My Fitness Journey: Where It All Began

This is me in a leotard in the 1980’s posing for an aerobics staff photo. Let me tell you where my fitness journey began. 

As a child, I played backyard football,  fast pitch softball, then later transitioned to slow pitch, playing  women’s and coed. There was a little basketball and volleyball mixed in along the way as well, church and rec leagues, but nothing beyond that. I was pretty athletic, but I’d say “undeveloped.” I also used to play my records and make up routines in my room, but never had dance lessons. There was a rhythm inside me, and I had to let it out. I always loved music and dancing.

My high school UIL competitions were in Theater One Act Play and academic events like shorthand, news-writing, headlines & editorials. I earned my letterman’s jacket for high school by competing in writing and placing at State competition, but I always wanted to be an athlete or cheerleader!

During my student teaching in college I began taking “aerobics” at a ballroom dance studio, and suddenly all my desired worlds collided into what would become my preferred method of exercise, weight control, stress management, and eventually an outlet for teaching and “theater.”

That studio gave their “first class free in ‘83” so the price was right for a young, married college student, and the promise I could eat “all the chocolate chip cookies I wanted!” 

 A friend had invited me to go and said I would absolutely love it! She was right. I fell in love with dance fitness for the first time and wanted to be just like my instructor, Bunny, who made everyone feel welcome and loved. I lost weight and several clothing sizes during an extremely stressful time!  We were ready to start our family just as I was finishing up my degree—and soon after our son was born I began my “aerobics,” now known as dance fitness, career. I became certified as an instructor, then was an aerobics director, and have since been licensed or certified in multiple fitness formats and taught in several states, many towns, and numerous gyms and studios. 

I knew from the time I was a child I wanted to be a mother and a teacher. I graduated with my degree in secondary education but never taught in the traditional classroom. Instead I have spent my life teaching group fitness, and other classes such as Sunday School, Children’s Church, Bible studies, Adult Reading classes, community education, and more. My theater training and education degree play a part in my daily life, and I have continued to use dance fitness as therapy for myself and others.