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"Can't Dance?" Try, "Can't STOP Dancing!"

Student Spotlight on Yvonne Hsiao 

Can you go from being too shy to hit the dancefloor to a front row Zumba fan? I sure did, and so did this week's Student Spotlight guest, Yvonne Hsiao! 

Yvonne has been a familiar face in many of my in-person classes since the pandemic. Smiling from ear to ear and decked out in bright Zumba gear, she's sure to catch your eye, as she did mine! The other week Yvonne and I sat down for a chat about where this radiating JOY comes from, and I related greatly to her story of the new-found confidence that comes once Zumba dances its way into your life!

Read on to hear Yvonne's story!

K- How was it that you first got into dancing?
Y- Actually, I always loved to dance and in high school I was even in a school dance club. But I remember that there was a girl I really looked up to in the group who was kind of like our idol. She danced really well but one day she told me that the way I danced looked really weird. From that time on, I thought I shouldn't dance anymore. Every time I danced and I looked in the mirror  I also thought I  looked really weird . So, I stopped dancing for many years and focused on other sports like basketball.

K- That's so sad! But I can kind of relate! I always felt shy about my dancing abilities for many years and was nervous to let people know it was something I really loved.

K -So how did you end up trying Zumba then? What made you feel brave enough or ready to come back to dance after your bad experience ?
 Y-I had a colleague recommend I try a class at WAO in 2020.  I think I tried because no one knew me there, so it wasn't like high school at all. Even if my moves weren't the same as the teacher's,  the teacher wouldn't stop and say, "Hey, you're wrong!" 

K- What was your first Zumba class like?
Y- I think I was terrible and couldn't catch the moves! But the second class I went to was your class. At   the beginning you told everyone "Zumba is just like a party. Don't worry about your moves. Just have fun!" I felt so touched! I think it was a great class for beginners! 

K- Did your confidence in class grow easily because you had danced in the past? 
Y- Well, at the time WAO was posting 30 second clips of the classes online and I saw myself in a video. I actually felt amazed!  What I thought was that I would look nervous but I looked and thought actually, I look so happy and relaxed! I realized that at my age I just need to do the things that I enjoy!  And now I take about 5 Zumba classes a week with a couple instructors!

K- That's amazing! From having taken so many different classes what's something you enjoy about our classes?
Y- I think in our class you really welcome people to freestyle. Also when i think I had a terrible day I know that's the time I really NEED to go to class. Maybe after the hour my work hasn't actually changed but by the time I leave I feel I can go back and face it . It's important to put away worries for an hour. 

K- I feel exercising helps you realize you can do hard things and builds resilience in other areas of life.  How about changes in you over the past few years of dancing?
Y-I think it's self confidence. I always say I am a person who was born without self -confidence. I have thought I was not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough. But after  doing Zumba for some years and I started to think it's ok and not about being good enough. It's about enjoying my time and my life.  

K- I feel the same way! I was not born with great confidence but through things I did that it grew. I see how you dance in the front row now. You know, that's something that would terrify some people . Some may look at you in the front row and must be amazed by your bravery. You can inspire so many people just by doing what you enjoy.
Y- In the beginning maybe you try to pretend-- that you can catch the moves, or put feelings into your moves, to dance beautifully or powerfully or sexy,  but you change a little bit and little bit every time you go to class. And then one day you realize you actually are those things!

K- Many people read this newsletter or blog but still hold back from going to class, what advice would you give to someone who is waiting on the sidelines?
Y- Well, some days I feel so tired, especially on Mondays, but I can say I never regret going to class. I always feel refreshed afterwards. Some people think you should spend time outside work with your coworkers or that free time should be relaxing on the sofa or getting massages. But actually, I've made many new friends through Zumba and I feel way better and more relaxed after dancing than anything else!

A huge thank you to Yvonne for sharing your journey with our community! 

Stories of personal achievement and transformation like hers are behind so many of the smiling faces you see beside you in class or in our videos. Maybe there are even similarities to your own story! Whatever it is you are looking for from class -- a confidence boost, me-time, improved health, relaxation, energy, friendship -- I'm here for you!

Keep movin!



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