Hi, my name is Raquel Calderon, and I am excited to be your Zumba Fitness Coach! Before I begin this new journey of helping you achieve your fitness goals, I want to tell you a little about me. I too have a fitness journey and I have come a long way! I am at the healthiest I have ever been at 29 years old and as a mother. I thank Zumba so much for helping me get into shape. I went from never being less than 150lbs once I hit my teenage years, to then getting pregnant weighing 194lbs, and today I am 128lbs! I am way more energized, lighter, and stronger!
Zumba came into my life as a love for dance that I have had since a child. I have always danced. I was captain of my dance team in high school and trained at the YMCA in dance every day after school prior to high school. Although I danced, I was very careless about the food I consumed and my physical activity outside of dance. When I was not dancing, I was lounging eating junk food. Crazy I know! Anyway, I began Zumba in college when I felt to overweight and insecure to be around lean dancers because it can be a cruel environment. I took a Zumba class in a gym once because I heard the music playing from the room and I was working out to the beat of the class rather than the music in my headphones. What motivated me to actually take the class was the different age levels and sizes of women I saw in there. It felt safe for me to dance and just have fun! The first day I took a Zumba class, it was it for me. I knew this was something I needed to teach! Not only because I am Latina and love Spanish music, but because I left feeling so amazing! Every woman in that class was having a blast and that was the atmosphere and environment I wanted to surround myself with!
Fast forward, I jumped right into the opportunity to get certified only a month after consistently taking Zumba classes. Several women told me I would be great at it and would take my class if I did it. Within a month, I can tell the difference in my body and even in my overall health. I was happier, leaner, and focused. I had something to look forward to and my journey with Zumba has been amazing ever since. This was 7 years ago!
Today, I have taught at several gyms and dance studios. I have collaborated with other great Zumba instructors, I even got a chance to dance with the owner of Zumba, Beto, and share a stage with him! I have also been a special guest at the WOW center where I brought a great Zumba session to the disabled and special needs and it was the best experience ever!
I thank Zumba not only for my health journey, but because it has allowed me to share my love for dance with others and bring them so much joy and satisfaction. To me, Zumba is a way of serving and giving back. I have gotten confident with myself throughout the years, and have taken dance more seriously. I have been training consistently in other dance styles and still remain a student till this day. I even started my own company, where I provide party entertainment through dancing, and have built my own team of dancers along the way.