From shy par­tic­i­pant to Zumba men­tor

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

De­siree Short­land once hung at the back shy and em­bar­rassed but now she’s all about fronting up and hav­ing fun.

The qual­i­fied Zumba dance in­struc­tor, who grew up in Toko­roa, will run her first class at the 1st Toko­roa Scout Hall tonight from 6pm un­til 7pm for a gold coin do­na­tion as a way of en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to be­come more ac­tive and over­come per­sonal set­backs.

It’s been no easy jour­ney for Short­land though who for sev­eral years has suf­fered from back prob­lems and weight is­sues.

‘‘I was lim­ited to the ex­er­cise I could do and that is how I found Zumba and in 2015 af­ter go­ing to weekly Zumba classes I got my li­cence,’’ she said.

She said any­one can get in­volved with Zumba if they set their mind to it.

She never thought she would one day run her own class.

‘‘I was that per­son at the back of the class hop­ing no one would look at me. I went in shy and dur­ing my first class I couldn’t move the same way as oth­ers be­cause I was so un­fit,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been there so I know it can be daunt­ing but there came a point where I thought ‘just let your­self en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence and let go’.’’

‘‘There are al­ways lots of first timers and every­one has to start

‘‘As some­one who has strug­gled through­out much of life with weight is­sues, Zumba has changed a lot for me.’’ De­siree Short­land

some­where. Not every­one has the right moves but it is not about hav­ing the right moves, it is about hav­ing fun and be­ing around peo­ple who are pos­i­tive does rub off on you,’’ she said.

Short­land, who is now based in Hamil­ton, said the Zumba com­mu­nity has be­come like a sec­ond fam­ily to her.

‘‘I’ve made some great friend­ships in the Zumba com­mu­nity. There is no judge­ment, every­one is on the same level. You might be teach­ing but you are still on the same level as every­one else,’’ she said.

She said any­one from 20 plus was wel­come to take part and there will be door prizes up for grabs. Classes will be $4 each week af­ter the launch.

‘‘I like mo­ti­vat­ing, en­cour­ag­ing, and help­ing oth­ers. As some­one who has strug­gled through­out much of life with weight is­sues, Zumba has changed a lot for me,’’ she said.

SUP­PLIED

Zumba in­struc­tor De­siree Short­land is now of­fer­ing weekly classes in Toko­roa.

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