Can She Kick It? Yes She Can | MISSBISH Eliza Shirazi
As a dancer, Eliza Shirazi knows that movement and emotions are closely linked. Through her 13-round fitness method, Kick It By Eliza, this "fitness firecracker" has combined working out with cameraderie and building meaningful connections, spreading good vibes and a killer workout to fit bishes around the world. Read on to get to know this Boston babe.
You created your fitness class Kick It By Eliza, can you tell us a bit about what the class entails?
Kick It By Eliza is a 13-round fitness method that is music-driven, sweat-inducing, and kickboxing-inspired. Each round has a specific purpose (i.e. round one is warm up, round two is squats, etc.), but the most special part of this high cardio class is the partner work. Halfway through the work out, I have the Kick It Crew split up and partner up. They cheer each other on through rhythmic punching and kicking sequences, and it creates a real and genuine camaraderie in the room. That sh*t's powerful, and it's what created the Fempire™, the female empire that is found within Kick It.
What makes Kick It so unique from other workouts?
What makes Kick It unique is that genuine magic and camaraderie. The whole vibe of the class is fun and it's a challenging work out, but you can get that in a lot of classes. What you can't get is that feeling or vibe, and actually writing about it doesn't do it justice. People leave this class on an entirely different level.
What inspired you to create Kick It?
I danced for many years, a few of which I danced competitively, so when I got to college and couldn't find a work out I loved, I created my own. It was an accident that it was kickboxing, actually. I had taken several classes over the summer and auditioned with it, not knowing it would change my life. My inspiration at the time, and now, is all of the girls looking for a killer work out and real connections - both in and outside of the studio.
You have an AFAA certification and degrees in Public Health and Communications. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
I value and appreciate my education a lot, but my most important lessons have actually come from doing the whole 'entrepreneurship' thing. I've learned that speaking to your audience in a genuine way is what separates the good from the great. If you know how to talk to your audience (which comes from being authentic), then you are winning.
You’ve also got an extensive background in dance, which is super cool! Can you tell us a bit about your dance background?
Yeah! Dance was my life growing up, and it taught me everything I know about being a part of a team, having sore muscles for days, staying humble, and being supportive in a competitive environment. My love for dance is everlasting and has inpsired all of the Kick It choreography.
How do you think your experiences led you to where you are today and the conception of Kick It?
Every day is a learning experience, and that comes with being an artist and entrepreneur. The good experiences validate that what I am doing is changing peoples' lives for the better, and the bad experiences validate that I am strong enough to work through whatever bullsh*t comes my way. The bad experiences are actually good - in fact, they're great - it's what pushes people to evolve.
How do you want women (and men) to feel when taking your class?
I want them to feel like themselves. You sad today? Good. This round 13 cool down is for you, and I hope you get to cry and let go of what you are holding on to for a moment. You happy today? Awesome. Bring that happiness to yourself and to your partner during round 10. I want people to feel all the feels, because when you do that, you leave the room as your best self.
“Lift each other up. It's simple."
You travel a lot with Kick It, from EveryBodyFights, pop-ups with MoveWith and even the University of Cape Town. What has been the most surreal moment?
Cape Town was the most surreal moment. I was studying at the University of Cape Town and decided I wanted to keep teaching. In true Kick It fashion, I walked myself into the somewhat empty gym and asked if I could teach. I didn't want any compensation, just the students. There were five or six girls in my first class, and by the end of the year, they were turning people away. That was a testament that people can Kick It no matter where they are in the world.Regardless of your age, fitness level, ethnicity, gender, etc.
What do you think are the biggest mistakes people are making when it comes to exercising and working out? Any words of encouragement?
The biggest mistake people make is comparing themselves to others. Social media can be one of the most toxic ways to do it, because almost everything on social media is a highlight reel. Also, when you are taking a group fitness class, don't worry about how nice that girls' ass is or how fast that girl is running . Worry about how you are going to make your body beautiful, because it's going to be different than everyone else's. You are unique.
You also have a real passion for public health, working with the Pulmonary Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital to bring awareness to heart health, CPR, asthma, COPD. How did this come about and why is it so important to you?
My love for health and wellness does run deep. Anywhere from inside the classroom, to inside your heart, I am interested. When I graduated from UMass Amherst, I immediately began working in Cardiovascular Wellness at Brigham and Women's Hospital, but very much on the public health spectrum rather than the medical. I worked with high schools and low-income housing developments, implementing various health/wellness programs. The most important thing for me was studying people's habits and what barriers people have to accessing healthcare and fitness/health options. Whether you are in high school, living in a low-income area, or the richest person in the world, I want to know what the barriers are. Some are financial, but many are mental.
What do you do for fun?
I take care of myself. Perhaps a selfish response, but when you are in the business of making other people feel good about themselves, you have to do it for yourself too. There are many things I love to do, but my most favorite is spending time with my overwhelmingly loving Middle Eastern family.
If you could pass one piece of advice on to women everywhere, what would it be?
Lift each other up. It's simple.
What are three hidden gems in Boston?
I'm going to go with my one favorite get away in all the land, Crema Cafe in Harvard Square.
Who's your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
My MISSBISH is every woman that steps into Kick It and empowers each other. These women constantly inspire me, and without them, Kick It would never be where it is today.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH means being the most kick ass version of yourself.
Photos by: Alyssa Greenberg