fitness routine should make you feel good. That’s why you do it.”
Fit 6-7-8 offers four classes throughout the week, Monday through Saturday. They are: Stretch and Flex (deep restorative stretching with low-impact, bodyweight strength training), Swelter (combines boot camp style exercises with cardiovascular training and upbeat dance moves), Booty Barre Brigade (combines barre work, resistance bands, stability balls and more) and Vixen Workout (dance fitness incorporating choreographed moves).
“The star of the show is the Vixen Workout,” explains Raquel. “My most proud moments have been after classes when I’ve had women come up and say, ‘Whenever I leave here after taking Vixen Workout I just feel like I can do anything – I’m like hey, get out of my way! I feel so awesome!’ ” Raquel is the only person in the state of Arizona who is Vixen Workout certified.
Using commercial choreography, Vixen incorporates dance moves like those seen in a music video to hip-hop and pop music remixes. “It’s really about getting a bunch of women together and we turn the lights down low, so it feels like you’re out at a club – like a girls’ night out,” says Raquel. “We encourage everyone to put on some lipstick and let their hair down and do the workout that way. Get all dolled up to sweat it all off!”
The best part is that you don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy the class. “It’s fun for everyone,” says Raquel. “There are no mistakes – just accidental solos!” She explains that it’s more like a Zumba class than a traditional dance class because they don’t stop to break down the moves.
Raquel says that she wanted her studio to feature “dance-inspired fitness.” She explains, “A lot of people do dance when they were younger but stop for whatever reason. This re-sparks that. They get to perform again like they used to. When you feel like you’re performing, it’s a very special feeling. I want to re-create that feeling for women in my studio.”
She also thinks that her small classes (she caps most at 15 people) create more of a community than a traditional gym. “When you go to a traditional gym, for the most part, you go by yourself, walk in, do your workout, walk out,” she says. “At Fit 6-7-8 you’re meeting people, you’re spending time with your friends, and you have this community that’s super safe and inclusive.”
Raquel’s dream is for women to feel better walking out than they did walking in. “I really want it to be a place where people feel comfortable, and they want to come, and they want to stay a little bit late and come a little bit early and spend a couple of extra minutes chatting and catching up,” she says. “I’m living the dream. It sounds so cliché, but it’s surreal, and I wake up and pinch myself – am I really doing this?”
Fit 6-7-8 is located at 4258 N. Brown Ave. in Scottsdale. For more information, visit fit678.com.