“Who are we to be goddesses?
Who are we not to be!?
God made us beautiful!”
– Emma Ridley
Emma Ridley is the creator and owner of Goddess Fitness Dance and the Goddess Make Over programs. She is founder of the Santa Clarita Valley Goddess Fitness Dance studio and has recently opened in July 2010 her 2nd fitness dance studio in Woodland Hills in the Los Angeles area. Her business is far more profound than an average dance studio beginning with the interior decorations alone. The main workout room is decorated in red, pink and gold glitter floors with leopard print fabric and gilded chandeliers connected to hoops to hang from. The performance & dance area includes a tiered stage, bar top, and aerial Goddess jungle gym, so you feel you are in a different world, transported before you even move a muscle! Ladies hang, twirl, swirl & sway on chairs and poles in ballet and burlesque dance routines.
All for fun and all for fitness. The idea is to take people out of their element and the demands of their lives and schedules and allowing themselves to move freely in classes. Emma’s dedication to bringing all Goddesses to a place inside themselves where they can fully enjoy being who they truly are regardless of their age, shape, or size is what sets her dance fitness studio apart from other fitness-related businesses. Emma Ridley and Goddess Fitness Dance are now offering through her Emmanuel Healing Arts programs fun dance fitness for the whole family!
“We dance in the dark,” Emma says, “by the gentle light of candles & chandeliers.” “This is just movement, there is no right or wrong way to move, as long as your moving your doing it right. It’s slow and easy but very effective fun dance fitness, all for non-dancers and dancers alike!”
“At Goddess Fitness Dance it’s not what we look like, it’s how we feel” states Emma, quite confidently, “I have yet to meet a women who isn’t a Goddess.”
Emma’s classes guide her students to discover their inner goddess, and the Make-Over program helps to focus the transformation through simple changes in food choices and a personalized dance fitness program, all with grace and beauty, so students can thoroughly enjoy movement without feeling the drudgery of a typical, masculine workout. Emma’s classes are variations of yoga, ballet, belly dancing, cardio, burlesque, hip hop, aerial circus fitness and pole dancing, just to name a few, but the message stays the same: If you lead with your heart, your body will follow with beautiful movement and grace, regardless of experience level. Every class suits everyone’s level, whether you are a beginner or advanced … It’s just plain fun to dance!
In Emma-cise, it’s a free movement class of meditation in motion, making it a Zen-like experience, and a great emotional release. “I have taken the work out of working out, and brought back the power of sensual slow movement. It empowers you from the core of your soul while at the same time giving you an amazing dance core workout. This is not just a physical work-out, this is an emotional self discovery of healing through movement. Dance is my therapy”, she smiles, “We get out of our minds and into our bodies and we lose weight with sheer sensual sweat!”
So, where did Emma unearth her inspiration for Goddess Fitness Dance?
Emma Ridley was born in England and was given life by her yoga instructor/actress/painter/artist mother and recruitment/business owner consultant father. Interestingly enough, Emma’s mother taught yoga while she was pregnant with Emma! Can you imagine Emma must have been doing yoga routines while in her mother’s womb! She is the perfect combination of business and art!
Emma was a child actress and model, beginning her long career at the age of 6 months old with her first advertising job for Gerber baby food. At 4 years old, she co-starred alongside Anthony Franciosa and Carroll Baker in English novelist Jackie Collin’s first novel turned movie, The World is Full of Married Men, playing their child named Lucy. Adding another feature film to her credits at the tender age of 8, Emma played Sophie in one of the well-known Hammer House of Horrors film productions, The House That Bled To Death.
Emma found her passion for dance while still in diapers! While most children were crying because they did not want to leave their mothers’ side, Emma would cry because she was only 2 years old and not old enough to join in to dance classes. Disturbing the class with her tears, the ballet teacher recognized promise and potential. Touched by Emma’s pure joy and love for dance, she gave Emma the opportunity she hoped for at such a young age and let the aspiring ballerina join a year early. By the age of 6, Emma was one of the 22 lucky ballerinas selected out of over 5,000 hopefuls to join the Royal Ballet School in London. She continued her study and love for ballet for years to come and earned a solo spot by 11 years old at the White Lodge Royal Ballet School, then went on to perform with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company and appeared on stage in productions including Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Continuing with her acting career, Emma landed the part of ‘Ozma’ in the iconic cult classic movie Return to Oz, Disney’s sequel to the Wizard of Oz. However, as most young actresses do, Emma was rebelling by the age of 15 and eloped from London with a 30-year-old actor/night club owner to wed in Las Vegas! Inspired by the nightclub scene she was being exposed to, and intertwining her classical ballet training, she began to sing and dance in swanky burlesque shows performing in the nightclubs of London for years to follow. She became notorious for her wild child antics in the British & European press, and released a pop-rock single called “School’s Out”.
After an inevitable divorce, she followed her heart to the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles! Alone, with only one phone number of a friend, Emma landed in Hollywood with no money but big dreams! While studying music (piano and voice) at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, she landed bit parts on television shows, such as Boy Meets World, and wrote & recorded several pop music songs. She married her 2nd husband, a music producer, and gave birth to her first child, Otis. As happy as she thought her life was, Emma knew she had a deeper calling.
After becoming a mom, she gained a lot of weight and suffered various illnesses due to being unfit and unhealthy. Emma explored her own path to healing by incorporating homeopathy, eastern medicine philosophy, and indulging in Louise Hay, metaphysical healer, self help books. She studied the Bible becoming a self proclaimed Jesus freak, and found a familiar feeling of comfort when she began to teach classical ballet and yoga to all ages, from young children to grown women. After settling down, Emma was blessed with two more children. However, as most women can sympathize with, after having 3 children over a relatively short time, she had gained over 100 lbs. The rigorous demands of motherhood and neglecting a regular fitness routine had taken its toll on Emma, physically and emotionally.
In 2005, Emma opened her own creative fitness dance studio in Santa Clarita, CA and began her weight-loss transformation while inspiring her students to do the same! Her motives at the time were selfishly driven to get back into shape and dance whenever she wanted to; however, in time Emma discovered her passion in helping others to feel and look as great as she does, inside and out. She opens every class, assuring her students, “It’s not what we look like, it’s how we feel,” and that as long as they just keep breathing and enjoying themselves, the movement will flow naturally. “It is all about moving and having fun while you are working out. “When you dance with your heart, your body will follow!” Her website is full of testimonials from students who have lost weight, become fit and learned to embrace the process of allowing their ‘inner goddess’ to emerge. “When we break ourselves in gently, going slow, being kind & easy to our bodies, we are graceful as goddesses in every aspect of our lives. We witness a new found enjoyment of being female.” … Perhaps, Emma is the Goddess of Encouragement. We call it The Goddess Glow because within three weeks every women begins to look and feel absolutely amazing!
Emma Ridley and Goddess Fitness Dance have been featured on Channel 5 Morning News with Ally McKay, and Channel 4 News at 5pm with Gordon Tokumatsu. Emma appeared recently on a British television series “Celebrity 5 Go To…”. Emma is currently working on a music album self-titled “Emma-lution”, featuring songs she has written, “Dilemma”, “Perfect”, and a rock-pop music video of the hit song “Amazing Grace” which was released this summer. It received over 100,000 hits on the first week on YouTube. Emma Ridley has also created her own fitness DVD with all her dance moves and a book with the Goddess Make Over Plans to follow. She is working on a movie project about her life, “Emmarella”.
“I’m just blessed to do what I love every day. Dance with goddesses, sing, preform, heal through creativity, write songs, produce music videos and be a mom.”