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  • Writer's pictureKara Swenson

My Happiest Place

It’s been well over a decade since Zumba and I became fast friends.

I still have yet to successfully talk about the incredible impact it’s had on my life without tearing up (and just like that, queue the tears).

Some may laugh, but until you’ve actually stepped foot into a class & experienced the joy & camaraderie first-hand, you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Zumba saved me in many ways.

Not once. Not twice. But it continues to do so over and over again. This once horrendously shy soul never in a million years saw herself leading dance classes.

With a few great exceptions, namely people and fur-babies, it is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

My husband and I move quite often. We love living-in and exploring new cities! The first thing I do every time we get settled in a new home is find a Zumba studio. It’s almost like I go into panic mode to find my people! I know I’ll be welcome. I know I’ll have fun. And I know I’ll make friends.

As an instructor, Zumba has been the greatest growth catalyst in my adult life.

It’s often equally as challenging as it is joyous and fun. One of the hardest & most rewarding things I’ve ever done. This is good, because it means GROWTH happens so fast.

The best thing is, I’ve never felt any competition in this space. I’m sure there is some, somewhere, but it’s not in my circle and never has been.

I’m the only one pushing myself to be better! I’m the only one pushing myself to learn the moves or create my own choreo. I work better this way & this is one of the best things about this space, there is room for everyone to succeed without competition!

Literally every friendship I’ve made since moving to Colorado can be traced back to a dance or group fitness class.

Dance is for every body of every shape and every size.

This means Zumba is as well. It is for anyone that enjoys music & is moved by a beat. There are no prerequisites required to bust a move, YOUR moves, whatever they may look like!

I joke all the time that as soon as my teaching brain turns off and I’m not instructing, my ability to dance with any sort of skill disappears as well. I become straight-up Napoleon Dynamite. No skill. All energy. Zero cares. So. Much. Fun.

You don’t need skill or talent to dance!

You need energy & a willingness to move.

Dance fitness has taught me so much. Very little of it has to do with actual dancing, although new moves are a definite bonus…

It has taught me confidence. It’s shown me that I CAN dance at every shape and size. So don’t you dare think you need to be a certain size or look a certain way to shake your groove thang – I’ve proven that otherwise myself!

Dance has opened the doors to many beautiful relationships. Many of whom have become my best of friends.

It’s taught me how to command a room full of fellow dancers, which in turn has taught me to stand up for myself.

I’m a better person because of it and I continue to learn each and every day.

I’m 5 years into the game now as an instructor (over a decade as a student), however I still consider myself fairly new. There’s so much to learn still, so many dance styles that I don’t know I don’t know. I guess that’s the other reason I love it so much, the learning never ceases. If  you’re not growing, you’re dying… So let’s all learn some new dance moves and live long healthy lives together! Shall we!?

Be bold. Be inspired. Be you.

With love, Kara

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