October 13, 2017
Life is a Dance

My fitness journey began early on. I grew up playing softball, dancing, and jumping at the chance to participate in any other sports my parents would let me. Not only did I love the challenge and competition that came with sports, but I loved how fun they were. My mom would always say “Win or lose, as long as you had fun that’s all that matters.” That same excitement around sports and fitness continued on into high school where I ran cross country, played basketball, competed in track and field, and danced at a local studio.

When I got to college, I had a major shock when sports, such a key piece of my life, were suddenly not such a key piece. Classes got harder, involvement in organizations increased, sleep decreased, and my health became less of a concern. It wasn’t until sophomore year when I was trying to think of business ideas for an Engler entrepreneurship class that I discovered group fitness. I thought back to the things that made me really, truly happy, and dance kept popping into my mind!

The first group fitness class I went to was Cardio Dance and I left that class knowing that I had just stumbled upon something amazing that was going to change my life! I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into but I took a leap of faith and went through the instructor course at UNL. After failing my ACE certification test twice, I almost gave up. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I’ve learned to “Fail fast, fail forward, and fail cheap.” On a college budget, failing my certification test was starting to become not so cheap. But my family and friends were supportive and encouraged me to take it one more time. Turns out the third time really is the charm! After three attempts, I finally passed.

I have now been a group fitness instructor for a full year, and I can easily say it has been one of the most rewarding things I have pursued! Although I have taught a variety of classes, my favorite class to teach is cardio dance. I value positivity and happiness, and it’s really hard to not be positive and happy when you’re dancing around with the music turned up!

Making it happen vs. letting it happen – life is a dance

One of my favorite quotes is by Arianna Huffington, it says, “Life is a dance between making it happen and letting it happen.” I love this quote for a couple different reasons. The first being that I love dancing so it automatically speaks to me, and the second is because this quote reminds us that sometimes we have to roll with life and accept that we can’t control everything.

I like to describe my life as a crazy, beautiful mess – I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are some things that I can make happen; like choosing to get out of bed in the morning, deciding to surround myself with people who make me a better version of myself, and making fitness and health a part of my life. And there are some things that I have to let happen; like accepting and loving my body for the way God made it, and knowing that college is a time of growth and change.

Life is a dance, sometimes we fall, sometimes we soar, sometimes we dance with others, sometimes it’s a solo, sometimes the choreography is perfect, and sometimes we make it up as we go. Regardless of where you are in your dance, dance like no one is watching, because you never know when the song will end.

Kate Likens