The other day I was dancing Tango with a student in my UNM Ballroom class, and he thanked me for sharing my darker story of physical challenges with the class last fall.
And then he asked that share them openly with you. Oh boy...
Here are some hard health highlights from my first 35 years:
• Cancer Survivor, age 19. No thyroid. Limited body temperature and metabolism regulation
• Missing liver enzyme, high bilirubin and immune response
• High arches and shorter right leg; corrective orthotics
• Underdeveloped vertebrae, forward pelvic tilt, permanent s- and c- spinal curves
• Occasional peripheral neuropathy, unknown cause or progression
• Four head traumas, four pregnancies but two beautiful children, epidural spinal leak, broken tailbone, nail through my left foot…
Yes... There IS more.
BUT! The reason he and so many students come to UNM PE-AP classes and I dance and teach today with minimal pain, strength, and wellness: our like-minded community is sharing it all with YOU!
The UNM Dance Fitness Clinic, April 19-20, 2016
A celebration of movement and wellness for all.
This event could be the beginning of YOUR wellness story.
- Begin to dance and compete with no one, just grow in your own way
- Try social dance even if you don’t have a partner, but you may find one and you could dance together
- No matter your mood, learn simple dance moves will lift you, thrill you, relax you, elevate you, and showcase YOUR unique strengths your unique strengths
- No barriers, no experience necessary, all abilities ages 13 to 100+
Our mission to provide dance as wellness for all is and has been beyond worthwhile. UNM, guest Louis Van Amstel, and our local NM community and I are so honored and thank you for your time and consideration in joining us.
Some of my UNM Stress Management students have struck gold on stress reduction techniques at our half-way class point, and others are still waiting to find their "solution".
Here are some thoughts on "Journeys and Journals". Our path lengths are all varied, but continue to "seek and you shall find!" ;D
And while you're spreading love, give love and dance to yourself today and always! XO - Megan
Warning: the following is a self-indulgent, feel-amazing playlist for your life, NO PARTNERS NECESSARY. Choose your favorites, then rock it solo or among friends!
Slow Salsa/Tango Stretch: Love Like This, Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston
Cha Cha/Jive Mix: Before We Fall In Love, Damato
Viennese Waltz: The Blue Danube, Manhattan Pops
Slow Samba: You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
Martin Luther King, Jr. moved his generation with a deep and demanding love, particularly song artists. In honor of the emotional and lyrical depth of those artists, here are a few of my favorite dance songs from the 1960s.
LaBlast Music of the 1960s
Dance to the Music - Sly and the Family Stone (1968), Warm-Up/Disco
Something's Got a Hold on Me - Etta James (1962), Medium Jive
Do You Love Me - The Contours (1962), Mix
Then He Kissed Me - The Crystals (1963), Paso Doble
You Never Can Tell - Chuck Berry (1960-1964), Mix
Land of 1000 Dances - Chris Kenner (1963) / Wilson Pickett (1966), Jive Twist/Kick
Twenty Five Miles - Edwin Starr (1968), Hustle
One Fine Day - The Chiffons (1963), Quick Step
Be My Baby - The Ronettes (1963-1946), Rumba
These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding (1962-1964), Rumba
Winter Wonderland - Bernard and Smith (1934) / Aretha Franklin (1964), Viennese Waltz
Some Kind of Wonderful - The Drifters (1960), Cool Down
Save the Last Dance for Me - The Drifters (1962), Cool Down
May we turn our dreams of love into action. Then dance, together. - Megan
I've been in the fitness industry for around 15 years, passing through many locations, instructing diverse populations, always loving these people and places. But over the past five years, I began witnessing colleagues really gravitate toward specific fitness groups: Les Mills, Beachbody, Zumba, TRX, Crossfit... and I had huge envy watching them become deeply passionate and fully ingrained into these groups. They found their tribe.
This finally happened to me at IDEA 2011 when I came across LaBlast Fitness. The feeling of connection was so intense I thought "I have to find a FLAW with this program or I'm in it for life!" Fast forward to today as a new Master Trainer and I feel very fortunate for my LaBlast family and experiences.
This is the power of finding your tribe. Your work turns to passion; you look forward to being involved. Your tribe makes what you need to do in life (like being physically active) so much better.
1. REALLY listen to yourself: what do you enjoy? My husband loves cycling. My sister found yoga. My daughter's teacher adores her daily run. And my friend loves her two daily hours at the gym. I love dance but LaBlast also gave me variety, authenticity, use of my own music, the option to dance with my family and friends, and much more!
2. Trying A LOT of new and varied things. Keep narrowing down who, what, where, and when might fit you until you strike gold. You can browse the myriad of my blog posts on fitness trials I have had. Around 2012 I enjoyed watching others enjoy Zumba, so a wrote an article and held a Zumba charity event for colleagues at UNM. My husband still enjoys a few Beachbody programs we starting trying several years ago (and despite it not being my fit, those programs are REALLY fantastic!) In 2011, I researched and practiced running to team up for a marathon but all of these activities felt unnatural. In contrast, I really look forward to time I spend dancing LaBlast.
3. New tribes start everyday! Among 6 billion people in the world, your tribe is either waiting for you or should be created. In a very short time and now at 800 global instructors, our LaBlast tribe feels so happy that Louis Van Amstel took the time and effort in creating our program. Other tribes are equally as grateful to their group innovators.
4. Be in more than one tribe, because:
Every tribe in your life will vary in the amount of time and level of interaction. LaBlast is my physical activity tribe that grew to enhance my occupation, intellect, and more, but I keep jogging, meditation, strengthening, and self defense in my fitness routines. My coworkers at UNM inspire me to strive higher for our students. I have a group of mom friends that share parenting stories and emotionally support one another in beautiful ways once or twice a month online. You can have more than one tribe in various areas of your life, such as your:
- environment: your location and surroundings, home, neighborhood, community, state
- career: your occupation versus your career and your finances
- social relationships: your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors...
- emotions: your feelings about actions, events, and life in general
- spirituality: your positivity and/or religious beliefs
- intellect: your education and ongoing pursuit to learn new things
- physical body: your nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress, and overall health
Which tribes will you look for this New Year?
XO - Megan