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We want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to vote for DSKO FITNESS in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. The top finalists were announced on April 5, 2019. And although we’re not in the final round we’re grateful for this experience and for the incredible support from all of you. We’re touched by your kind words, recommendations and encouraging enthusiasm throughout this contest. Thank you a million times over!!!
Stay tuned for our next big move, upcoming special events and FUN POP-UP DSKO all over Metro Detroit. Get ready for mega growth!!
WHY WOULD YOU LIKE THE FEDEX GRANT?
We’re on a mission to spread our intriguing idea… The Fitness Concert! Winning could help us greatly expand this unparalleled concept. We want to inspire people to get serious about health and fitness, take control of their lives and have fun in the process.
WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
Fitness has always been Corey’s focus. Now he’s turned his skills as a personal trainer, boot camp instructor, rapper and DJ into a growing business aimed at getting Metro Detroit in shape.
A number of years ago as a boot camp instructor Corey added some easy to follow hip-hop moves to keep things interesting and fun. The participants went crazy over this addition and begged him to do it the whole boot camp session. At first he dismissed the idea because that would be a dance class and he’s not a dance instructor. But finally from persistence and popular demand he put a class together for this small group of people. He received such positive feedback that he worked hard to fine tune his prototype hip-hop class.
Something he noticed from observing popular group fitness classes that focus on music and dancing was that generally they’re not intense and they get very limited participation from men. This inspired Corey to develop a hybrid group fitness program that both men and women want to be part of. A goal was to create a fun atmosphere so people would enjoy intense exercise rather than dread it. He began mixing his own soundtracks and doing his own choreography. In describing his style he said it’s not your typical cutesy Disneyland or Candy Land dance class. And it’s not your sexy or sensual hip rolling and twerking dance class. It’s meant to be cool, tough and powerful so both men and women enjoy doing the movements. And the fusion of plyometrics interwoven throughout definitely turn up the intensity level. In time, Corey decided to broaden his audience by creating his own independent fitness concept, D-SKO FITNESS. One idea led to the next and it’s evolved into what it is today.
WHAT GOALS HAVE YOUR COMPANY ACCOMPLISHED?
Initially we started training out of the garage and at the park. Then we taught class one day a week in a gym with only 4-5 people showing up. It didn’t take long however, for our class to get packed out with nearly 100 people. With time we’ve spread to multiple facilities, have numerous instructors and our client base increases daily. We’ve been invited to do numerous pop up classes around metro Detroit such as Healthy Moves Opportunity Detroit at Campus Martius, DWMHA Suicide Prevention Awareness at Ford Field and Fun Fest for Wayne County Department of Health. In addition, we were featured in a video done by A Healthier Michigan for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and interviewed by Hometown Life.
WHAT GOALS ARE YOU WORKING TOWARDS?
We want to build the D-SKO brand and increase exposure. We’ve been working on our website, social media and press releases to get the word out even more. We’ve been collaborating with local professionals in the fitness industry to find improved space to teach our classes and better equipment, such as a stage, lighting and sound to elevate the entire experience.
HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS HELP/IMPACT YOUR FAMILY?
We’re happily married and busy parents with a great twelve year old son. D-SKO is the perfect family business for us. Corey’s strengths are my weaknesses and my strengths are his weaknesses. But together we’re unstoppable. As a couple, we get to have fun dancing, teaching and motivating others together. How many people can do what they love with their love? It’s a rarity we’re grateful for.
Our son contributes to D-SKO too. He gets a kick out of teaching us the latest dance moves; of course with belly laughs during the process. But the most heartwarming memories are when he joins us on stage during big events. That’s when the Sims family gets to sweat it out together D-SKO style. There’s exceptionally loud cheering and applause during those moments. It’s such a touching and satisfying feeling.
People are inspired by a husband and wife team and happy family. It encourages others to put effort into their relationship and family life. As an enthusiastic fitness couple we’re building something special for our family, your family and the entire community. Let’s Do Some Kind Of Fitness (DSKO FITNESS) together!
HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS HELP/IMPACT YOUR COMMUNITY?
We are Detroit proud! Unfortunately, Detroit has been the underdog for a long time. And it’s also one of the most obese cities in America. We want to contribute to something bigger than us. We want to be part of the revitalization of our city. By offering exciting fitness concerts we could get people excited about working out and getting in shape. Our hot new fitness trend could bring positive attention to Detroit and help solve the problem of obesity in our community.
We’ve discovered our passion and are pursuing it. We find joy and satisfaction helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. We love connecting with people and bringing them together. D-SKO FITNESS is just what the community of Detroit needs!
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF THIS COMPANY?
We’re proud to have a diverse following. Attendees are men and women, young and old, different ethnicities, backgrounds, body shapes and fitness levels. We want everyone to feel welcome and part of something special. D-SKO is a place to come together, feel good about you, have fun, make friends and support each other. We’re on a mission to spread this positive and refreshing fitness trend to benefit as many people as possible.
With a central hub and more exposure D-SKO FITNESS could easily spread nationwide. We want to offer master classes in Detroit and also train instructors to take D-SKO wherever they’re located. There’s also potential for expanding digitally and offering online participation. We could stream live concerts so others could join in even if they live far away or can’t leave the house.
WHAT CHANGES WILL THE GRANT HELP YOU MAKE TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
We’re currently a small but fast growing company. People are intrigued by the fitness concert concept. It’s an innovative idea transcending group fitness programs. Winning the FedEx Small Business Grant would skyrocket this concept. It would validate what we’re doing, boost brand awareness and surge our marketing exposure. We’re interested in shipping our wearable branding, DSKO workout gear, professional advertising and securing a central hub to offer mega fitness concerts and certify new instructors.
Considering our humble beginning we’ve come a long way. People ask us: when are you going to get your own studio? The answer is simple: money and nerves. There are risks and challenges involved in securing a studio. This grant would help us overcome these obstacles . We want to give all of metro Detroit the energetic fitness concerts they deserve.
We’re hoping to find a permanent home, a central hub in the birthplace of D-SKO, Detroit! We want to create a space unique to our style, which is an underground music concert meets group fitness class. Our inspiration comes from the energy of amped up music concerts like Wu-Tang performing at Saint Andrews in downtown Detroit. We want to capture that wild and fun atmosphere. Our vision is a spacious studio, with a high stage, quality sound system, thrilling colorful club lighting display, mirrored walls and artistic murals and graffiti to recreate that concert vibe. With the grant money we could get the perfect studio that’s irresistibly appealing . It would help bring our concept to life and make a positive impact on individuals and families in the community.
IN WHAT WAYS WILL THIS GRANT BENEFIT YOU AS A COMPANY?
The grant would help us succeed with our business venture. It would bring the D-SKO brand to life. We truly believe this concept is going to explode fast! It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. The class is fresh and exciting! It’s more than a workout, it’s an entertaining experience. You get a full body workout but forget about the high intensity because it’s so much fun. That’s what makes it so effective. Winning the grant would validate what we’re doing. We want to make a positive impact on the community but need help to make it happen. People want a different kind of experience. And that’s what we offer, a WOW experience! All of the positive feedback we receive let’s us know we’re really on to something. We feel we’re at the right stage of our business to apply for this. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is global with so much reach and credibility. The recognition and validation would be monumental to our business.
WHAT IS D-SKO FITNESS?
Have you ever heard of a fitness concert? Most people haven’t. But it’s a growing phenomenon done by one local company, D-SKO FITNESS.
D-SKO is where an underground music concert meets group fitness class. It’s 50 minutes of hip-hop, kickboxing and boot camp all rolled into one. It’s taught in a darkened room with colorful club lighting, DJ mixed infectious music and high energy, engaging MC’s that take it to the next level. The focus is on easy repeatable dance moves so you can learn it fast, get into it and have fun.
D-SKO is all about the right music, the right moves and the right atmosphere. When the bass drops participants sing along and absorb the energy of getting hype. The music is strategic and songs change rapidly from Kendrick Lamar and Big Boi to throwbacks like Bell Biv Devoe and the Beastie Boys. D-SKO moves have a distinct street style and attitude that comes with it. It’s cool not sexy, tough not corny. Each dance move is synched to the beat and seamlessly blended with kicks, jabs and hooks as well as plank jacks, squats and pushups. No breaks. No pauses. If you go all out you can burn 800+ calories. All abilities are welcome and movements can be modified to meet any needs. To create the right atmosphere DSKO MCs work the stage and hype-men turn it up and get the crowd going. This makes the class come to life and escalates the energy big time! The playful interaction inspires participants to squat a little lower, punch a little harder and raise those knees a little higher. In addition, the darkened room with party lights transforms a typical exercise studio into an exciting club-like venue. With the low lights no one feels like they’re being stared at or standing out so participants can focus on having fun and getting the best workout possible.
D-SKO is unique in another sense. It’s not just a workout it’s an exciting entertaining experience. You can actually feel the electric energy in the air that you don’t experience in other group fitness classes. It’s the premier fitness concert you deserve! D-SKO will leave you breathless and dripping with sweat yet exhilarated with an insane D-SKO high. Our hope is that anyone who walks into a D-SKO class will leave thinking, wow, that was the best and most fun workout I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to do it again.
Oh, and what’s with the name D-SKO? It’s an acronym for Detroit Style Kept Original. Corey is from Detroit and wanted a class that had it’s origins from where he’s from, hence the “D”. The proper pronunciation is “dee-scoe”, emphasis on the “D”. This is an original class born from where he’s from and it has an attitude that comes with it. D-SKO also has motivational meaning. We encourage everyone to Do Some Kind Of Fitness! And since this class is dance based it’s obviously a play on the word disco.
We’re an enthusiastic fitness couple building something special for the community. We love connecting with people and bringing them together, especially families. We’re passionate about helping others achieve their health and fitness goals and we do our utmost to encourage couples and families to have fun and spend quality time together. Please help us to benefit as many people as possible so that we can give you the thrilling fitness concerts you deserve. Vote for DSKO FITNESS!