Kindness in motion: Local woman uses dance to lift community spirits

Self-portrait of Laci Chisholm, owner of the dance studio Fit4Dance.
Photo by Laci Chisholm

Laci Chisholm, who currently lives in Brooklyn, has run her dance studio, Fit4Dance, in NYC for more than a decade. Classes are held in Brooklyn, at 21 Snyder Ave., Brooklyn NY 11226; and in Queens at Keiko Studios, 212-26 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428.

It may surprise people to know that before founding Fit4Dance, her career journey was deeply rooted in education and community development.

“I earned a degree in journalism and advertising from UNC Chapel Hill, which initially set me on a path toward media and communication. However, my passion for making a difference led me to become a classroom teacher, and later the founding dean of students of a middle school in East New York, where I played a pivotal role in shaping school culture and supporting student success,” Chisholm said.

She also helped aspiring principals open new schools and worked for an educational nonprofit, building partnerships to enhance educational opportunities for underserved communities. Along the way, I earned a master’s degree from Hunter College, further solidifying my commitment to education and leadership.

“These experiences, though seemingly unrelated to dance, have significantly influenced my approach to running Fit4Dance. They instilled in me a deep commitment to community service, education, and empowerment, which are core values I bring to Fit4Dance every day,” she added.

For Chisholm, the greatest influences in her life have been her parents, who have always encouraged her to follow her passions and work hard. They also taught her the value of resilience and community, instilling in her a belief that through dedication and compassion, she could make a difference.

Growing up, she witnessed countless acts of kindness through her parents, such as regularly cooking meals for local sports teams, sponsoring kids’ school fees, teaching young people how to drive, volunteering their time, and hosting numerous community events.

“Their unwavering generosity and dedication to helping others left a lasting impression on me and inspired my commitment to community service,” she stated.

According to Chisholm, Fit4Dance has been deeply involved in community service from the beginning.

“Lately, our acts of kindness have included organizing sanitary product drives for incarcerated women to ensure they have access to basic hygiene necessities. We’ve also been offering free dance workshops for the community and hosting wellness events that are open to the public,” she continued.

Chisholm added that the studio’s commitment to these initiatives began with the realization that there were significant gaps in resources for various groups within our community. “Seeing the potential for Fit4Dance to mobilize our members and address these needs, we started these initiatives as a way to give back and make a tangible difference.”

By consistently engaging in these acts of kindness, the studio aims to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

“Our community’s positive response has been incredibly encouraging, with many expressing gratitude for the opportunities and support we provide. This ongoing engagement reinforces our mission to use the transformative power of dance to uplift and empower individuals, making a lasting impact on our community,” she stated.

Other acts of kindness that Chisholm has participated in include hosting free weekly fitness classes in partnership with ShapeUP NYC and providing scholarships to families in need for children’s dance classes.

“Those who benefit the most are often people who may not have access to dance and fitness classes due to financial constraints. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing gratitude for the chance to engage in joyful and healthy activities while also being a part of such a vibrant community,” Chisholm stated.

She added that these contributions have fostered a stronger sense of community and inclusivity, while also providing opportunities for growth in physical and emotional well-being. They have also brought people together in support of common causes, and strengthened community bonds and created a more supportive and connected environment.

“Growing up, dance was my favorite hobby, alongside reading and playing the piano. Today, while dance remains central to my life, I also enjoy traveling, volunteering, and exploring new culinary experiences,” she explained.

Chisholm wants her legacy to be one of empowerment and inclusivity, demonstrating that through passion and perseverance, anyone can make a positive impact.

“I hope to inspire younger generations by showing them the importance of following their dreams and giving back to their communities. I aim to be a role model who exemplifies how the arts can be a powerful tool for change and personal growth,” she said.

To stay updated on the work Chisholm is doing through Fit4Dance, those interested can subscribe to the email newsletter here:

Classes in Queens are currently on break for the summer, but they will return in September 2024.

Those who are interested in registering for classes in Brooklyn can find pricing information here: