Student Spotlight : Marijke Stijne
Updated: Apr 23
Back with another
After a long hiatus, I’m so happy to be sharing another student spotlight today, this time with Marijke Stijne! Marijke is one of the wonderful students from my Welcome to Taipei International Women’s Club Zumba class. Since 2015 I’ve taught this fantastic group of women from all over the world. While the members have changed as people move to other countries,the class is a great example of how dance can unite people across many different cultures, languages, and backgrounds.
-Fitness, Fun, and Friendship-
I think we have all seen those videos of ballet classes full of adorable, slim and flexible girls with the one oversized girl in the back. While all girls graciously follow the teacher, the girl in the back is always a few seconds behind. She is out of breath and out of place.
This is the picture that immediately came up in my mind (me being the girl in the back) when a few years ago, Janet Malanga encouraged me give the WTIC Zumba class a try. I ignored my fears, because I believe that we sometimes need to get out of our comfort zone, push our boundaries and do something we never did before. This is how we grow.
I could not have been more wrong on being out of place. From the first moment, I felt right at home. No judgmental looks, no keeping score, no competition. Just real interest, fun, hard work, lots of laughter and clearing the mind by only having to focus on the next move. All this thanks to a truly wonderful group and great teacher, Kathleen Batchelor, with her infectious laugh and energy.
A quick search on the Internet learns the many health benefits Zumba offers, especially for the not-so-young: it keeps heart and lung healthy, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improves posture, coordination, agility and balance, reduces stress and burns calories. The latter is not much help with frequent shared lunches or coffee and cake after class!
Attending the WTIC Zumba class regularly has added a lot to my life in Taipei. I love the workout, the fun, the laughter and the friendship. I might occasionally still be out of breath, but by no means out of place!
Thank you for sharing your Zumba story with us, Marijke! If you can take a few minutes to share what your experience with dance is, we would love to hear from you, too!
Finally, this week my YouTube video looks a bit different. As I shared with you last week, dance is my happy place where I go when I need to reconnect with myself. And so I have a simple version of last week’s song danced all by myself as I was creating it. It’s a little window into a private moment of dancing just for me, dancing to express not impress. Again would love to hear from you about why you dance and what dance helps you express! Have a wonderful week!