First Chance to Dance in 2019!

First Chance to Dance in 2019!

It’s Day 3 of getting back to blogging and it was also my first chance to dance in 2019! The Y where I teach resumed Zumba classes yesterday, but though my spirit was willing to attend, my body was weak from the a nasty holiday bout with the flu. I refrained from attending and conserved my energy to teach tonight. Even so, I needed reinforcement from a regular student –– the amazing and talented Sonya Pope –– to make it through the hour! Pink Collar Savvy &  Chic Swans like her and those who showed up tonight made my return to class a good time –– lingering flu fatigue and all! And some of my other Zumba loving friends pictured below at last fall’s annual Zumba for the Cure make every chance to dance a party!

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My Diverse Dancing Sisters! That’s me, Pink Collar Coach, second from the left. 

The New Year is a time of resolutions, often around getting fit. So much so that those of us who are regulars at the Y/gym are frustrated January through mid-February because there are no parking spots and standing room only on the dance floor! By Valentine’s Day, the resolutions are abandoned, leaving us a place to park and dance…

From my experience, the way to maintain your resolve is not to focus on getting fit but finding yours. For me, though I enjoy yoga, walking, swimming, lifting –– none of them hold the appeal of Zumba! I think God just designed me to move to music!  Chances are, He designed you to enjoy something too. So if you’re anything like me, perhaps you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and  make this the year you find your fit. If you do, like me, you’ll get why I’m so stoked about my first chance to dance in 2019!

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach 

 

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Mentor, Marina, Made My Day

Mentor, Marina, Made My Day

It’s Day 383 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and my Zumba mentor, Marina, made my day! First of all, when I chickened out of leading a song today because her versions were different than mine, not only did she not make me feel bad, she switched up her playlist to remove the song and replace it with two I’m comfortable with. Second, she surprised me by somehow knowing my birthday is tomorrow –– FB? –– and giving me a card and much-appreciated hug after class. Normally I would have waited to open the latter until my actual Bday, but I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges ––and needed a lift. To my delight, she gifted me with a TJ Maxx card! Woot woot! A little retail therapy is now on the agenda after church and teaching Zumba tomorrow…Finally, she showed up to class looking even more super cool and than usual in one of my favorites –– pink and green floral. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic and it put a smile on my face when I pulled out my phone to check the time after seeing The Incredibles 2 with my kiddos – it’s worth the fourteen year wait –– and again after I used it to get a shot of my daughter after we bought and applied her first make up. I hope she’ll grow up to be as pretty inside  as she is on the outside like my Zumba instructor friend. By taking time the to let me know she was thinking of me, my mentor Marina made my day!

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Marvelous Zumba Mentor, Marina!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose blogger posting for the last time as a forty-eight-year-old, I’m so thankful for friends (and Cohorts in Crime of the Good Kind) like Kay Fittes of High Heeled Success, who mailed me a bday card last week. And for my sister-in-law, Sue who brought me an early birthday gift –– Calvin Klein athletic wear and a TJ Maxx gift card –– when she was in town from Atlanta for a wedding last weekend. I’m so blessed to have these women ––my Swan Soul Sisters –– in my support system, especially when dealing with the challenges life keeps throwing my way. They may not even be aware that I’m going through anything, but I’m aware that they’re there. They’re all gifts from God for which I am eternally grateful. Because just when the Ds threaten to bring me down, God sends one of them –– like my mentor, Mariana –– along to make my day.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about acknowledging when someone makes your day on the home front or in the workplace? By telling them, you just may make theirs, too.

Building a Business a Brick at a Time

Building a Business a Brick at a Time

It’s Day 357 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and an offer to teach a third Zumba class enables me to keep building my business a brick at a time. If I view my agency, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, as a building, each of my roles ––author, life coach and speaker –– is a level that produces a stream of income. I’ve also begun to monetize this blog and am making a bit of money here…But because I’m still growing my fan and coaching client base  as well as securing speaking engagements, having a steady foundation of income is a good thing. Add to that the fact that I’m a debut novelist with only one novel, Seasons of Her Soul, under my belt with sales subject to flux, as are client schedules. This and gaps between speaking opportunities make teaching Zumba consistently every week a welcome source of consistent income. It wouldn’t be enough if I was the primary or sole breadwinner…Thankfully, I have a wonderfully supportive husband who is our family’s main provider. That solid foundation, along with another Zumba class strengthening it  put me firmly in position to keep building my business a brick at a time.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur, operating a start up business is a dream come true. At times I regret the fact that I didn’t stay home after my divorce and pursue my dream of being a full-time writer. Then I remember that my time working for others developed my coaching, leadership, speaking and yes, writing skills. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have discovered coaching without being promoted to a Leadership Coach role when I applied for another position. I even discovered Zumba while working at a school readiness fair when I was a Family and Community Services Specialist. I suppose all of my workplace experiences could be considered foundational in building Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. Getting to teach a dance class that provides fun, fitness (faith on Sundays), models the healthy lifesylte I advocate for my clients, and is yet another foundational piece means I’m not only building my business a brick at a time but making it a success, too.

How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about making income that allows you to build your business or to pursue other interests?

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach 

Time to Design Zumba T-Shirts

Time to Design Zumba T-Shirts

It’s Day 357 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and after this morning’s dance class, a few of us took some time to design Zumba T-shirts. Though I’ve often admired the way Zumba instructors cut up their shirts with intricate designs and patterns, because I’m a bit OCD, I’ve never been brave enough to experiment on my own now that I’m a licensed instructor myself. So when some ladies in our Saturday class expressed interest in having our Marvelous Marina show us how it’s done, she offered to hold a workshop after our workout. We were instructed to bring shirts, chalk or soap and scissors. I dance with this group of ladies on Saturdays, but at my local Y during the week. One of my three Zumba instructor sisters there bought a pack of shirts that contained four of the same three shirt styles for us to wear when we teach together or at events. The labels say “One Size Fits Most”. For me, that means fitting like a sack…This being the case, I took advantage of today’s opportunity to add a little flair to my shirts and to even make them fit! I wasn’t as daring as some – ok, I’m more than a little bit OCD – but still made the most of this time to design my Zumba T-shirts.

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This demonstrates how big the shirt is on me even with the sleeves cut. The sleeves were cut more after this photo &               it now fits much better.                                                                      Calvin Klein Performance leggings from TJ Maxx. 
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The cold shoulder was my design of choice for all three of my shirts.                                                                                             My friend cut strips from the cutout pieces & tied the hole with them to create this look. 
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Our Marvelous Marina! She’s a Zumba instructor phenom & she wields a mean pair of scissors! Heart with horizontal and vertical slashes. 
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Linda quickly got the hang of weaving. An impressive 1st attempt. 

With Marina and Kibby’s guidance (the picture of her shirt is too blurry and couldn’t be included), I dipped my little toe into the shirt cutting waters. For my first time out, I tentatively traced patterns based off of Marina’s designs with my soap and stuck to creating varied cold shoulder looks. Once the cold shoulder shapes had been cut out, however, I shied away from cutting the hem off of the sleeves, but because they were still huge, I eventually let Kibby do it for me. Stretching and pulling the fabric caused it to roll nicely and I felt pleased with the results. Maybe feel confident enough to eventually cut the hems off of the bottoms of the shirts and even slit them to create ties.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose self-diagnosed woman with OCD regarding things aligning, matching and being symmetrical, I had to step outside my comfort zone to take shirts I not only love but need for teaching and cut them up. In fact, there were two times when I got so stressed this morning because I cut things and they were jagged or off from the other side that I literally had to hand the scissors over to Kibby, who is fearless, researches Pinterest for ideas and then cuts with abandon. I kept saying “I’ve never cut up a shirt!” Patient with and supportive of me throughout the process – as was Marina – at one point she stopped me and said, “Now you have.” I suppose some would call me a perfectionist – and I’d have to agree considering I hesitated about even posting. But I’m glad I stretched myself – and that fabric! – and took the time to learn how to design Zumba T-shirts.

Have you ever been Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something crafty? What is something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t – at home or work. Why not go for it? You may be glad you stretched yourself, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Keep Calm and Zumba On!

Keep Calm and Zumba On!

It’s Day 329 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I had to Keep Calm and Zumba On! while teaching my Friday class. I started teaching  Zumba  at work two and a half years ago when I was the director of a life coaching program but didn’t become licensed until the fall of last year. During that time, I also subbed. But never have I felt stressed teaching – until this afternoon. With a great turn out, things were going well like they always do until noon. Then, suddenly we began experiencing technical difficulties. The Zumba playlist saved on my phone wouldn’t cooperate, and I couldn’t connect to WIFI to pull songs up that way. One woman – with her gorgeous English accent (I’m an Anglophile and could listen to her all day) – tried to help me figure out the phone issue and offered her own when that proved to no avail. But alas, her phone wouldn’t fit the Y’s speaker system chord. Another woman attempted to come to my aid but realized she’d left her phone at home. And another instructor who has my playlist on her phone couldn’t make it because her daughter is sick. After five minutes of fiddling, it seemed class might be over early. We all attributed the problem to the extensive roadwork going on right outside – perhaps the Internet was down? At any rate a few women graciously told me not to worry about it as they headed out the door. Just when they’d left, the music – at least some of it decided to play. Someone ran and got them back before they headed downstairs and we resumed class. If you could call it that! My schizophrenic playlist had a mind of its own – playing only what it wanted – and had me leading songs I haven’t practiced in ages. To say I improvised is putting it mildly. I had no idea what I was doing but had to try and Keep Calm and Zumba On!

Keep Calm and Zumba With Me

The great thing is, every woman there showed me much grace. Even a newbie to my class. She could have easily thought, This is a hot mess! and thrown in the towel. Instead she repeated what had quickly become my mantra: At least we’re moving! By the end of what was the most stressful teaching situation I’ve ever been in – I was a literal hot mess! I always perspire profusely when dancing – thanks to hormonal changes in my almost fifty body, but this was different. You know that stress sweat they talk about on that commercial? Yeah, that was me. I’m having a flash just recollecting it now! I must have apologized twenty times…Tell her it isn’t usually like this! I rasped out numerous times with my asthma at full throttle. Erratic as the routines were, my newbie and all of the other women said they’d be back. Furthermore, many went out of their way to hug me and say how well I handled the situation. If I appeared calm, it was nothing but the grace of God combined with their graciousness…

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba instructor, I try to make dancing a wonderful experience every time. Part of that includes engaging women, not only in class but before and after. On the two days I teach, I send out a post with some type of image or inspiration. Yesterday I came across one – above – and felt it would be perfect to post for this morning’s class. Never could I have imagined how apropos it would be! So here’s a thank you and shout out to all the lovely Zumba loving ladies who demonstrated what it really means to Keep Calm and Zumba With Me!

Have you ever had to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and Keep Calm in a home or work situation that felt anything but? What insight or inspiration did you gain?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

Dinner and Dancing the Ds Away

Dinner and Dancing the Ds Away

It’s Day 322 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after a morning meeting then teaching Zumba, I got to have dinner and dance the Ds – the personal and professional challenges we face, i.e. discouragement –  away. I’ve been doing Saturday Zumba with my Swan Sister, Kibby, for six years, and when we learned we were losing our longtime instructor, Liz, we were concerned about who’d replace her. From her first class, everyone knew our fears were unfounded from Marina’s first routine. Since then, she and I have bonded over me becoming a licensed instructor. She  mentors me and lets me lead warm up, do a little something in the middle and a cool down. Spending part of my weekend with these two amazing ladies was already a highlight of my week. But things got even better when Angelin, who attends one of Marina’s classes elsewhere became a regular in our class. Kibby, ever the connector, suggested we all hang out. We got to know one another over a delicious meal and then hit the dance floor. My Ds were obliterated by our discussion, dinner and dancing them away.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, Angelina, Kibby & Marina. We’re a diverse group from inner city Cincy, Peru, the hills of West Virginia, & Russia – brought together by dancing, bonded by so much more. Me in my Calvin Klein of course – a floral top from the end of last summer, a faux suede skirt, leather and suede open-toe shooties, & a cross body handbag for ease of dancing. All TJ Maxx.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, no matter what I’m going through, I always feel better when I’m dancing. Even so, our dinner and dessert conversation lasted for nearly three hours (with gorgeous live vocals accompanied by a baby grand in the background) before the dancing began. And I never thought of my troubles once during that time. Guess that means I feel better when I’m doing life with other Swans – and dancing with them, too!

How about you? How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about spending time with other women enjoying shared passions? How intentional are you about doing that when you’re facing the Ds?

Be savvy & chic,

~ Pink Collar Coach

A Wee Bit of Green for St. Patty’s Day

A Wee Bit of Green for St. Patty’s Day

It’s Day 284 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and because I’m African American, Native American and Irish, I always wear a wee bit of green for St. Patty’s Day.    The holiday started yesterday for me when I wore green athletic wear and shamrock earrings to teach my Friday Zumba class and green jeggins to hang out at virtual golf. On the actual day, I sported a shamrock headband to the Saturday class where one of my mentors always lets me lead a few. Then I took advantage of the opportunity to don a green leather jacket that doesn’t get a lot of use for lunch with a Swan Sister. Though it’s not my go-to color, every year it’s fun to celebrate with a wee bit of green for St. Patty’s Day.

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I’m a bit OCD about textures, so wearing a green leather jacket meant wearing a leather dress. The zipper detail on the jacket carries through on  back of the wedge booties. All Calvin Klein purchased from TJ Maxx over time. The green handbag is about four years old –                    Premium Outlet Calvin Klein store. Green nail polish – OPI from TJ Maxx – $3. The green jewelry is likely Kendra Scott, also purchased at TJ Maxx years ago before I knew what it was!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Maxxinista, though I love dressing up for holidays, I’ve never been one to go for the goofy looks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – if that’s your style. But it isn’t mine. My personal style is feminine, pretty, and pulled together. For instance, at Halloween, I have a set of cat ears, a bowtie, and a tail, all black with pink satin, ribbons, and sequins. I pair them with all black – a simple long sleeve top, leggings, and ballet flats. Then I paint a nose and whiskers and finish it all off with purr-fectly pink lipstick! (I couldn’t resist!). For me, the look is festive instead of foolish. After all, I’ll be fifty next year…Nevertheless I’ll still play Ed Sheehan’s “Nancy Mulligan” and teach my class an Irish jig tomorrow while wearing a wee bit of green again to close out my St. Patty’s Day celebration.

How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about incorporating your personal sense of style into St. Patrick’s Day and other holidays?

And now I’ll leave you with my favorite Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, 

May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

   Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach