Cambrie Schroder: Businesswoman, teacher, dancer, friend

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Fit with Cambrie’s dance team performs at many community events in Malibu.

Cambrie Schroder may only be 17, but she is already building her empire.

The Oak Park Christian senior is less than two months away from high school graduation and an early start at Pepperdine, but she is well on her way toward her dream of bringing fitness through dance to young girls across the country.

“I love dancing, but I don’t want to be a dance teacher. I want to have … a bigger business that can affect people globally, instead of just classes just here in Malibu,” Schroder said in a recent interview with The Malibu Times.

A dancer since the age of two, Schroder shares that it was a desire to help girls build self-confidence and stay healthy that inspired her to teach her first class in 8th grade. 

“A lot of girls want to get in shape, they want belonging, they want to get confident, and it’s a really hard age, so I just wanted to help in any way that I could, because I’ve been there,” Schroder said. 

Last Friday, she attended class in the morning, picked up her younger sister from school, and headed over to teach class, all before the sun was low in the sky. It’s hard work, but for Cambrie, it’s a labor of love. 

“There’s probably just as much work outside of class as there is inside,” she said, meaning her workload can amount to 18 hours per week between teaching classes and preparing choreography, music and costumes. 

Although the work is hard, the benefits, for Schroder, outweigh it all. 

“My main goal with this isn’t about winning competitions, it’s about helping their self-esteem, their self-image, and feeling like they have a group and a safe place to talk,” Schroder said, adding, “I’m 17, so they feel comfortable being able to open up to me instead of an adult, so that’s really cool. That’s what I love.” 

In January, Schroder will begin work at Pepperdine University toward her business degree, in the hopes of one day building a “Fit With Cambrie” empire. But even without her high school diploma, she’s already well on her way. 

“I have Fit With Cambrie apparel now, I did my first run,” Schroder shared, adding, “I’m figuring out my line of stuff and making a website.” 

As for classes here in Malibu, she hopes to continue them through her undergraduate years, but one day she’ll be moving on. 

“This is my starting point; I don’t see myself doing this forever,” she said. 

She went on, “I love doing it, but I definitely want to … make it bigger and have online fitness classes that girls can tune into.” 

One day hoping to reach millions, for now Schroder has 30 young dancers looking up to her, one middle school team and one high school team. 

“It’s such a fragile age, that having someone to look up to or ask advice to is just, is really important,” Schroder said, adding that it’s not just dancers but their parents who have placed trust in her. 

“I’m also really thankful for the parents who have trusted me, a 17-year-old, with their kids … it seems crazy, and they’ve trusted me, and I’ve tried my best to deliver,” she said, adding that Malibu’s character as a small town has helped build her community. 

“It would definitely be different if it was anywhere else,” she said.