my journey... continued
I think I was around the age of 6 when I first started dance classes in the UK - old time ballroom. It's really quite a stiff form of sequence dancing but amazingly I stuck it out for a number of years until I ran out of exams that I was allowed to do as a junior. So then I started again and did them all with the men's steps (called 'double awards'). I wanted to dance competitvely but the lack of a partner put paid to that and my interest in dancing for a few years.
Getting my drivers license at age 17 opened up a whole new world of opportunities for dance. I discovered a school teaching Latin american. I was quickly hooked and started out down the exam route once again, but still no partner...
I ran the dance club at university and that was a whole heap of fun. I met some amazing dancers from all over the world and we shared styles and probably created some weird hybrid of our own.
It wasn't until I started work that I started having private dance lessons, assisting with teaching classes and competing in ISTD and IDTA medallist competitions. I'm proud to say that I've had the experience of competing at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, a place where many international competitions are held.
My move to Australia in 2002 put a very different light on my dance journey. I took a very different path for a few years and became a martial arts instructor (you would be surprised how much it has in common with dancing). I was still dancing but more socially and not taking it very seriously...
I think it was November 2009 when I saw the late night infomercial for Zumba. It looked amazing and I hunted for classes near me. It was still very new then so I was looking at an hour's drive to my nearest class. There were instructor courses available but only in Sydney. It seemed crazy at the time but I but the bullet and booked the training for the following January. Then the panic hit me that I'd be going to a training session full of fit, twenty-somethings (I was about 76kgs at the time) so I bought the Zumba DVD and I think I did at least one session per day from then until the training, in which time I dropped a few kgs just by doing Zumba in my living room.
I did my first Zumba training course in January 2010. I had organised a few friends and a venue to start the week after my course. I got a bit of a shock when the instructor recommended we give it a couple of months before we started teaching! But hey, it was booked so I ploughed in head first. I don't remember too much about that first 10 week course but I've no doubt it was less than polished. Still, we were all excited about this new thing and I don't think anyone really noticed!
And the rest, as they say, is history. Four years on and I'm still getting the same buzz as I did in the beginning :-)