When life gets you down, it can be a struggle to get back up.
In fact, for some people, it can be a debilitating downward spiral difficult to break away from.
Two years ago, that was what Charlene Dipaola feared would happen to her.
In 2016, she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that leads to elevated blood sugar levels and irregular or infrequent periods. To put it simply, having PCOS meant Charlene was at risk for diabetes and infertility.
Suddenly, every aspect of her life was in turmoil – family, health and even work.
But instead of wallowing in misery, Dipaola decided to channel her personal frustrations and emotional baggage to transforming her life and the lives of other people through dance and fitness. Thus, Hip Shake Fitness was born on August 2016.
Hip Shake Fitness was not only Dipaola’s answer to her own problems, it was also her way of giving back to the community.
For just $18 a month, members had access to over 200 fun and easy dance workout classes whenever they want and wherever they may be. That included being in the comfort of one's own home.
Currently, Hip Shake Fitness has subscribers from all over the world – Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and the United States – 60% of whom are women with ages ranging from 25 to 44 years.
For all its success, Hip Shake Fitness is more than just a dance workout subscription platform for Dipaola and the 80,000 women who follow her on social media. It is also a network of support and encouragement – very much needed on their individual journeys to healthier lives.
And while she did have to quit a 10-year career in digital marketing to pursue her passion, Dipaola was able to use her expertise in online user acquisition and analytics to grow the Hip Shake Fitness community and cultivate it to be one of body positivity and inclusivity.
Prior to Hip Shake Fitness, Dipaola was the senior director of Data and Growth at SpinMedia and has worked with brands such as Business Insider, Celebuzz, CNN, The LA Times, NBC News, The New York Times, and Spin Magazine.
On top of managing Hip Shake Fitness and dancing her way to living the best life possible, she also teaches digital marketing and analytics at Imparture and UCLA.
Find out how community and mentorship helped in her journey as an entrepreneur.
Support of the community is key
I never really understood how important and powerful community is until Hip Shake Fitness. I am so grateful to have grown such a supportive community of women through shared passion for dancing and fitness.
I believe we are all social beings and knowing that there are people who have been or are currently on the same journey as you make life a richer and more fulfilling experience. We all need to help one another move forward and become better people.
Individual success leads to stronger, more empowered community
I believe there is space for everyone to succeed. Helping someone succeed does not take away from our own successes. Instead, it makes us better individuals, and collectively, it makes us a better community, a better country and a better world.
I want this world to be better and I’m going to make sure that I do my part to achieve that.
Mentorship is mutual learning
I have made so many mistakes throughout my personal entrepreneurial journey and one thing that I want people to know about starting a business and being an entrepreneur is that there is always something new to learn.
That is why I think mentors can make a great difference in someone’s life: They may have experienced similar hardships and triumphs as you in their own journeys, and because of this have a wealth of guidance and support to share.
And when the community decides to mentor and learn from one another, the burden seems lighter, and challenges become less insurmountable. We are one another’s mentors and mentees.
To know more about this project, visit www.phtimeisnow.com
Pauline Mangosing is a public relations practitioner with seven years of experience developing and executing high-impact campaigns for consumer and lifestyle brands, corporations, non-profit organizations, and public figures. She's currently a consulting project manager and writer for a US-based event series on global Filipinos.
This piece has been contributed as part of a partnership between PHTimeIsNow and ABS-CBN News' program 'My Puhunan.'