Let me tell you a bit about my journey. I have been in the fitness industry for 23 years. I first became AFAA certified in 1992! As a child, however, I fell in love with dance and how it made me feel when I was in tap and ballet! On the flip side, I fell in love with fitness while being in gymnastics and competing! Those two loves have never left my heart, even though I had to put both of them on hold many times while trying to start a family, finishing school, and just for life in general. My mother was a fitness instructor and inspired me to be healthy. In college, I went through an intense break-up with a very long-term boyfriend and I decided to FIND MYSELF AGAIN, so I got my AFAA certification after merely being a participant for many years in my favorite instructor’s classes on campus. I felt I wanted to teach fitness and becoming AFAA certified was an important FIRST STEP so that I could understand body mechanics and my role as group fitness instructor. This is a certification I strongly recommend because not only does it help your knowledge base and keep YOU and YOUR PARTICIPANTS safe, but it will help give you the respect you need in the fitness industry. I then taught step classes and toning throughout my years at OSU and graduated with my BLS in Nursing. Getting married and working was a little road block for my fitness career but after I began having children I soon realized that I needed to make sure I do not lose myself while taking on my new mommy role full force and working as an RN; feeling like I gave more out than I gave myself. I felt like an empty vessel at times even though motherhood was my ultimate goal as a human and biggest source of happiness. I knew I just needed a little refueling and self-love was in order to hold the fort together. I decided that I could make “me time” a priority so when my hubby came home from work I would do the new Zumba VHS videos in my room! This made me feel great! I felt beautiful and sexy again! I figured it out…we need to dance and to work on our fitness to feel like us again!
I would dance with some friends in my basement to that same VHS tape and they encouraged me to get certified. I remember thinking, “Do people even teach group fitness anymore?” There were no group fitness classes to go to at all in my area and I don’t remember there being any for a long time. Needless to say, I hopped on a plane with my Mom and went to see the creator of Zumba to get trained in 2006. I thought I had lost my mind! Yet, on the plane ride home I knew I had FOUND AN ANSWER! This opened many doors. I became known in the fitness industry quickly through the studio the CEO allowed me to have, STUDIO ZUMBA (one of only three in the world), and then as a Zumba Jammer for three years. Through teaching Zumba and as a ZJ I discovered my love for belly dance and how it made me feel. I did it one evening, and Belly Dancing Body Fitness WAS BORN!!! I remember that feeling of empowerment that we had, and I drove home thinking, “Oh my goodness! What was that?!” I wanted to teach it again!
Since that day I have little by little, amongst having another child, been trying to figure out a working plan for a program that I could call my own and incorporate fitness into a belly dancing class that would not be too intimidating for all ages to love. BDBF had many changes and revisions over the years, too hard, too easy, too dancey, too boring, too crazy…While trying to figure out a system I got many personal trainers and learned online with Rachel Brice as well. I am currently with the best trainer imaginable, Miss Sahra Delroy!!! She is one of Rachel Brice’s “8 Elements of Belly Dance” Phase I, II and III certified instructors! Rachel Brice is a well-known and respected Tribal Fusion Style innovator who is a member of Belly Dance Superstars, appearing on DVDs, TV, and touring nationally for belly dance training to share her knowledge to the world.
All in all, I have been working on BDBF for about 8 years and you can say that I AM NOW READY because of all of the angels that fell around me to help lift me up!!! You need to not only embrace the basic moves of BDBF, but the heart felt attitude and the knowledge that YOU CAN DO THIS because the WORLD NEEDS YOU! Take it all in then start one shimmy at a time. The mind-body connection is REAL. BELIEVE IT! Join me in introducing the MYSTIC WORKOUT to the World.
We are simply fitness instructors out to help women embrace their femininity and beauty through this fitness dance low impact program that EMPOWERS the SOUL with a belly dance theme.
All of us are belly dancers at heart and breaking out into a shimmy!