Everybody is Amazing. We're here to help you know it!
June 08, 2022
#2 - Alicia Sunshine Depry-Gbaho

Friend, FITKYT ambassador and inspiring soul who is a nutrition coach, group fitness instructor, ballet teacher and owner of Beyond Measure LLC based in St Louis, USA. Alicia guides us through her motivation and inspiration, not only in dance but also as a small business entrepreneur.


Friend, FITKYT ambassador and inspiring soul who is a nutrition coach, group fitness instructor, ballet teacher and owner of Beyond Measure LLC based in St Louis, USA.

Alicia guides us through her motivation and inspiration, not only in dance but also as a small business entrepreneur.

Founded in 2007, in St. Louis, Missouri, Beyond Measure Dance Theater (BMDT) has been labelled a “preeminent Afro-Fusion Dance Company!” Artistic fusion is the language of this company, as is expressed through its combinations of poetry, visual art, folk tales, and dance. Both the company and individual members continually receive accolades for the powerful choreography, technique, musicality, and overall artistry in the work. 

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Transcript

...START....

Katie Duffin

Hello everyone, and welcome to this edition of the FITKYT Live Louder podcast. My name is Katie. I'm one of the co-founders of FITKYT and I am so honored to be hosting you today on our Live Louder podcast, which is all about Awakening our Community to Live Louder, and bringing forward diverse voices, that inspire all of us in our life's mission.

I am so deeply honored to bring to you today. Alicia Sunshine, Gbaho who is not only one of our amazing ambassador's, but a friend of mine and someone who is just an incredible inspiring soul, and an effort to introduce her. She has a BS in mass communication, a minor in dance certified through NASM as a nutrition coach.

Alicia is a group fitness instructor and ABT curriculum for ballet, and she is the director and founder of Beyond Measure LLC.  Alicia began her dance career at the Katherine Dunham Dance Center in East St. Louis, Illinois where she was born and raised. Shout out to East St. Louis, and the Katherine Dunham Dance Center, which is one of the famous dance centers in our region. I'm getting chills talking about it.  She later, professionally and technically with her training at Illinois State. State University and this experience allowed her to work with many notable choreographers and dance teachers.  It was there that Sunshine, was grounded in an array of dance techniques ballet, Jazz modern hip-hop and West African Caribbean.

At that point in her life, Alicia recognized God's purpose in her life when she was a little girl, touching lives through the arts? So this is something that I personally experienced with my family. She teaches dance and she is truly a DNC ambassador. My daughter's in her dance class.  She has performed all over at local national and she's performed with everybody.   Alicia again, we're so honored to have you.  And I would love for you to continue the introduction and introduce yourself.

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

With all of that's been done. I mean, there's so many people doing so many things, but I'm just grateful for whatever experience, small or big in anybody's mind that the Lord has given me.  I'm okay with that. That's my experience. Bam, Living Louder. So I'm just grateful for that journey even though God allowed me to have a glimpse of what his purpose was. Now, I know more about what that looks like. Not just through fitness and nutrition but just in following him and his son that has pulled all of those experiences together.  So, I'm grateful to hear it. That way. Katie.

It gives me time to reflect even more deeply to know that's how I felt. But, I can also see what it really looks like in this stage of life, through his words. I'm grateful for that. That introduction was making me go. Whoa. So thank you for sharing those things.

Katie Duffin

I mean, your journey has been so impressive. Alicia, and you're just such a shining light from the very first time that I met you. You're a multiple business owner. You're such a committed, community volunteer and connector and, you know, I'm sure everybody's already feeling this but you just exude and you enrich spirit and joy, service and dedication. Tell us more about your journey and how you arrived to this point and maybe a little bit about where you're going.

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

I am an awe of him. Be the glory. I love it. You know, I fell into business and I'm still learning a lot about what it means to run a business and what that looks like. I didn't know earlier that having a business was about serving people. I didn't know all of the the details and what this consists of ,what it would look like.  People do a fitness class or you perform. I didn't have a dance company or a studio. Whatever it may be. And so I'm still growing progressively. I'm OK with the transition and how the learnings are using me. But I kind of fell into it, if you will. And I wish one of the things I talked about with some of my artists, friends and colleagues is that.  In the program's coming up, no matter if it stands acting theater in general, no matter what art or even fitness component that student goes into, they really need to incorporate entrepreneurial classes because in many ways, you're going to be an entrepreneur, even as the contract performer as a performer. That's with a company for a time as an independent artist even in nutrition, any of those angles that someone goes into, I think that's really valuable. And so for me, my journey started that way. I kind of just jumped into it by request of people and then I kind of had to get my feet settled and do research and be amongst other people.  Who are of that same fold and asking questions. And I love it. I wanted to do something that blended all of these aspects. 

So most people don't know the company name, which is Beyond Measure LLC, and that's something that I am clearing up myself and that's only because they're used to particular services.  Performing at their school, having an annual show. Lifestyle Changes program. These are all services that are part of Beyond Measure LLC, which is an art, dance, health and wellness company, so it started as one thing.

When I started, we'd do the X classes and also youth classes before turning into a company. It kind of evolved from there and become more structured in the manner that it is today. So that's my experience. That's where I started. And I think by mentioning the service he expresses where I want to continue to go with my company.

Katie Duffin

Well. That's incredible. So you've had such an incredible journey. And you've talked about this a little bit? But what drives you? What is your driver?

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

Oh my goodness. There's so many things that drive me on.  I have a desire to want to be better to make less mistakes. It's not that perfection is something that I think is my goal because we're human and I think especially with the fast-paced society that we live in. We have to leave room for error. For example, like during this pandemic, a lot of businesses don't have staffing, right. So instead of me going to those locations and be mad because things are so much slower, I have more compassion and just understanding for where it is. And so one thing that drives me is to be better to learn and to grow.  The biggest thing that drives me today is doing so from the perspective of the Kingdom of Christ, because if I don't do that, everything that I do workwise, won't have any value for me, and I know that I'm learning that. So when I wake up with that, on my mind, it drives my business.

How I talk to people and how I engage with my students I put all of that in the right perspective, because when you're in any business, but definitely one that involves interacting and engaging with people and having to meet needs and having everyone be as one. For example, running the dance team, it can be a bit much from a human perspective. So, when I wake up I try to focus every day, which is my goal. Those are two of the biggest things that drive me each day. And I do I have much better days. It's the best thing for me. I tear up thinking about it because I know what those days are like when I am very much centred on his perspective.  Oh my gosh.

Katie Duffin

That is so amazingly powerful and anybody who interacts with you and to anybody who sees this podcast will really just feel your passion. When I think personally about what Living Louder and living your truth, you exemplify that in every way.

So what does living louder mean to you?

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

Oh, you know, when I saw that question Katie I said, how can I answer that? Because man, I can have an experience with culture, you know, being loud. You are her right now! Sometimes, when I'm yelling at my dancer, they drown you out. When their parents yell at them, especially, they get used to it. So they kind of zone you out. So Living Louder, that I found is about listening. We know. It's not okay (to yell). You know, it may get some things done for the moment, but it doesn't have that long lasting impact that you want. Right? So to me, sometimes Living Louder is about being more quiet.

Enjoying the stillness, taking time to breathe and relax and seeing where you are each day instead of just going, going, going, going. And I need that reminder, because I have a very busy lifestyle, and it's sometimes, I'll look up and I'm going, and I'm moving, and I'm like, oh my gosh.  I'll pray in the morning, but if I haven't done it throughout the day, my mindset isn't in that state. Gosh, then I'm just going. So when I have more quiet moments in reflecting and then just meditating on his word and allowing me to engage in the person that I'm in a relationship with.

That's me. Live Louder in those quiet moments. I'm letting the Holy spirit guide me in at all that I do. So he brings about the peace.  Joyous moments is a steady pace of just being okay with what is happening and not allowing, it to affect you, because things are going to always happen to us .  Being alive, you just never know. You can walk out into the street and something happens. It is learning how to adjust to those moments.

When all of these chaotic things are happening inside as well, not just around you, but inside, because there's times, I have internal struggles.  If I don't find that centering and allow myself that, to be speaking louder than it can be a harm to somebody and even myself. So that's Living Louder. Oh my gosh, that is deep.

Katie Duffin

That is one of the most beautiful explanations of Living Louder. I have ever heard. Finding that Living Louder in peace. Is just so powerful.  I have so many questions for you. How do you bring yourself back to center?

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

Oh, I wish I knew man! I'm trying, I'm learning how to be content and not have so much, it's in the things that I said earlier, I'm like, thank you Jesus for another opportunity to get more transformed. By your way, your perspective and in, just grounding myself in your word and studying it. And so, if I wake up Kingdom Focus, that helps me with the recovery.

I'm staying in a mindset of prayer that helps me in recovery. My authority is in Paul.  He talks about this all the time being zealous for Christ and praying and outings not be ancient. And I know people take those things. And they may use them as you know statements. To harm their life. And it's fine. But spiritualality has a much greater reward for me.  He drives me each day because if I stay in those moments of the ugly it is not gonna help me. 

Like I said earlier, that internal struggle that we can all have within ourselves, can get in the way of other things. So those things is what helps me. Recover, waking up, staying in the mindset and just being focused on those things. No matter what happens around and having a community that is like minded, would be the third component like daily. I'm engaged in training with others who have that same focus and we are able to really uplift each other in ways that I never thought. I knew I would need and so there's days when I need that support in that Community to help build me up. So those three things are like the strongest.  With those low moments, you know, we all have those.

Katie Duffin

Thank you so much for sharing, that's going to help so many people and even as I'm sitting here listening, I think that's a practice that I definitely am going to try in my day-to-day as well. Maybe we all have those moments and those low moments finding the right balance there to recenter yourself and being guided on your life's mission, is so important. So, I'm going to switch gears a little bit, a little bit. Okay?  You mentioned this a little bit earlier. You know, that FIKTYT is in the middle of our Live Louder, affirmation challenge. Do you use affirmations for yourself, or in teaching? And what is the value of affirmations in your life?

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

I'm hearing more about affirmations that every day before. And I'm grateful. Because I know I grew up on them in one rigour, like by teachers. I made a post the other day about students remembering their favorite teachers and I definitely remember mine. I was unscathed and she was never technical in one aspect, saying, this is an affirmation.  She always prayed with her students and when my mom would come up there because my mom had a different set of struggles. She would let me engage with my mind. She never was like, judgmental in that way where, you know, she was shunned or anything.  And so for me, affirmations, as I said earlier, this is my truth. I affirm my mindset and God's word because my strength is very limited by physical strength by human strength. And so for me, that's where I get my strength, but I do know like in life affirmations are going to come up. When I engage with my students I'm always giving them things to think about. Why they're training in my fitness classes?  I'm always saying things to help them understand the movement, or how to work, how to be smart, how to be safe, how to push themselves. But also, how to allow me to push them as their trainer and people need that, but they need that knowing that it's coming from your heart, you know, you can tell people a whole lot of things to say, but if they don't trust you, it is coming from your heart, it really won't stick. And so for me, all the things that I've been saying are important for me to have that in what I say and do, from the Lord's perspective, so that when I'm engaging with people, that's what they're seeing, even if they know it or not. Sometimes they don't but that's how I have to engage with them, for them to have the benefit or the goal.

For me, affirmations are very beneficial for you. I'm forty one now and yet I used to workout two hours a day, like when I was in my performances. Yes. I was a kid. I worked out a new workout anywhere, but I will work out at home. I didn't have all the equipment at seven. I still don't have all it!  I enjoyed the process of it.

But your body changes, your will changes because your commitment changes, your mind changes all of those things. So that has driven me to be a committed at every state, even at this age, to stay committed.  If we're talking about healthy it is a component.  It is making sure that I understood the lifestyle or I created that lifestyle to help me sustain it even at this age. Even though, I'm not committed to two hours a day anymore, because I don't have that. I am committed to the time that I have, because all of the concepts and things that I learned about fitness.

So that's what's driving me. Not so much the vanity. So I hope that's an example that makes sense to everyone in what I mean, about a lifestyle being or demonstrating those affirmations.  Again. It is scripture what God's mind says about it. Because another thing that that I've learned is that my spiritual walk and commitment to him is much better. Other than physical exercise and that's a harsh reality, because around certain fitness people. Because it's mental, the mental agility of working out, that's driving me. For me, it's still there. It's just the mechanism or the method I should say and how our approach to fitness is differently.

Katie Duffin

That's just so inspiring. I have some personal experience with my daughter working with you and she just comes out of her class, so inspired and energized. And it makes such a difference doing such a wonderful thing for so many children and for the community and like filling up that confidence cup.  It's a beautiful thing.

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

That is really nice to know and to work with you. 

Katie Duffin

We're really appreciative appreciative of your time again, super honored. Do you have any advice for our community? You talked a lot about Community today? So any advice for us?

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

Well, you You know, they say, if they haven't join any group on Facebook. They should, I think the #onehive Community is a great one to join because a lot of people, especially when we do challenges, that's when they're heavily engaged, but even outside of that, you're connecting with people who are trying to live healthy, learning more about fitness and also nutrition, so it's a good place.

For those who want to get started and then there's other groups.  I think that's a good place to start because it's very diverse and it's a good way to be around people as I just said, who are seeking health and wanting to know more about their health grow and also be encouraged because as we talked about getting older and things, they get in a way, we all want to do better. When we have people around us who share those same struggles, but at the same time, they are seeking to do better and not stay in the same place.  That would be something I would like to share with everyone. Get involved, get online connect.

Katie Duffin

Yes. That's amazing. That's totally amazing. Thank you so much. Just want to say again, if you are in the St Louis region, check out Alicia Sunshine and all of her services at Beyond Measure.  Alicia what is your website.

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

My website is my name https://www.aliciasunshine.com/

Katie Duffin

Wonderful. So again, please check out Alicia's website. Come join us in the #OneHIVE. Thank you. 

Thanks again, everyone for joining in and listening to our our FITKYT Live Louder podcast. Thank you. 

Katie Duffin Profile Photo

Katie Duffin

Founder / Supply Chain Expert / Mom / Wife

Alicia Sunshine Profile Photo

Alicia Sunshine

CEO / Dance Teacher / Entrepreneur

Friend, FITKYT ambassador and inspiring soul who is a nutrition coach, group fitness instructor, ballet teacher and owner of Beyond Measure LLC based in St Louis, USA.

Alicia guides us through her motivation and inspiration, not only in dance but also as a small business entrepreneur.

Founded in 2007, in St. Louis, Missouri, Beyond Measure Dance Theater (BMDT) has been labelled a “preeminent Afro-Fusion Dance Company!” Artistic fusion is the language of this company, as is expressed through its combinations of poetry, visual art, folk tales, and dance. Both the company and individual members continually receive accolades for the powerful choreography, technique, musicality, and overall artistry in the work.