I used to think working out was what it sounds like -> work! But I finally found a workout I love, dance fitness, and I’m so happy I did.
- Check out my fitness blog posts
- Zumba posts, tips, and more
- Zumba 101 (for first timers)
- My tips for the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Certification
I like to say “Sweat Happy” because I believe there’s a workout out there for everyone that will make them happy. It may look and feel a little different for each person, but I think that when the fit is right, it’s something you generally look forward to and enjoy. Of course, there will be ups and downs. There will be days you don’t feel like doing it. But to me, that’s just a normal part of life. The right workout will make you feel strong (inside and out) and confident. The type of fitness that fits you best will make you happy.
Finding My Way to Sweating Happy
I was always very active growing up. I dappled in dance, gymnastics, and figure skating. Figure skating was my life for about ten years. I even picked my college partially because it was relatively close to a skating rink. After graduating college, skating wasn’t easy to get to. And the schedule didn’t work well with my 9-to-5 job.
For a long time I didn’t work out at all. Then, I decided it was time to be an adult and be serious about working out. I thought it was something you had to do. Something I just didn’t have the will power to commit to. So, I willed myself into attempting to run on a treadmill, use exercise equipment, and do other things that made me miserable. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t make myself stick to working out.
Eventually, my friend convinced me to try yoga. I enjoyed it right from the first class. Finally! A workout I actually looked forward to! I fell in love with one instructor and went to her class every week. Sadly, I eventually ended up injuring my wrist. If you’ve ever tried yoga, you’d know it’s almost impossible to do yoga without using your wrist. I tried willing my way through but it became apparent at some point that I couldn’t continue this way. I was a member of the YMCA, so I searched their site for something…different. What about something related to dance?
Dancing to the Fit Life
I tried a Hip Hop 101 class, but I felt like an idiot. I’m not great at learning choreo fast, so I never felt like I knew what I was doing in class. I can be headstrong, so I kept trying. Luckily, my instructor helped push me to try something new by joining the Panthers Top Cats and having to give up the class. I enjoyed dancing, but I needed something a little more…easy to follow. Back to the search tool.
This time, I found something I’d never heard of before. Zumba? My first class wasn’t the best experience, but I stuck with it. The more I went, the easier it was. With each class, I had more and more fun. Zumba had just the right balance of simple and challenging moves. Simple enough to make you feel like you could do it but challenging enough to keep you from getting bored.
Before I knew it, I found myself actually looking forward to working out. Seriously. In a matter of weeks, I worked my way from the back of the class to the front row. I went from going once a week to twice. And I wanted to go more. I started buying the apparel and Latin music. I started going three to five times a week. And then, I took things to the next level by becoming an instructor. You can read more about my journey to becoming an instructor over on my Zumba page.
Fitness Instructor (and Winning an Award?)
I’ve now been teaching Zumba and dance fitness since 2010, and it’s become an integral part of my life. I am so thankful I’m able to share my love of dance fitness with so many others. I know what it’s like to feel frustrated about working out, and I never want anyone to have to go through that. I hope to help others get as much happiness as I do from dance fitness.
In 2014, I was blown away by winning the Creative Loafing award for Best Zumba Teacher in Charlotte. What?! From failing my first Zumba audition to now winning an award? I was so surprised but also so honored to be selected. It’s not every day you get recognized for doing something you love.
Dance class has become my “happy place”, and I work hard to create a positive and welcoming environment so it can be the same for my participants. By the smiles I see in class, I can only hope that I’m successful in that attempt. For me, dance fitness has become more than just a workout. It’s the one place I can truly shut off the noise and stress of the world, even if only for an hour. I’m able to really recharge and enjoy the music and dancing. I smile, sing, and let loose. And, I’m literally sweating happy.
Fitness Exploration: The NYC Edition
In January 2016, I started working in NYC. I need to be on site for my client on weekdays, so I unfortunately had to give up my weekly classes in NC. While I knew it would be impossible to replace what I had back home, I decided to make the most of things by going on a bit of a fitness exploration.
I’m currently signed up with ClassPass and trying as many different workouts as I can. I’ve done strength training to aerial yoga, POUND to Zumba, and running workouts to restorative classes. Now that my wrist is better, I’m rediscovering my love of vinyasa yoga. And I’ve even decided to challenge myself with real NYC dance classes. I’m enjoying workouts I never thought I would and even starting to feel more confident in dance class. And most importantly – I’m having a blast!
Still Looking for Your Sweat Happy Workout?
If you haven’t found your perfect workout, I hope this post encourages you to keep looking. I’m going to be sharing blog posts about the various workouts I’m trying, so be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter and follow me on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook to find out about
My Fitness Certifications/Licenses
- Zumba Basic 1 Workshop (the first Zumba training you need to complete before doing others)
- Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. (fka Zumbatomic)
- AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification
- Masala Bhangra
- POUND Rock Out Work Out
I’ve also attended Zumba Conventions in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.