What "b" phrase inspires you?
I want to always remember that the blessings around me are greater than the trials. There is a lot of pain in the world and in our lives as we move through them. Remembering to be joyful in the blessings keeps my eyes focused on the things that truly matter even when happiness is hard to come by.
Why do you teach fitness?
I love to dance as my workout, and I want to share that love with others. I have always struggled with my weight and when I found Zumba, I finally found a workout that I not only could stick with but also really looked forward to participating in. The cardiovascular workout that I continued to get made it such that I both lost weight and, amazingly, got to the point where I no longer required asthma medication. I hope to inspire others to work towards their own fitness goals as well as have a lot of fun doing it!
When did you begin in fitness?
I have danced since I was a little girl and into high school, but I was never really serious about it. Dancing for fitness started for me while I lived in Minnesota in 2011 - when I found Zumba at a local YMCA and fell in love. I began teaching Zumba during the pandemic online in March of 2020.
What keeps you motivated?
I have noticed that early on during a Zumba class, I am smiling and having fun. I love that it doesn't seem like exercise - even though it hurts sometimes. Then I also know how much more healthy I feel because I am exercising regularly that it keeps me going. But most importantly, the friends I have gained from Studio b encourage me to keep going when things get tough.
What is your professional background?
Outside of Studio b, I am a professor of engineering education at Purdue University. I am a researcher focused on engineering design-based STEM integration and work to create learning experiences for K-12 students to learn mathematics and science through engineering. I also teach in the first-year engineering program. Prior to that, I was a professor of mathematics education at the University of Minnesota for 7 years and a high school mathematics teacher for 7 years in the Fishers, IN and Marion, IN areas.
Why do you work at Studio b?
Studio b is such an inspiring place to work! I came to Studio b as a participant in need of getting my body in shape, but I quickly found a community that shares our lives with one another. I went through the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life a few years ago when my mom got cancer and eventually passed away. Studio b was a huge support to me as I was struggling with her illness and death. I appreciate all that Studio b has given me and I want to be able to give back in a small way.
I have a lot of interests! I adore dogs - especially my Doodlebug, who is a tiny black shih tzu. I play the flute for my church. I love to tailgate at the Purdue home football games. I like crafty and artistic things (although I am not great at it). I am currently learning to paint with acrylics. I also love to hang out on my back porch and just chill!
Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN)