As a speaker, teacher, performer, and entrepreneur, Cat Cantrill has one mission: to Power Women.
Everything changed for Cat many years ago on a rainy night in a trailer park, defending her two kids against a drunk maniac.
Since that time, she opened her own burlesque dance studio and has gone on to become a successful lecturer, coach, and inspirational leader for her tribes of women.
My mother told me when I was a little girl that I was a great dancer…
But I would never make it as a dancer…
I loved my mother, but twenty years later I own a dance studio.
More on that in a second.
Like most women, I got married young to the wrong guy. Had two kids and moved to Detroit. Divorced and went to work in the insurance industry. I ended up in a cubicle.
You ever worked in a cubicle? They are tiny fuzzy prisons where people put up pictures of their family on gray walls and pray for five o’clock. The insurance industry is tough. It’s like being a fireman, but never going outside or helping anyone directly. You see all the awful things that people suffer from, talk to widows, deny claims. It was heartbreaking.
So I decided to branch out and take a leap of faith… I went to the bank and got a business loan. I opened a burlesque dance fitness studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa…
Mother. Choreographer. Dancer. Entrepreneur. Professional Encourager.
Vitality Fitness and Dance: I opened the studio in 2013 after vowing to retake my life after a divorce and division in my corporate job. In the beginning I only had eight students.
Our students are nurses and pharmacists, mothers and teachers. I use burlesque as a way to bring women to the studio. It is as a safe place to replant their lives.
We started in a strip mall on the south side of town. In 2017, we expanded into a 2,000 square foot studio in the vintage Smulekoff building. At old location until Feb, 2017.
At the end of 2018, we have about 165 students, but 43% since the year before. I produce (choreograph, MC, and manage) six shows per year with our dance troupes and student performers. We dance in the bigger venues in the corridor, including the Paramount theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, and Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Four shows per year, one massive and three small.
In the fall of 2019, we re-branded to Studio Vitality and started offering what we teach online for women around the world. We offer dance tutorials, teaching dance basics along with videos to assist women in rebuilding their confidence and resetting their mindset.
In 2016 I quit my corporate job to help women full time…
A Few Note-Worthy Events…
24 Hours to Transformation
Think Queer Eye for Bad Ass Bitches. Cat takes one woman, gives her a make over, intensive coaching, and a new outlook…
Cat is takes small groups of women on a coaching journey that culminates in a five day experience.
The ‘Her Awards’ recognize women of achievement. Cat was among the inaugural group to receive the honor. Sixty of her students and supporters showed to join the ceremony.
Cat was nominated as a candidate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year: 2016. Cat’s mother was fighting for her life from Lymphoma at the time. While her mother lost her battle, Cat was able to raise almost $30,000 to fund blood cancer research.
Most of you know Cat, but have you seen her most recent interview?
Cat on “The Formula” by the Helix Academy
Who else has been interviewed by Helix Academy? How about:
-Noah Kagan, the 24th employee at Facebook and famous entrepreneur.
-Jo Miller, Founder of Be Leaderly and international speaker.
-Dan Gable, Olympic Gold wrestler, coach and wrestling icon.
Cat and a fellow female entrepreneur founded an annual Vintage Lingerie Show called “Show & Tell”. The show encourages women to get their hair and makeup done by local professionals, then walk the cat walk in a vintage lingerie. The experience transforms women’s idea of their body, self impression, and limitations.
“I teach women that it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing on the outside, that if you know you’re wearing something a little special for yourself underneath, it boosts their confidence,” Cantrill said.
Host Charity Nebbe talks with Cat Cantrill, who owns Vitality Vertical Fitness in Cedar Rapids, runs an online empowerment program called Secret Wardrobe and found a whole new identity after her marriage ended.
“Cat Cantrill, an Iowa-based entrepreneur and performer, started Kick Ass Red Lipstick, a foundation with a mission to empower and transform women. It starts with a simple step, of urging participants to post a picture of themselves wearing the shade, not lip balm. The idea is to embrace yourself as the most important being in your life. ‘We encourage using lipstick. Many women initially refuse to wear it, and slowly transition from lip balm to crimson lipstick,’ writes Cantrill in her blog.”
“Think about it, when you apply lipstick, you are applying an anchor to an empowered state which is triggered, over and over, by applying lipstick. Every time you apply lipstick and feel empowered, you deepen this anchor state.
Picture this in your mind. You are preparing for your day. Your hair and makeup are done. You are dressed in a way that makes you feel powerful. You look through your lipstick collection and find the perfect shade….” -Cat
“So many women are telling themselves on a constant basis that, ‘This is my story and I can’t change it’,” Cantrill said. “What we’re trying to prove to women is that they have power to their story, no matter what their past is.” -Cat
During this “Talk of Iowa,” host Charity Nebbe talks with Cat Cantrill, who founded Vitality, a dance studio in Cedar Rapids. Cantrill is a burlesque instructor and uses dance to help women she works with fall in love with their bodies.
“Every woman wants the courage to do this, but doing it is a little scary,” said Regina Davis, another member of The Va Va Voom, who admitted her sister-in-law had to “drag” her in “kicking and screaming.” She was afraid to be so vulnerable.
“The hardest part is getting in the door, but once you’re in, you never leave,” she said.
Unlike many gyms or other programs, Vitality isn’t just about losing weight or building muscle. It’s about empowering and transforming women, by giving them a “safe space” to love themselves and their bodies, Cantrill said.
Local TV station KCRG awarded us the 2015 Best Dance Studio… Votes are submitted by the local community.
Please Note: While Cat believes anyone can be successful, she does not participate in Direct Sales, MLM, or Network Marketing. Please do not ask to meet and then pitch your opportunity. She will not promote your opportunity, give you access to her list, or be involved in any way. We have tons of women who come to Vitality who work in direct sales. Nothing against the programs, it is just not what Cat does… 😉