For The Very 1st Time…

There is something magical about doing something for the very 1st time.  A cocktail of emotions from excitement and nervousness to overwhelming anxiety, vulnerability, and downright fear.  In that moment we decide to be brave and experience something brand new.

I went here to find peace 1st thing in the morning ❤

Most people who know me know that I love to dance and more specifically I  love, love, LOVE dance fitness and even more specifically than that; I LOVE ZUMBA!!!  I first discovered it back in 2010 when I was afraid to go outside, super shy, and uncomfortable in my skin.  My Mom dragged me to the gym with her and took me to my very 1st Zumba class.  We rocked out to “Jai Ho,” and other lively songs, and I was hooked.  I felt alive and a new sense of confidence in my body.  A month later I became a swim coach and had to work in the evenings that I used to go to Zumba classes with my mom.  It wasn’t until years later that I got to dance again.  I will always look back so fondly on those fun Zumba classes with my Mom.

These days I have been experiencing many 1sts in my new home.  1st time at the market.  1st time swimming in a warm crystal clear ocean.  1st time fishing.  1st time running a business.  1st time working from home.  1st time swimming with seaturtles, 1st time walking on lava.  1st fall in 4 years that I am not going to school. etc.  It has been a magical time, but also a little draining because it all heightens my anxiety.  I have pretty severe social anxiety and all these 1sts get a little overwhelming, but I have been doing my best to embrace the experiences and not let my nervousness rob me of impending JOY.

Thankfully, I decided back in January to make September the month where I explore my passions and set new goals for the year since my year begins in September.  This focus has encouraged me to step outside of myself and to be brave.

Here is a beautiful yoga practice for the beginner’s mind:


On Monday I messaged the local zumba instructor to find out is she was teaching her evening class (I think part of me hoped that it was cancelled for Labor Day.)  She said that she was teaching class and to join them.  I found a local zumba class back in July, but have talked myself out of it every single week since then.  I just get the worst anxiety when it comes to new things.  I almost talked myself out of it this week too, but I wanted to push myself to be brave.  Also, I figured it would be less crowded since it was a holiday.

My partner encouraged me to go if I wanted to and I just about had a panic attack.  I was short of breath and could barely get myself out of the door.  I did not know what to wear so I decided to wear the Zumba shirt that my friend and Zumba instructor Taylor gave to me.  It was time to give this shirt a purpose rather than just sleep / lounge around attire.

This shirt was gifted to me ❤

I was so nervous that I posted a status about how I was ridiculously afraid of going to Zumba and my dance sisters thankfully came through for me nearly instantly.  They encouraged me to go and reminded me that I had nothing to be afraid of.  It worked, my friends!  I got out that front door and took my a$$ to Zumba class!

I had the typical “new girl” symptoms were I awkwardly entered the room and stood there waiting for class to start not knowing what to do with my body.  I reminded myself to enjoy this moment.  The pure unfamiliarity.  Once the music started, I was able to shake off some of my nervousness and feel the joy in moving.  It was a fun class and the other people were warm and welcoming.  They encouraged me to stay for another 45 minutes to take the Zumba Strong class, but I was tired and felt drained from the humidity.  I also did not want to over do it so after chatting with a few of the ladies I headed home.

I do have to say that my beautiful Zumba class / dance fitness community back in Lacey/Olympia, Washington is absolutely unparalleled and I miss them like crazy.

They always make everyone feel so welcome and a part of something amazing!

I loved how every class was a celebration!

I came out of ever class feeling stronger and more confident every single time!

As you can see, it is nearly impossible not to miss a beautiful community like this!  I plan on carrying this vibrant spirit with me everywhere I go and I am happy to know that when I got home to visit I can always fun dance classes!

You can bet that I was SUPER nervous when I first started going to these classes, but my nerves quickly vanished because it was so much fun.  I want to thank my dance sisters for always uplifting me and bringing out the best in me.

Here’s to many more years of spreading joy and making every time just as special as that very 1st time!  I love you all ❤

❤ Alana

10 thoughts on “For The Very 1st Time…

  1. I can see why you miss your old Zumba group – the chemistry was there.
    and glad you also found a new one….
    oh and totally know what you mean with the thrill of 1st time stuff – and the drain it can have too. Such a mixed bag –
    — and for me – I did some Zumba this past spring and liked it – but I do prefer my yoga classes – or this group called “center-gy” which is movement to music and like Zumba in a way.

    1. Yes, I am so glad that I got to enjoy lots of classes with my old Zumba group. It was a year ago when my partner stayed in our house in Northern Maine to watch our cats and I came back to Washington state for a quarter of school on campus. We have done distance a couple of times and thankfully it is easier with modern technology to stay in touch. The zumba group felt like such a tight knit community to be around when I was far away from home.
      It is nice that you did Zumba. It is definitely not for everyone and yoga has a much more calming and grounding effect.

      1. Hi – hope your week is going well –
        glad you were able to make the distant thing work.
        and one thing to note about yoga is that it can be so DIFFERENT – and I think everyone has a different experience and different mental image when we say a yoga class.
        I have yet to do a full class with Adrienne (although I followed her for years via youtube) and after you shared about her recently I am going to try a full class sometime in the next month – but the little sampling I did of her show – I always loved.

        I have two places in town that I go to for yoga and to me – the teacher is what I go for.
        I am sometimes sensitive to people’s energy and how they run the class – and then there are different outcomes from each class.
        I stopped going to this one lady – even though I liked some of the people that took her class – but she always did too much hips and she was hard to understand –

        anyhow, when I take H’s class – she has been teaching since the 90s and I go to her when I want “expert gentle yoga that gives a whole body workout” (when I can because she only teaches a couple classes each week and they are early morning)
        and then I have two teachers that I know give a bit of cardio with their hot yoga and also do whole body – that is important to me because if I only get 1, 2 or 3 classes in a week – I need to whole body stretch –

        and my pet peeves with Zumba
        1) not enough stretching (even tho good teachers do a mini warm up and mild cool down)-
        2) inconsistency among teachers
        The pros
        1) good cardio –
        2) stress release –

      2. This has been a good week, but my mood has been very up and down. I am going to look into my caffeine consumption because this may be contributing to it.
        Yes, the yoga instructor can really “make or break” a class or practice. Naturally we get out of it what we put into it, but I think it is important for the instructor to be able to direct students through proper technique and to help them hold proper space and good energy throughout the practice. Finding a good studio, instructor, or even gym (as I learned last summer) kind of reminds me of dating. It takes awhile to find someone compatible. Yoga is an experience and a journey and not everyone is equipped to lead. I am glad that you have found 2 good instructors near you.

        I agree with your Zumba pet peeves. Sometimes instructors skip through a good warm-up and do too much twisting. They do not always offer modifications either. I also think that it can be overwhelming for people who are unfamiliar with the movement patterns and that can be stressful. I remind myself and others that as long as we are moving, not hurting, and enjoying the class that is what matters. I think those are the main reasons why I have not decided to teach my own dance fitness classes.
        I took the Zumba basic training a few years back and just got certified to teach Commit Dance Fitness, but I don’t think the one-day instructor training is enough to prepare people properly to teach. It is also something that you learn with experience, but right now I think I prefer being a student and just working on my own wellness.

      3. I was actually going to ask you if you were a teacher of Zumba – or if it was in the future and so you answered that for me –
        and I have about ten yoga teachers in the area that I love – maybe more – and that is cool – but I know who to go to for what .
        Like this one class on Wednesday night is a tough hot yoga class and the teacher is great but she never shuts up – lol – so have to be in the mood for fast flowing (but safe) vinyasa and for her stories –
        and when I need alignment _ I go to Y’s class –

        anyhow, I promise to keep you posted on my experience with Adrienne yoga

      4. It is good that you know which instructors to go to when you need something specific. Maybe one of these days I will feel brave and will go to a live yoga class. Until then I will continue to practice with Adriene 🙂

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