Ever since I can remember, whenever I listened to music, I just had to dance.
It was instinct!
My younger self would dance in front of the mirror for hours on end, basically until I tired myself out and was dripping sweat by the end.
One could say I was having my own personal Zumba classes.
Seeing both parents in action, like when we accompanied my Mom to her basketball games (a women’s team of her friends from where we lived) and joined my dad on his daily 5AM runs, they constantly inspired me to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle.
I joined track as soon as I could, where we ran relays and traveled to compete against other schools, winning trophies and medals at the young age of 6.
I continued with basketball and when entering high school, out of 300 girls I was 1 of 30 to be chosen for cheerleading team.
That’s where I rediscovered my passion for dancing; I made up choreographies for friends (from mine and other schools) when they had events for Independence Day, carnivals, etc.
I received recognition for such work.
12 years ago, I decided to sign up for the gym.
The first day I was making my way around when I heard music, of course it immediately caught my attention.
I walked towards the contagious beat and gathered the courage to walk in.
That’s how I discovered Zumba.
I stayed in a corner towards the back and happened to catch the attention of the instructor, who brought me to the stage twice!
At the end of the class, she asked me if I was an instructor because she was been impressed by my movements and the ability to follow/guide the class. I had no idea what Zumba was at the time, but she insisted that I get certified.
I was in awe with the music, program and everything in between. I started co-teaching her while I waited for the big certification day. As you can probably guess, the rest is history.
I have been teaching non-stop for 11 years and although sometimes I have thought about putting my Zumba days behind me, my students won’t let me and I feel grateful for them allowing me to continue doing what I love- dancing, teaching, exercising.
And, I still enjoy it now as much as I did when I was little and did it on my own front of a mirror.
(Mercedes Trejo )