How a Former NBA Dancer Is Spreading ConfiDance in San Francisco
Confidance Fitness founder and creative director Shonna Chiles is one of the few dancers who has performed with two pro basketball teams in the NBA Finals. Born in Santa Clara, Chiles moved to Oklahoma as a child. She started dancing at age 3, and auditioned for the Oklahoma City Thunder dance team straight out of high school. After two years as a Thunder Girl, Chiles was ready for a change. She returned to California, auditioned for the Golden State Warriors dance team, and once again made the squad. Two years and one NBA Championship ring later, Chiles retired her pom poms to focus on her business: a roving dance school that's spreading the joy of dance—and some seriously sexy moves—through the city
Rockyt: What is ConfiDance?
Shonna: ConfiDance Fitness is a dance community of awesome people who love to dance. It started as a way to inspire non-dancers to step out of their comfort zone and try dance classes. I originally taught a Beyoncé inspired dance class on Saturdays, which turned into a community of all kinds of people, multiple instructors, and weekly classes that encourage support, confidence, and fun. I have the best job and students ever!
Rockyt: How many dance classes do you teach each week?
Shonna: It varies weekly, but anywhere from 10-15 per week, depending on the time of year.
Rockyt: Where do you teach?
Shonna: We are a mobile dance studio, and I primarily run my business out of a studio space in SoMa called CardioTone. In addition to group classes, I teach corporate wellness classes, private dance lessons, and group dance parties.
Rockyt: Do you still take dance classes?
Shonna: In all honesty, I should be taking a lot more. I mostly take classes when I travel or when a special choreographer comes into town. There are tons of great places to regularly dance in SF though!
Rockyt: Do you work out/take any fitness classes beyond dance?
Shonna: I'm pretty much all dance all the time. I just got back from Thailand and took my first Muay Thai class, which I really enjoyed. I would love to delve more into that.
Rockyt: You worked as a choreographer for an event during the Super Bowl. How did that happen?
Shonna: In celebration of [ConfiDance's] one-year anniversary, we decided to do a flashmob through the streets of San Francisco reenacting Beyoncé's "Run the World" music video. For one mob, we actually stopped traffic and danced in the street. A member of the Super Bowl entertainment crew spotted the footage online and invited us to recreate the flashmob as a surprise during Super Bowl City's kickoff at the Embarcadero. Beyoncé was a performer at that year's halftime show, so it was a fun way to pay homage to her. We had a great time entertaining all of the fans that were there.
Rockyt: Do you dance outside of classes?
Shonna: Occasionally we will have a show or flashmob performance, but since retiring from professional sports dancing I don't perform much anymore. I would love to develop a regular show somewhere.
Rockyt: What makes dance a good workout?
Shonna: It's a full body workout. You get cardio and strength training in the same class. Plus, it's fun and doesn't feel like a workout!
Rockyt: How do you recover from dancing?
Shonna: I love massages! I try to get at least one per week.
Rockyt: What are your goals for ConfiDance Fitness this year?
Shonna: Our focus is mostly on building brand awareness and community involvement. We are focused on partnering with like-minded businesses to bring great dance events to the Bay Area. ConfiDance Fitness is about empowering people to explore and gain confidence through dance. I want everyone to know that they can dance, all they have to do is take the leap!
So you think you can dance? Or you want to find out if you can? ConfiDance offers classes Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at CardioTone in SoMa (360 3rd Street). Book through ConfiDance, Cardio-Tone.com, or ClassPass, and start mastering some sweet new moves.