When I was introduced to dance fitness in my early twenties, it completely changed my life in the most profound way. Prior to that I was extremely intimidated by any type of dance class because I thought I needed some kind of formal training to be able to keep up, and on top of that I didn’t like the feeling of being vulnerable in an open space full of strangers.
In 2009 I stepped into my first Zumba fitness class, and it was like fireworks were going off in my mind, body and soul. With each class we were reminded to add our own style and to not worry too much if we couldn’t nail the footwork. This ended up being the most liberating thing in my life! I was given permission to dance my ass off in a space where I learned no one was judging me. In fact, no one was even looking at me - everyone was looking at the instructor and themselves! This allowed me to grow in profound ways that I never knew possible.
Zumba fitness helped me lose 30 lbs and gain an unmeasurable amount of confidence and purpose. I discovered my sexiness by challenging my body to move in new ways and not from exterior validation. I found my own inner sexy diva, and it was my mission to share this passion and commitment to movement with as many people as possible because it changed my life in the most incredible way. Helping people move through life with greater mobility and confidence is the greatest gift I could give or receive.
6 months after my first class, my journey as a dance fitness instructor officially began, and and I felt unstoppable until 2018 when it all came to a screeching halt. I was 6 months pregnant with my son, my body could not keep up with my own choreography anymore, and I felt as if I was doing a disservice to my students by continuing to teach. I put away my dancing shoes as my feet continued to swell, and my body and baby grew larger.
On June 28, 2018, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, but I felt like a train wreck. With 70 lbs of weight gain, muscle loss, and feeling so out of touch with my body, one of my highest priorities outside of caring for my baby was to get my sexy back! Getting my sexy back meant gaining back my confidence so that I could come back stronger than ever with an even clearer mission and vision of why dance fitness is so incredibly life changing! Not to mention this confidence helped me reconnect with my husband in the bedroom which brought our before-baby-bond back together.
Feeling sexy and confident is not measured by your shape or size, it is an attitude that you own because you are constantly filling your own cup. I am a big fan and believer of regular exercise and cross training, but there is something extra magical about dancing your ass off for an hour in a dance fitness class. The more you go, the more you can turn your brain off, allow your body to move freely, and let passion flow through your soul - Dancer’s High is real!
Dancing is a primal part of the human existence and is one of the most powerful stress relievers. Dancing will help free your mind, body, and soul from the day to day grind. In 2020 and beyond, I am making a commitment to movement and will never take it for granted. When in doubt, dance it out!
*If you live in the Portland, OR, area you can catch me teaching my signature class Dance Party Hustle at Diva Den Studio every Wednesday 6:30pm! Check out free videos on my YouTube page Vicious Vanilla Spice.
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