Dance For A Cause at DMF for She's The First!

As you all know, gender issues and education are two causes near and dear to my heart. It's why I was so excited to host a screening of Girl Rising at my school with Her Campus at William and Mary. It's why my summer reading list features some pretty choice books the deal with education and gender issues. It why I'm super excited that HCWM will be working to fundraise for She's the First, a not-for-profit that works to fund girls' education in developing countries.

Wednesday I heard that She's the First was doing a Fundraiser in the city through their twitter through DMF (Dance Motivation Fitness). It was part of She's The First's Run The World campaign to pair fitness with fundraising. It was $25 to go, same price as a class at DMF, and the money would go to She's the First. 

After work, I ate (my lovely roommate cooked fish for me!), changed and headed off the to Garment District. Unfortunately I left my Nikes in the car when I moved, so I worked out in my boots. At first I thought, I am going to a dance studio, full of fit dancers, and people who spend their time working out where I doodle and munch on imported cheese-- I don't even have sneakers. And then I thought, who the hell cares what I look like, or the fact that I am clumsier than a newborn giraffe in roller-skates? There are girls across South Asia, and Africa, and Latin America who are being denied access to an education, so what do my Nikes in NoVA matter? I could have just donated the money and skipped out on class, but I think I need to move more than the casual walks I take every day, and what better motivator than knowing all the sweat running down my back was sponsoring a girl's education?

Post work-out group shot!
I had a great time. DMF is run by Lindi Duesenberg, and she led such a wonderful class. People of all skill levels were there and we were all there for a great cause. It was a cardio work out, mostly dancing with a bit of strength training in the middle and a cool down with stretching at the end. It's something like Zumba, but the steps are different and not as heavy on latin influence. It was a lot of fun, and Lindi is a really positive person, which was really motivating. 

With Lindi, it's not about what you look like or how many steps you fumble or if you're a prodigy. It's about getting fitter, doing better, and getting back on your feet even after you fudge the third cha-cha in a row. She wasn't a warden barking stops and calling you weak so you can prove her wrong (sorry, not motivating to me), she reminds you to slow down if you need to, but keep going, keeping in mind your goals: getting healthier, stronger, and happier. She is so encouraging and really creates a space where you don't feel awful for bumping into your super fit neighbor while grapevining. I had a ton of fun, which is a hard thing to do in a room full of dancers when you're as clumsy as I am.

Growing up as one of those kids who always came in last in gym class, knowing that gaze of all the other kids waiting for you to finish the last lap that they had finished 5 minutes before you, dropping before almost every other kid even started to feel their muscles ache, it is difficult for me to work out in a way that doesn't feel shameful in some way. Exercise is so important, but lacing up those sneakers just feels like preparing for defeat when you feel like everyone else is 30 laps ahead of where you are. Lindi really created a positive space for me to sweat, and I really appreciate that. It's hard to come by. 

It was a lot of fun, and a great challenge. I definitely recommend checking out DMF if you're looking for a work out in the city and prefer a dance-cardio work out to hitting the treadmill while catching up on Pretty Little Liars. Lindi is really nice and encourages everyone in class to push through the burn. It's also a really well-balanced work out. I had a fantastic time with DMF, and we raised over $1,000 for She's The First. 

Definitely check out She's The First: Educating girls is the most cost-effective way to improve an economy, and the health of a nation. If you're in the city, take a chance on DMF-- I promise you you'll enjoy it, and they have a two for one deal so bring a buddy, check it out, and feel the burn. I felt awesome after class and I think I'll go again if I can figure out how to fit in a trip to midtown more often. Check out DMF's websitefacebook, and twitter

Looks like I better replace my Nikes. 

1 comment:

  1. If you have time to dedicate, and the instructors are Talented, you will have great experience at dance classes. Good instructors are friendly and will challenge you to really improve in dance.