Join the Party and Get Happy!

This week, I wanted to share with you my dream.  My hope is that you will have some wisdom, advice, or a connection that can help me turn this dream into reality!

I’ve been in the early stages of developing DMF YOUTH, a dance-fitness after school and educational program that blends a positive, motivational dance workout with a life skills development curriculum. Our goal is to empower kids and teens by building self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth and nurture health in all aspects of their lives–physical, mental, emotional.

DMF YOUTH is not a traditional “dance-class.”  We are based in fitness and create an awesome environment for youth to get fit in a non-competitive, fun way without the pressure of having to be a perfect dancer or athlete.  Our motivational, cardio-dance and strength training workout feels more like a dance-party than a class. We  incorporate life-skills and character development into the curriculum, making this program truly unique.  We use dance and fitness as the platform for helping youth realize their ultimate potential and gain the necessary tools needed to live healthy, happy and productive lives.

Each week, we discuss and use games and exercises to delve into topics like attitude, leadership, positive self-talk, cooperation, self-control, body-image, nutrition, and standing up to peer pressure. Everywhere young kids turn, there is pressure to “be cool” and “fit in.”  DMF YOUTH helps participants shed insecurities and the need to “be” like everyone else and encourages them to tap into their own unique talents, power and potential.  To build a sense of community and help youth embrace a “give vs. get” mentality, the program culminates with a service project that participants vote on, such as hosting a Dance-Off to raise money for a charity or hosting a dance party for sick children at a local hospital.

My goal is to get the program into inner city schools and charter schools like KIPP, Promise Academy and the Young Women’s Leadership Network. There is just no fitness program (other than traditional sports) that really delves into life skills and character development that so many of today’s youth, especially under-served youth, need in their lives.

Sound interesting to you and want to know more?  Have a contact or school you think could benefit from DMF YOUTH?    Want to join me in this quest? I’ll take ALL the wisdom and awesome advice you have!  Thanks for your support!  And thank you to EVERYONE who has ALREADY so graciously helped me on this journey!!!

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.” –Unknown

This is one of my favorite quotes.  If you’ve been to a DMF class recently, you may have heard me say it.  We all build walls.  Sometimes the wall comes in the form of self-doubt (I’m a HUGE culprit of this)—Am I good enough? Am I strong enough? Can I be a leader? Can I start a business? Can I be successful? Can I REALLY change the world?!?  

A close cousin to the self-doubt wall is the fear wall—fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of standing out.  The fear wall prevents us from the joy that comes with trying new things, pursuing our goals, and ultimately being our true selves.

Another wall is worry (yes, I’ve got this one down pat too!) We worry about anything and everything, rather than being the BEST we possibly can be, taking action toward our goals, and TRUSTING that being great will lead us toward success.

What do all these walls have in common?  Two things:  One, they ALL create limitations, hindering us from taking ACTION toward what we want and discovering our ultimate potential.   Two, they are ALL in our head!!  Yes, the walls are in our head because they are just THOUGHTS! Our thoughts do NOT have to be our reality.  Our experiences may have helped shape these thoughts, but when it comes down to it, we do NOT have to believe them, listen to them, or be a slave to them unless we CHOOSE to.   I know this is easier said than done…I struggle every day and it definitely takes practice.   BUT, just recognizing that our thoughts aren’t necessarily truth, we begin to have the power to choose what to believe and acknowledge.

So what are your walls?  DMF wants to help you tear them down and punch your limitations in the face.   Come move your body this week, sweat it out, and get HAPPY with us.  Remember, happiness is a choice.  Choose happiness today and share the DMF love with everyone around you.


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