Photo courtesy of Roland Ford
Ford, center, takes a photo with a group of students after an event.

By Alyse Horn

An active lifestyle is nothing new for Roland Ford, but he is one of the few that have transformed fitness into a career.

Ford created Dance and Be Fit around 10 years ago and has held events all over the city and country. His business is centered on creating dance exercises that people of any age can utilize.

“We’re working with people across multiple spectrum’s, from preschoolers to seniors,” Ford said. “We’re trying to be inclusive and include everyone regardless of age, shape, mobility, etc.”

The idea for Dance and Be Fit sprouted from a line-dancing class Ford attended with a friend. He said one day after the class, he was working out at the YMCA in Homewood and a song came on that he liked so he started dancing; using the moves he had learned during the class. The employees who were working at the YMCA saw Ford and told him he needed to teach his own class, and 10 years later he has made it his business.

Ford said last month he was able to partner with Allegheny K-5 for an event, and in the past has also been involved with the Summer Dreamers program at Allegheny King PreK-8, Riverview Park Heritage Day, and events in Northview Heights and West Park.

In June and August, and later this fall, Ford said he will be traveling to Chicago, California and Philadelphia for line-dancing events that he is participating in. He will also be at the 2nd Annual Pittsburgh Line Dancing Convention the weekend of September 15-17.

“I think what makes us unique is that we have created tons of dance and fitness routines that everybody enjoys and are easy to do,” Ford said.

Ford is a certified personal fitness trainer, group exercise instructor, and certified dance instructor through the International Consortium of Line Dance Instructors. He is also a lifelong marathon runner; and at 69 years young, he said he “still feels like a teenager” because of daily exercise. He believes individuals can reverse the effects of aging through a healthy lifestyle.

Upcoming Northside events for Dance and Be Fit include a health fair at 3 Rivers Manor Apartments in Spring Hill on Saturday, May 20 from 1-2 p.m. On Tuesday, May 23, Ford said he will be at the “Healthy Business, Healthy Entrepreneur” event at Alloy 26.

Ford said he will soon be releasing instructional DVDs and streaming dances online, and he has been working with local artists and music producers, such as his business partner Akil Griffin, to develop music to accompany his dance and fitness routines.

To contact Ford, email roland@danceandbefit.com.