This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
CAKE Society Co., founded by Executive Director Colton Gibbons, provides access to health, dance, fitness and community in a group fitness setting.
Opened in March of this year, CAKE Society Co. is different from other fitness organizations. It is one of the only BIPOC (Black Indigenous Person of Color) and trans-led dance-oriented fitness organizations.
“I created Cake Society Co. to challenge the traditional toxic fitness culture which supports only one kind of body and vision,” Gibbons said. The word “cake” is an acronym and a pledge for the organization’s main pillars — Community, Activism, Kindness and Equity.
Like many Arlingtonians, Colton moved to Arlington for graduate school and fell in love with the community. “I love the passion and activism that the community offers,” Colton said. “I like that Arlington is intentionally working on a more inclusive and equitable future for all of its residents.”
In starting Cake Society, Colton wasn’t alone. Not only does he have a community of great leaders helping him launch his business, Colton also sought out help from BizLaunch, Arlington’s Small Business Assistance Center.
“I worked with Alex from BizLaunch to help guide me on local business permits and licenses that I needed,” Colton said. “Additionally, Alex helped me brainstorm new ideas and ways to support my organization.”
Recently Cake Society received its 501c3 designation from the Internal Revenue Service as a community-based not-for-profit. Cake Society currently is offering classes by Zoom and at local community spaces. Colton hopes to see a thriving dance-fitness studio fully staffed by exceptional individuals with those from historically underserved communities in leadership positions in five years.
In addition to building an inclusive fitness brand, Cake Society Co has released new efforts providing resource distribution to the trans and gender-expansive community. They also host mental health events and support groups both through Zoom and in person. If you’re interested in attending an event, check out Cake Society’s event page.
For more information about Cake Society Co. and to try out a Zumba class, visit www.cakesocietyco.org.
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
Are you ready to buy your first home, but concerned about saving for a down payment? Grab a drink and join us for 45 minutes to learn more about how you can buy your first house with 3%, 5%, or