I knew I wanted to become a Zumba instructor in 2007 after taking all of my mothers classes. I received my Zumba certification in 2008, a year after my mom, the day that I turned 18.
I was one of the youngest Zumba instructors in Western New York at the time and I co-taught a lot of classes that first year of being certified. I also started dancing Hip Hop in 2008. I taught myself on my back porch watching videos on Youtube for instruction and I fell in love with it. To me Hip Hop is all-encompassing. It has recently started taking inspiration from all other forms of dance just as the music has.
I met Justin Draper in 2010 while teaching classes at World Gym and we hit it off immediately. I respected his drive and liked how down-to-earth he was. Our friendship formed on the bases of my assistance in his preparation for competition while, in return, he suggested my Zumba class to his clients as a means of high intensity cardio.
Over the next 5 years, I taught both Zumba and Hip Hop classes in several different gyms, community centers, dance studios and fitness facilities around WNY. The thing that originally attracted me to Zumba was the music! It was always current and fresh and made you want to move. When I started to take classes I fell in love with it completely. The movement was big, fun, expressive and varied. The marrying of the two worlds of dance and fitness was not a new concept but it had never been done in the way that Zumba did it.
My fitness philosophy is simple. I want to help others achieve and exceed their fitness goals but have fun while doing it! Too often I hear people say they hate working out, or that its boring… It doesn’t have to be that way. Combination of dance, fitness and great music creates a party atmosphere. I think it’s in that atmosphere that people are willing to give it their all.
I started teaching Zumba using the structure and music provided to me and over the past 7 years it has slowly evolved away from Latin-based rhythms and more into the Hip Hop realm. I still use a lot of the basics that I think distinguishes Zumba from other Dance fitness classes such as the varied movement to fit the style of the song and the interval cardio class structure. And of course I still incorporate a few Latin and other international rhythms into my class.
My classes are stress relieving and a blast to be in. I think I speak for a lot of my students when I say its easy to lose track of time and by the end of class you’ll be saying “It’s been an hour already?!?” I love watching my students improve their overall muscle control, balance, flexibility and strength, and exposing them to different rhythms, dance styles and types of music.
My love of dance and fitness has led me to a full time career as a dance instructor and choreographer at several dance studios as well as at Jada Blitz where I teach Hip Hop Cardio. This class blends the Latin rhythms and structure with Hip Hop/Contemporary music for a fun, fast pace class for everyone, It’s a blast and something that will keep you coming back week after week!