Like Lauren, Maria has been a teacher with DanceTrance DC since July. Maria first tried DT in Sarasota, FL over four years ago and pretty soon was going to DT classes 7 days a week! When Maria moved to Maryland a couple of years ago, she tried other workouts, eventually found a great Zumba instructor (and even got her Zumba certification) but still really missed DT. Fortunately, DanceTrance DC opened and Maria now teaches at DanceTrance DC a couple of times a week, including frequently on Thursday nights, which is the one time a week there is a two hour DT class: breakdown during the first hour, followed by an hour of high cardio. Those two hours usually totally kick my butt, but Maria’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious, which is especially a good thing right about at the 90 minute mark for me. By day, Maria is a Research Supervisor and evaluate several programs in the state of Maryland that serve youth with behavioral and mental problems. And now, Maria in her own words:
On how DT is Maria’s favorite workout:
Right now I teach DT twice a week and I take a Zumba class over the weekend. If I was closer to DC I would be going to DT probably every day but unfortunately my schedule does not allow that. When I started DT four years ago I was trying to get back in shape so I was doing other classes like Pilates, Balleton and Muscle Works but after a few weeks all I was doing was DT every day. I lost weight and started to see the difference in my body. I have never been great at working out so I needed something that didn’t feel like a workout and that got my attention. One of my favorite things about DT is that keeps me interested, I do not get bored because we don’t do the same step over and over and it challenges me mentally since you are always trying to learn new routines.
On connecting with DTDC:
I really missed DT when I moved out of Florida so I kept checking for locations every time I travelled and was considering opening my own DT in Maryland when I saw that DC was opening so I contacted Sarah right away. I knew I not only wanted to go back to DT but was ready to be an instructor.
On reconnecting with dancing through DT:
I danced my whole life… did ballet until I was 13, was always involved in dance performances, leading school dances and such, then I did modern dance during my first years in college and took a couple ballroom classes in Gainesville while in grad school. But then I started working and totally stopped dancing. You get busy with life and there are not many places for adults to take dance lessons. Finding DT was a way for me to reconnect to that part of my life that I missed so much. DT was also a place and time for myself, to do one of the things I enjoy the most, dancing, and doing it with other people that feel the same way about it. DT became not only my favorite workout but a place where I felt safe, a place where I met great friends, DT became my family.
On how DT is accessible for those of us without dance backgrounds:
I think DT is just a fun workout and practice makes perfect! The more you come to class, the more familiar you get with the steps and choreography so then you can make it your own. I have seen people with dance backgrounds and people that never dance in their life and they both enjoy class the same way. It’s such a great way to release the everyday stress and burn tons of calories without realizing it… For me there is no better workout than dancing. Coming to breakdown is a great opportunity for everyone to learn the new routines, we have a chance to show step by step and practice so at the end of class you leave knowing two routines, then you have an opportunity to practice them the rest of the week.
On DT versus Zumba:
I am certified to teach Zumba but not teaching right now. Both DT and Zumba are cardio dance classes that play music you hear on the radio, but the most obvious difference is the music; Zumba is mostly Latin music while DT is not. Zumba has easier choreographies, 3-4 steps per songs; DT is a bit more complicated, we have 3-4 step combinations per song. In Zumba, instructors can create their own choreography while we use DT choreography so if you go to a different studio or take a class with a different instructor you will see the same choreography.
On life outside of DTDC:
Originally from Mexico, I moved to the US 12 years ago to do an exchange program in Gainesville, FL. I was supposed to be here for a few months only then decided to go to grad school and ended up staying. All my family is in Mexico and it’s very hard to be away from them. I have a MS in Economics from UF and an MPH in Epidemiology from USF. I moved to Sarasota and worked with the Hispanic community running a non-profit organization and then found my dream job evaluating a program that served young children with behavioral and mental issues. I have always being good with numbers and have always being fascinated by mental health so it was a perfect combination.
Past Dance Trance DC posts:
Photos courtesy of Dance Trance DC.
Disclosure: In exchange for writing a series of blog posts on DTDC, DTDC has offered me a two-month complimentary DTDC membership. I have received no additional compensation for these posts. My opinion of DTDC is uninfluenced by receiving the complimentary membership, especially as I have previously paid for a DTDC membership and will resume doing so after my complimentary membership expires.
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