I met Javin Bay in 2012. That was the year I turned 50, and decided to give myself permission to be myself and not care what others thought of me.
I used to be very shy and insecure…. Started out dancing at the back of the class where I wouldn’t get noticed. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror while dancing.
One day I finally got the courage to ask Javin and Kayla how to do some of the steps that I was having trouble getting. They both spent time with me after class to show me the moves, and practice it with me until I finally got it. They are wonderful instructors who care about their students.
It wasn’t long before I was dancing alongside the instructors at the front of the class. Even on the stage at one point. This is something I never thought I would be able to do. This is all because atmosphere at Javin Bay Dance Fit classes is one of love and acceptance.
So began my journey into adulthood (the fiftys),  being a more loving and confident self, and dance was a big part of it.
Dancing has always been fun for me. Dance class is the only exercise I look forward to, and I feel disappointed when I have to miss a class. It gives me energy when I’m tired. When I don’t dance, I start to feel depressed. It’s not just the adrenaline producing exercise, the awesome upbeat music, but also the people in the class.
Through dance class, I have developed loving friendships that go beyond the dance floor. We go out together to eat, to concerts and shows, get our nails done, to take an art  with wine class, to celebrate our birthdays, Halloween parties, picnics, and more eating! We have become a community of friends who truly care about one another. They have become another family for me, a healthy, loving and supportive family.
I am a happy wife and mother of two teenage boys. I also have loving family and friends both near and far away (mostly far away, actually). In all my relationships, learning and growing continues, and never stops.  It is still a challenge to fully share myself, and become more visible.
It was hard for me to write this, knowing that people will be reading it. I hope that others who think that they are too shy, or too uncoordinated to try dance-fit, will come and join us!.
I have so much to be thankful for, and I’m especially thankful for Dance in my life.

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“This is something I never thought I would be able to do.” Eileen K.

I first met Javin when Amber introduced him to our class saying that a “guy” was coming to help her teach.  I was so self-conscious about my body already and didn’t like anyone to notice me at all, let alone, dance in front of anyone.  But dancing in front of a guy??? No way, no how.  I was going to protest when he came (silently because I’m also shy)

When he got there, it wasn’t so bad.  I could tell right away that he had a pleasant calm demeanor about him, and that I was NOT going to be embarrassed to dance “with” him or in front of him. He just had a way of making us all feel comfortable. He was only there to get us a good workout and feel better about ourselves after we left.

So as if that first day of having him there wasn’t enough….he proceeds to introduce himself to all of us and then says, does anyone have a car and is going to the Carother’s area?  I told him where I live and I go right through that street and i would love to give him a ride.

I said, “Why don’t you have a car? How did you get here?”

I realized that he was a little late, and I did happen to see a cop car drive away while I was dancing. (in the back of course, so I could see out the door).

He said, “Well, I was in a wreck before I got here and my car wasn’t driveable. The police officer gave me a ride, and I need to get to my restaurant to get my wife’s car so I can go home.:

hahahaha What??? I was hooked that day.  His story was too crazy not to be friends with him.

We talked the whole way, not even realizing I just let a strange guy who I had never met, that showed up in a cop car because of a wreck, but still managed to give us a kick our butt workout, get in my vehicle. We became instant friends that day.  He was the easiest to talk to and my shy self would have never offered to let a stranger in my car, let alone a guy!!!

I love Javin and Kayla and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have gotten through my separation and divorce as easily.  When he would sing to us during our cool down, I used to cry during stretches upside down since no one could tell- plus I was already sweating and wiping my face.  I told him that once when I finally revealed to him that I was getting a divorce. I had to tell them how much they meant to me, and that I always felt better coming to class.  He was so gentle with his listening and the way he told me about his absent father and that he was sorry that my boys will have to go without their dad.

Kayla is so sweet and funny and is just so passionate about dance and we became instant friends when she started coming.  And their kids!!  The fact that the whole family does this and they love and care for us all as much as we do them….I don’t even think of it as a workout or a class.  It’s just my family.  I come to be with my family when I come.  And we dance, and we laugh, and we hang out, and we eat together….and then we eat together some more….and then again and again!!

I have made the best lifelong friends at a little old zumba class…and to think that my now ex husband gave me a Living Social coupon as a “gift” but now realizing, it was probably his first way of getting me out of the house so I wouldn’t suspect a thing.  So what satan had in mind for evil, God had in mind good.  And this is so good.  ❤

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“I don’t even think of it as a workout or a class- it’s just my family.” – Hope B.