Above: Luisa (R) at a PJCC Pink Power event with PJCC Zumba instructor Margarita
If you attend PJCC’s dance-oriented Group Ex classes, you’ve likely seen PJCC Center Member Luisa’s smiling face and energetic dance moves. Years ago, she made a commitment to attending classes like Zumba to maintain her physical health and wellbeing—and found both confidence and community along the way. Her dedication, motivation, and spirit inspire us—we’re sure they’ll inspire you, too!
If a friend asked you why you’re so dedicated to participating in Group Ex classes, what would you tell them?
I have always loved dancing since I was a kid. Now, as a TNBC (Triple Negative Breast Cancer) survivor of six years, I needed to find a fun way that would keep me dedicated with getting in my daily exercise to help lower my chances of reoccurrence … dancing was it!
Many people love Group Ex because it’s a physical and social activity. How does it help you personally find and create community?
I have developed some really special friendships through the group classes that have been critical for my soul! The result is not only physical fitness, but also a sense of mental well-being. Total wellness — mind, body, and spirit ♥️
How does your participation in Group Ex classes inspire you in other areas of your life?
When I first joined PJCC, I would always be in the back row. I had very little confidence and was extremely unhappy with my body. Little by little, as I became more comfortable and was seeing progress with my endurance and weight loss, I started to slowly move up closer to the front row. It took some time but I was consistent and determined. Because of my success in achieving my physical goals, I now know I can also achieve any other goals in life with dedication, patience and most importantly SELF CONFIDENCE.
Do you ever have days where you’re tempted to skip class? If so, what do you do to motivate yourself to “suit up” and get moving?
It doesn’t happen often, because I very much look forward to every class, but when and if I’m making excuses to skip, there is a saying that always pops in my head that snaps me right out of it: “The only workout you regret is the one you didn’t do!”
What other steps do you take to maintain an active, positive, and healthy lifestyle?
I have been following a Keto lifestyle for about three years now (high in healthy fats, moderate protein and low carb). I enjoy developing recipes that are delicious and in no way make me feel deprived because I have cut out certain foods, like sugar, grains, and bread. Cooking is my passion other than dancing, so being creative with healthy meals and snacks makes it a fun experience and easy to stay on track!