Just over three years ago, a friend told me about this dance fitness class she totally loved. The teacher was amazing and I just had to try it. So I gave it a go…and I was instantly hooked. In fact I loved that class so much that when the instructor moved to a gym 45 minutes away, I continued to commute until she stopped teaching. When I travelled, I searched for classes to attend, always judging it against the amazingness of my first instructor. It took time, but eventually I found Tami’s class and, to this day, anytime I’m home it is expected that I stop in for at least one class…and usually many more.
I toyed with becoming an instructor back in 2009 but decided to start Passion by Kait instead, feeling it would be a better investment. Clearly, I don’t regret this decision for the life of me! When I received my Hopkins acceptance, though, and after many more negative Zumba experiences (shout out to Amy for being a light in a very dark time), I decided it was time. After all, life as a grad student meant that any form of income was a good thing. And getting paid to do a workout I normally would pay for? That sounded like the sweetest income of all.
This past May I woke up early and headed to MA to become a licensed instructor. The plan was to contact gyms and dance studios before moving to Baltimore so that I could begin getting paid to workout. <–Are you seeing a pattern? I love getting paid to do the things I love…like party, talk about sex, and dance my a$$ off. Except the Universe had other plans and I couldn’t find work. Gyms either weren’t hiring or I never heard back from group ex instructors. After numerous attempts I would give up…then get frustrated and try again. This paid off and I was given a job subbing for the grad school’s gym.
Last night I taught my first class. My entire body aches. I have blisters all over my feet. And I spent two days full of nervous, frenetic energy. Would they like my style? What if they were disappointed? What if I messed up? I knew it was all in my head but try as I might I couldn’t shake the nerves. Until I got to class…and expressed my nerves…and was accepted…and encouraged.
I messed up. I tripped at one point. I didn’t even have my regular sneakers! And I loved every damn second of it. No one cared that at one point I totally blanked on every bit of choreography…no one knew when I subbed in different moves than I had planned…and everyone left sweaty and smiling, the way they should.
I knew I would have fun but what I didn’t expect was to look back halfway through class and find myself grinning with pride. I was doing an act of service, perhaps the highest act ever: offering health and vitality and de-stressing and fun. I found myself encouraging people to keep going…to trust in their bodies’ strength…to take it down and listen to their bodies when they needed to. And at one point when every footfall was perfectly in sync and all you could hear where foot taps, bass, and deep breathing…I was one with the Universe.
I am so proud of myself, mess-ups and all. And when a first time student came up to tell me how much fun she had, how easy I was to follow, and how great the class was…well that was a feeling no words can quite describe. It was a perfect moment and I plan on holding that close as finals loom this upcoming week. For now, I’m going to just let the pride and joy continue to fill me up as my smile stays big and my heart, content. And I’m going to keep on reaching out for subbing and job positions because I cannot wait to do it again!
What was the last scary-but-fun thing you did?