Sweet Water Dance & Yoga is a four thousand square foot wellness center proudly serving the South Bronx and surrounding areas. We offer dance, yoga, fitness and wellness classes and workshops that are accessible and engaging for our local community, and guests as far away as Brooklyn, New Jersey and Westchester County.
It is our mission to encourage and support a culture of wellness that effectively improves quality of life in the Bronx, and beyond to anyone seeking to enrich their lives with fun and feel good. We accomplish this mission by delivering engaging and effective services, at accessible price points, led by instructors and wellness professionals that are reflective of the local community. All this in a space that is inviting, inspiring and with a staff that has garnered near five-star customer service ratings across all platforms.
My name is Yosara, and I am from the Bronx.
In 2011, I graduated from law school at the age of 40. Five months later, I gave birth to my first and only child. I turned to yoga to help me prepare for sitting for the New York State Bar Exam. I needed to get back into my body, heal my mind and regain my focus after the sleep-deprived madness of early motherhood.
But I was an unemployed, unsupported single mother. At the time yoga required me to travel out of the Bronx, which meant adding the cost of transportation and childcare to the class fee. I calculated that each yoga class would require at least 3 hours of my time and cost me no less than $60.00 per class.
In addition to the financial struggle, I would often find I was the only person of color in my yoga classes. As a new single mother adjusting to my postpartum body, I felt isolated and yearned to be surrounded by my own community. These circumstances made a sustainable yoga practice simply inaccessible to me at the precise time in my life when I was most vulnerable and needed it most.
My struggle was no different than that of any other Bronx mother or family living in poverty. We are all striving to get past survival: we want our families to thrive. But we are often unable to access the very services that might help us break the grip of our trauma and progress out of our circumstances.
Inspired by the challenge, I took up an opportunity to write a business plan, and two years later I opened Sweet Water Dance & Yoga, an inspiring 4000 square foot studio serving movement and wellness to the South Bronx, with love.
So, what's the big deal about a dance and yoga studio in the Bronx?
The South Bronx is located in the poorest congressional district in the country and is the youngest and least healthy of all of New York’s sixty-two counties. Our community is mired in generational poverty and trauma. Rates of food insecurity, asthma and diabetes top nationwide charts.
Living in poverty triggers a survival response in the body, which limits access to our full capacity. Living in survival stagnates quality of life and creates patterns and cycles that can feel inescapable.
We know that practices like yoga and meditation can heal the body and mind and even reverse the damage. We know that dance can improve brain function, heal depression and prevent disease. We know a culture of wellness can change our lives. Enter Sweet Water.
Located in a historic building between Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Courts, our studio is conveniently located just steps from all major subway and commuter rail stations, and subway stops.
Our prices are among the lowest in New York City across the board, and our pricing structure gives a single point of access to dance, yoga and boot camp classes, encouraging exploration. We offer deep discounts to families that receive public assistance and free and donation-based yoga and meditation classes.
Our classes are led by talented instructors that look, feel and sound like us, because they are us. They live and work locally and are empowered by being able to earn a living while serving their own community.
SWDY clients come here because they love how it feels. They feel celebrated, valued and served. They feel catered to and identified. They feel normalized. They are growing, laughing and sweating in community. They feel good. And, there is nothing more healing than feel good.
Since our opening, we have served our special brand of wellness to over 6300 unique clients, across 4126 families and households. Over 3800 of these families are in the Bronx alone. That is 3800 households of primarily brown people, primarily immigrants, primarily lower to middle-class incomes that have benefitted from the wellness practices we’ve made available. Over 3800 Bronx families that trust us with their family’s wellness.
Since the addition of our Yoga Alliance approved 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training last year, Sweet Water has led two all POC cohorts and graduated 14 new Bronx based yoga instructors. With their training complete our graduates are helping to heal their community armed with restorative and trauma-sensitive techniques that are proven effective in helping to heal chronic stress disorders that often accompany poverty and social inequity.
Our dedication is real. Sweet Water is committed to a healthier Bronx all around. We couldn’t be prouder of where we come from, or where it's going!
Sweet Water has survived these first five years with love and grit, if not always grace. For small businesses, it can be tough to keep your doors open. It has taken community effort and sacrifice to keep us afloat during our toughest moments. As we look forward to the next ten years, and beyond, the SWDY house is thrilled to announce two new streams of revenue and an exciting relaunch.
- Wellness Tourism: SWDY is thrilled to announce our newest offering. In August of 2020, SWDY will be holding its first Wellness Retreat to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Cusco, Peru. Be the first to sign up for this amazing 10-day retreat right here through our reward. Check the reward for more detail.
- In Studio Retail Store: This Summer, Sweet Water will introduce a beautiful new in-studio retail store featuring all of your SWDY favorites like palo santo, organic essential oils, natural personal care products, and expanding to include a full line of SWDY Swag and yoga and wellness accessories, all thoughtfully sourced.
- Pole Dance Relaunch: Pole lovers rejoice! We are relaunching our pole dance program with six brand new hypoallergenic stainless steel poles, and shiny new floors for the pole room. Wanna be the first to climb our new poles? We are celebrating the occasion with an exclusive inaugural Pole Dance Party to bless the poles. Admission is available only through this campaign. Contributors will be the first to take a spin on the poles.
While we are excited about our development, we are making sure to optimize every resource available to us as we move into stability and exciting growth. We are raising funds to help us execute an expansion project and necessary renovations with energy and impact.
Ifundwomen is a platform that specializes in helping women entrepreneurs raise funds for their company. We are thrilled to work with partners that support social equity and do so with authenticity and passion. The Ifundwomen platform allows us to raise capital by selling a special selection of attractive products at great prices.
We are using this platform to expand awareness of our studio and our new offerings and raise $53,325.00 by selling a sweet selection of our products and services at our best prices over the next 45 days. This will help us in the short term by generating the revenues required to execute our expansion and renovation projects, and in the long term by boosting performance and increasing awareness of our brand.
USE OF FUNDS
Our goal is to raise $53,325.00 in sales. After deducting the cost of goods sold, shipping, platform and related processing fees, this raise will result in an average 48% profits to Sweet Water, leaving roughly $26,000.00 in profits that will be immediately available for our expansion. These funds will be allocated toward replacing the floors in the Ana Dance & Drum room and outfitting the room with brand new, hypoallergenic, stainless steel poles, launching our new retail offering, and repairing the front door to the studio and the door to the Petra Room.
So you've read and heard the pitch. Now here is the ask. Will you help us? We are asking that you BUY, GIFT or SHARE anything on this page.
Peruse our tantalizing rewards and see if any of them interest you. Your purchase is a financial contribution, and besides getting a great deal on an awesome product or service, you will get all kinds of props, kudos and love! So much PDA y'all! We will even keep you posted on how your contribution has impacted our community.
Give the gift of SWDY. You can buy a reward and let us know you want to gift it to someone specific, or to anyone in our community. Let us know the desired demographic and we will connect your gift with the right community member!
Not in a position to purchase anything right now? We get it AND we know, without a doubt, that our wealth is our community. Sharing the word about our campaign and our offerings can be the most valuable contribution in the world. So go ahead and SHARE!
If one thing is clear for us, it is that our community is our wealth. It is in service and support of one another that we find access to our greatest potential. I know I never thought I would be dedicated to improving health and wellness in my community. I was supposed to be a lawyer! I started out wanting better for myself and my son but ended up doing better for Bronx families. What can be better than that? For us? Nothing.
Thank you for your time, attention and generosity.