About 5 years ago, I was newly pregnant with my first child and visiting my friend in Chicago. She had been telling me about this fitness class she wanted me to go to with her. The class was taught by Haley Stone (creator and founder of WERQ) and I remember having so much fun and being so mesmerized by Haley’s energy and the fun music that it wasn’t until the cool down that I realized how hard I had actually WORKED during the past hour! The next day my leg muscles were sore (that "good sore") and I thought to myself "Geez, that was a really good workout - but it was so fun. I want to do it again!" I was HOOKED. Part of me thought “I could teach this” but a louder voice in my head listed all the reasons why I would never end up being a good enough instructor. For years, every time I went to Chicago to visit my friend, I made sure to go to WERQ at least a couple times so I could get my fix!
About a year after having my first baby I started to have a lot of neck and shoulder discomfort. The aches and pains slowly became more prevalent and then after the birth of my second child in July 2016, my neck pain was so bad that I began seeing multiple specialists hoping for answers. At that time I started a job that, like most, put me at a desk in front of computer most of the day. The lack of movement and hours sitting made my pain worse. I couldn’t hold my 4 month old baby for more than 10 minutes without muscle spasms and extreme strain. The pain, exhaustion, and work made it almost impossible to work out and I felt like I would never get in better shape.
It wasn't until November that I found out about the Black Friday special discount to get WERQ certified. I'm the type of person that can NOT pass up a good deal and I felt I had finally run out of excuses! I purchased the certification and made a commitment to start moving more and start stretching more so that I could attend a training. I started walking more and dancing around the house. Although I was scared that I would huff and puff through the training, I knew that if I registered for a date, then there would be no going back. The hardest part is just showing up right!?
The following April, I completed the certification and met so many wonderful women. After getting certified, a fire inside of me had been lit. There was this new sense of excitement for this new "journey" of mine. I LOVE being a wife and mother. These roles bring me a lot of joy, but they also require me to give a lot of myself emotionally and mentally. WERQ is my time to recharge my batteries. It's true that you can BECOME energized by expending energy! The past year of teaching, being a part of the instructor community, and meeting other amazing women has been the BEST year so far!
My favorite thing about teaching WERQ is seeing the confidence it brings people and the smiles on their faces. I’ve been in a lot of classes, and this is the only one where I notice the participants beaming. There’s something special about getting up in front of a bunch of people who probably wouldn’t consider themselves dancers, but nevertheless have found themselves in a dance fitness class, and connecting with them. It’s so fun to watch people dance and forget about who else is in the room and what they may think. I love that WERQ can be enough of an escape from whatever craziness the world is throwing at them. For an hour it’s just happiness, dancing and not feeling the weight of it all. WERQ isn’t just great for the body, it’s great for the mind, and soul. It’s empowering, and I love being able to bring it to the TSB community!