|Heather Fay is the CEO and Founder of “Pon De Flo”|
Hard work – whether physical or otherwise – has never discouraged Heather Fay. An only child and raised by a single mother, she moved around a lot during her childhood before settling in Western Massachusetts.
A hip hop and dancehall junkie from a young age, Fay couldn’t afford dance classes until her late teens, so she learned as much as she could from her dancer friends instead. In college, she created a dance team and tripled up on classes so she could graduate early and head post-haste to New York City.
|Fay graduated early and headed to NYC|
Once she arrived, Fay started to work and study at Broadway Dance Center and soon learned that “performing was not my calling.” Instead, she discovered teaching and soon moved on from Broadway Dance to teach Zumba and Spin. In her Zumba classes, Fay incorporated some favorite sounds like Machel Montano (and his hit “Fly So High”), Alison Hinds, and Konscience, noticing that, “when those songs would come on, the energy would change. People would relax their bodies and not think about the moves, and then get a better workout.”Fay incorporated some favorite sounds like Machel Montano (and his hit “Fly So High”), Alison Hinds, and Konscience, noticing that, “when those songs would come on, the energy would change. People would relax their bodies and not think about the moves, and then get a better workout.”
|Performing was not Fay’s calling, but teaching was.|
Her experiences led her to create “Pon de Flo” which just marked its 15-month anniversary. Wasting no time, as CEO and Founder, Fay has already trademarked and copyrighted the company. Last August, Pon De Flo reached international status with a flash mob in Barbados during Carnival, and even got covered on Good Morning Barbados. In October, it placed third at Gym Crew Challenge, a citywide gym class competition. Pon De Flo will go national through Crunch Fitness by March 14, with classes continuing here in New York and premiering in Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
|Pon De Flo is a Caribbean and reggae-based dance class.|
To improve your heart rate, she said, “maxing it out and then dropping it down jumpstarts your metabolism at a higher level.” Fay is a firm believer in strength and resistance training because without it, you have a slower metabolism and increase your risk of injury. “People who just do cardio [she calls them ‘cardioheads’], lose muscle faster. They lose weight, but they don’t burn fat, so it sort of turns into skinny fat.” With Pon De Flo, Fay said, “Your metabolism keeps burning for longer afterward.”
Fay will shoot an instructional DVD over the summer, complete with one-on-one breakdowns of moves and a 90-minute workout, to go on sale by the end of the season. She has also started writing the certification manual for Pon De Flo so that others can study and teach it. She plans to bring Pon De Flo back to Barbados for Carnival 2013 this August.
|Heather Fay believes in strength and resistance training|
Through it all, Fay has remained focused and unfazed. “Once you believe in something you can’t not do it. Life is too short not to do what you love,” she said. Aside from teaching Pon De Flo, she loves walking around NYC — it helps her figure out new choreography while listening to music.
|Heather Fay leads an energetic group in Pon De Flo|