It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and this weekend I and my sister Zumba instructors led two hours of dancing for our annual Party in Pink Zumbathon with the purpose of raising funds for the fight against breast cancer –– a major D or challenge women face –– in the form of a diagnosis. All funds raised support the Zumba Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention managed by Susan G. Komen. As a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter serving women and children with one year under my belt as of last week, I still pop up every morning grateful for the opportunity to do social work –– at the boots on the ground level –– that I consider full-time ministry. Likewise, though this year marked my third Zumbathon as an instructor (I teach 2x a week and sub), I’m just just as stoked as the year I became a licensed and officially joined the battle to prevent cancer at my first Party in Pink with the purpose.
Sense of Style (Packaging)
Serene at Home (Personal Life)
Much of the time, I feel like I deal with the Ds on the daily! Lately I’ve battled depression around dysfunctional relationships. Dancing –– a positive D –– keeps my body fit. In fact, dancing led me to discover a 9mm tumor in my breast in 2014. It presented as stage 4 in every test. When biopsied, however, it came back benign. Either a team of physicians got it wrong or The Physician made it all right!!! Dance also resets my emotions to an even keel and keeps me from losing my mind! That release of endorphins you’ve probably heard about? All true! And no matter what music I’m dancing to, there’s always an element of praise and worship in it for me. God created dance as a form of expression and whatever I’m dealing with is laid bare before him when I’m on the floor…I try my best to leave it there and then go home to sleep GOOD! : )
My prayer for you as Breast Cancer Awareness month draws to a close is that you’d be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and complete regular self-checks (that’s how I found the tumor) along with having an annual mammogram. Finally, when you have a chance, attend a Zumbathon and show support for those who have fought valiantly and others who are currently in the fight of their lives. By doing so, you’ll help minimize this barrier and maximize beauty and best lives. Because it’s more than an awesome two-hour chance to dance, it’s a Party in Pink with a purpose!
It’s Day 29 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and viewing myself on video was eye opening. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, some Pink Collar Swans surprised me for my 50th bday by showing up for my Thursday class. Among them, was a Zumba mentor, Marina, who instructs elsewhere. She filmed me teaching Save the Last Dance, which is at the end of my playlist and captured me in all of my sweaty glory! Even so, because we don’t have a mirror at the Y, I feel as though she gave me the gift of being able to really see what my students do when I’m in front of them. Boy is it eye opening! It’s like the first time I heard an audio recording of myself and thought, Do I really sound like that? My voice sounded so high and had a country twang to it…And while I heard the twang loud and clear in my, Boom! Stay here!, it’s also clear to me that the joy I feel while dancing doesn’t show in my face. The smile in my heart is eclipsed by the fight to breathe through my asthma. Not the takeaway I expected from viewing myself on video.
Me, Pink Collar Coach in my Calvin Klein Performance wear and New Balance shoes.
All from TJ Maxx.
Dancing is one of the most effective strategies for me to deal with my Ds –– the barriers and challenges women face. In fact, though I’d been doing it for a few years prior to my hysterectomy, it wasn’t until I returned to Zumba after complications with surgery due to an additional diagnosis that I realized I needed the exercise to not only regain my stamina and loose the weight I put on during nine weeks in bed, its psychological benefits are tremendous. I believe my students would say I smile and bring positive energy to the class before and after, but asthma or no asthma, I should smile some during! By doing so, I’ll be further minimizing my asthma diagnosis barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I’ll certainly look better while sweating!
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make the most of opportunities to critique yourself. Be it through watching a video, listening to a recording, or good old-fashioned self-evaluation for a performance appraisal…But here’s the catch: So often we’re only focused on our areas for growth. Instead, let’s focus on our strengths and maximize them. In my case, I’ve got everything going for me as a Zumba instructor because I love to dance and have been blessed with crazy good mentors who’ve helped develop this talent into a strength. Now I just need to amp up the smile factor to take my instruction to the next level. I suppose that’s the true takeaway from viewing myself on video.
It’s Day 28 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and a picture taken last Thursday while I was teaching reminds me that I’m working hard as a Director and on the dance floor! Captured toward the end of class with my hair a disaster and make up destroyed, it’s clear I’m a sweaty mess! And so proud of it. Working hard to lead and serve the residents, staff and volunteers of a homeless shelter takes tons of energy. So much so that at times, I wonder where I’ll get the rest to instruct a class afterward. Then, following a mad dash to change my clothes and make the drive, I arrive and see the expectant faces of the students. This kicks my excitement into gear! And to top that, last Thursday the students surprised me with a belated 50th dance celebration and showed up from a few different gyms and YMCAs. That made me so exuberant that I kicked it up another notch, which shows on my face! It speaks to the effort I put in working hard as a Director and on the dance floor!
Women work hard! Being balanced takes intentionality. Far too often, we let our careers, family, other activities, etc. get us out of the habit of doing the things we love for self-care. Yes, I’m a paid Zumba instructor who appreciates the ancillary income, but I also dance to deal with my Ds –– barriers or challenges women face. For me these are mostly manifested in dysfunctional relationships and ongoing issues with being divorced. But oh, do I feel better when I’m dancing! The stress just melts away. Right along with my make up!!! Dance is a positive D and one of the main contributors to me being able to minimize my barriers in order to maximize beauty and my best life. Ugly sweat and all! So glad I was at least wearing my signature pink for the pic!
I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and not only work hard on your job but that you’ll set a goal to work hard at a workout routine. Whether you’re getting one going for the first time in awhile or ever… I can attest from personal experience that the positive release of endorphins is worth it. They boost your emotions and can put a positive period on the end of the worst work day. Not to mention the cognitive, physical, social, and even spiritual benefits. No matter the playlist, there’s a part of me that’s connected to God in worship. I’m especially blessed that I receive financial gain from teaching dance classes as well. For me, it literally pays off to work hard as a director and on the dance floor!
It’s Day 18 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and I’m feeling so much love after a belated birthday dance party! Yesterday evening when I rushed from work to teach my Thursday Zumba class, finding a good # of friendly frequent participants, plus seeing the dear face of Osha –– a visitor from another gym where I dance on Saturdays and occasionally sub –– provided a needed energy boost. Then as the class went on more visitors showed up in the form of my sweet Zumba sister, Cookie –– we got licensed together –– and one of my marvelous mentors, Marina. With sensational Sonya assisting –– she yells verbal cues when my asthma prevents me –– all of the amazing Zumba loving ladies celebrated my 50th with a belated birthday dance party!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Swan who just turned 50, if I had any concerns about dealing with the Ds –– barriers or challenges women face (depression, discouragement, dread, etc.) –– when I hit 50, they’ve been blown away by other Ds –– like dancing and a belated birthday dance party!
The next time you’re facing a milestone that presents potential challenges, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and minimize your barriers with whatever benefits not only the body but the soul to maximize your beauty and best lives, too.
It’s Day 6 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and like most Saturdays, it was about fitness and friendship. One day early in our relationship, my now Swan Sister, Kibby, invited me to attend Zumba at her athletic club during a lunch break at work. Going on seven years later, we’re still working out. Doing fitness (sometimes food) and fitness.
While we’ve had amazing instructors come and go, Marvelous Marina is still with us and has become not only one of my Zumba mentors, but a dear friend. Dancing with her, learning from her and supporting one another –– she’s attended both book fairs for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, and I sub for her and serve as wingman whenever needed in class. This morning, she gave a shout out for my upcoming birthday on Monday. She’s filling in for another Zumba sis and invited the class to join us that evening to celebrate my 50th. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with her and another friend afterwards.
For me, Zumba provides so much more than a chance to exercise. It’s a chance to appreciate music, express myself through dance and connect with The One who made it all. Through fitness, I experience friendship AKA fellowship with beautiful, strong, amazing women.
I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and either engage in exercise you’ve neglected or find your fit –– be it dance or another form. There’s a good chance you may find friendship, too.