My pursuit of and discipline in precision-focused, conscious movement has been life long. I remember walking down to the corner house at four years old (yes, we could walk a few houses down by ourselves as small children back then) to take my first ballet classes. I fell in love with the joy of movement then and have been moving ever since. Joyful would not be the first word to spring to my mind during the heated days of my ballet career nor of some of the long, grinding days Elisabeth and I spent in the early years building RedBird. But I am anchored in the philosophy that the gift of moving with grace, focus and intention is joyful, powerful and life affirming. That is why Joy is one of our founding RB principles.
My discipline in movement has pulled me through many of my life’s challenges and in fact, RedBird began at the depth of one of those pivotal life transitions. When I founded this business, I believed passionately that if we could help women feel stronger and more resilient through intelligent movement learned in a supportive, inclusive environment, we could profoundly impact not just the women we serve, but their families and our communities overall.
A record 40 percent of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These “breadwinner moms” are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37 percent) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63 percent) are single mothers. The distribution of percentages is spread across age, race and income, and there are some gaping inequities based on various demographics. But for sure women bear more and more of the responsibility, stress and pressure of balancing their lives between their dreams and goals outside and inside their homes.
Although, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), life expectancy is increasing overall, American women’s’ life expectancy is not increasing as fast as in other countries. The complexity and pace of our lives is taking its toll. RedBird can’t and won’t solve all these problems, but we do provide some of the solutions: mind-body connection, better movement for more vitality, stress relief and a community that elevates those who immerse themselves in it.
Who is the woman we serve?
The RedBird woman is a leader in her world. She is respected, admired and listened to. She knows enough about the above statistics to understand that improving them requires that she apply her drive and discipline to her health in addition to her other commitments. She has low tolerance for mediocrity but will invest in communities and organizations that represent excellence and expertise to match her own. She hungers for inspiration physically, mentally and spiritually, and when she finds it, she sticks with it .
RedBird serves and challenges this woman, whether she’s in her 30’s or her 60’s to keep her bar high by demanding the best from herself–from our knowledgeable teachers that undergo a rigorous year of training in our teacher training and who all exemplify the traits of the RB woman, through our programs that require focus and concentration and are built on current movement science, to the person on the mat next to her that will match her energy and drive and demand for excellence. I’ve spent a lifetime growing into this purpose, and Elisabeth and I have spent 10 years developing the curriculum, staff and environments–both brick and mortar and online–to serve this woman. We give her a home and community and are committed to being a resource and ally to her and the family members and friends she brings us.
We aren’t perfect, and we have many more plans and goals to reach. But we know who we are, and we know whom we serve, and we take this very seriously. We understand that we can impact the world for the better in our own small way by doing our part to keep this woman at the top of her game. We know that a healthy, resilient woman is a powerful woman who will have more reserve and strength mentally and physically in her leadership to give to others through her work, whether it is creating jobs, raising children, or volunteering and by extension, changing the lives of those she touches for the better.