Wow, what an amazing month! What can I say but except that I am surrounded by wonderful friends, colleagues and an even more amazing Zumba community that helped raise money to give to Hogar San Pedro, an organization located in Chosica, Peru who are dedicated in helping children and adults of all ages with special needs and who have been abandoned by their caretakers.  All the residents and staff members were so happy and thankful for the good works we all participated in.

First and foremost, the event was a big success!  Special thanks to Kathy Fontaine who opened up her studio for us to dance in and burn up a sweat.  All the instructors (Alisa, Sandra, Janina, Gabriela, Aryan, Javier and Tamara) did an amazing job and showcased all their different styles and genres that kept the party going for 2 hours.  I seriously could not have done it without this team.  And a very special thanks to all the participants who donated and made my birthday celebration an event to remember.

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Now for Hogar San Pedro.  Located in Chosica, Peru which turned out to be a 2.5 hour drive from Lima, Peru.  My cousin Tito (who is more like my brother) and his wife, Susana, along with my niece, Xiomara, and 6 month old nephew, Luigi, drove us in the heat and traffic to our final destination.  Once we arrived, we were greeted by the staff members who have dedicated over 30 years of their lives in helping and taking care of its residents.

After a delicious lunch (Spaghetti & Meat Sauce along with Papa a la Huancaina, a Peruvian staple), the staff introduced us to all the residents.  I honestly thought I would be crying the whole time, but every face I met smiled no matter what condition they suffered.  I realized my husband and I were there to make them smile, to love them and give them hugs.  With hardly no family to visit them, the fact that visitors from the United States came to visit was exciting and something for them to look forward to.  They all have a special place in my heart now and think about all of them since my return home.

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Thank you again to all who made this long-time dream of mine happen.  I do plan on continuing to hold events and raise money for this organization and hopefully visit again.  With about 20 adults and 9 children, this organization will need help to continue providing for the rest of their lives.  Let’s see what the future has in store ❤️

Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell, about 2 bad chinos you know so well… ha! (If you know the original rhyme, comment below for a chance to win a special prize from me!)

Well this China (a nickname my hubby calls me) decided to audition for a spot in the Fly Girl 101 session, led by the talented Lisa Marie, at this year’s Zumba® convention. In order to audition, you had to learn the routine she choreographed and add the 2 last counts of 8 of your own stylo to the song “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd…. what?!?! I was all in. I wanted to keep it real to my Miami roots, where graffiti is considered colorful art and bust out my gold hoops, nameplate, cross & chain I’ve had since the 90’s. The only thing is that Miami is 20 min for where I live now and the deadline was like tomorrow. Thank God for #FATVillage in downtown Fort Lauderdale where the art culture is blooming. I waited for Chino (my nickname for my hubby aka Jimmy) to come home from work Thursday evening and off we went to go film the video.

Now it was time to film. The sun was setting but man this weather lately has been super hot & humid so I didn’t want to take too long to record it. The idea was to keep it smooth but hit the movements to make it look clean. I am a bit of a perfectionist and did the routine a couple of times… well… more like several times before I was content with the final product. Jimmy saw them all the same and wanted to call it a day. But my eyes could see when my arms weren’t where they should be, or a movement wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be. It was the last shot that I was like, ok… this is it… if it’s not “perfect” in my eyes, then there is nothing I can do about it because it’s hot, he’s hungry, and I’m getting tired. The last shot ended up being the one I submitted and most content with. Finally! Let’s go home.

Now time to edit! Not only did I edit the video to add my name and title of the video, I also edited the song to have a short intro and cut the right section of the song that I danced to. Took awhile but I enjoy editing (not always but this one was fun for me!) Uploaded it on YouTube and emailed it as instructed. I was excited more than I was nervous. It was fun to film something I could relate to, something that is totally me, and the style of dance I grew up dancing especially in Miami.

A week later is when I got the email saying, Congratulations FLY GIRL!!! What?!?! Honestly, tears of happiness came as I called Jimmy to share the good news. We did this together and together we celebrated. Now, I’m sharing the good news to my students and followers. Thanks to everyone who encouraged and believed in me. Can’t wait to share on what’s to come.

Make sure to like, follow & subscribe to follow my Fly Girl adventures.

#FlyGirl101 #ZinCon2017 #ZumbawithZZ #FortLauderdale