Guest Post by Paige Taylor: 5 Ways Zumba Has Helped Me in My Recovery

Paige Taylor is a copywriter from Columbus, Ohio who is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As getting clean drastically changed her life, she’s now dedicated to helping others struggling with addiction to find their path to recovery.

She reached out to me after reading some of the other stories on this blog of others who have healed through the power of dance. I was more than happy to share her story too. Hers is another great example of how dance, even in the form of a fitness class, can have a beautiful and positive effect on a person’s life. 

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At What Point Can You Call Yourself a “Dancer”?

I think I’m going through a little ballroom withdrawal. It’s been weeks and weeks since I took a group class. My last few private lessons were a week apart due to Teacher going to comps or having other scheduling conflicts. And I haven’t been going to the studio to practice. I have all sorts of excuses, including the fact that I’m still doing things at home like the journey to splits challenge. I used to practice before and/or after group class. It worked well for me. But now that I’m not taking group, I find it’s hard to motivate myself to go to just practice on my own. This is why I fail at being a gym member. I’m much more likely to go if there is a class or something where I have other people to support me and hold me accountable. But going by myself to work by myself? I feel like I may as well save the gas and stay at home. This withdrawal coupled with anxiety over USDC and reading online how often others practice or have private lessons has me once again pondering a question my demons obsessively taunt me with: at what point can I call myself a dancer?
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What Does the Girl Do When She Can’t Dance?

I’m in the second week of “can’t afford group classes or practice time” month and doing my best to stay busy so I don’t get hit with some major withdrawal symptoms. I’m usually at the studio three or four nights during the week for class and practice! So having only one night on the books kinda sucks. I’m anticipating July to be the same deal, not even sure I’ll manage the one class a week. We’ll cross that lousy bridge when we come to it. All for Florida and Ohio, that’s what I remind myself.  So what does the Girl do when she can’t get her dance fix? I’ve come up with a list.

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Mental Smackdown – When Your Dealer Cancels Your Next Fix

On today’s episode of Mental Smackdown, I share what happens when an external trigger sets the demons loose in my head and how I attempt to bring order back to the chaos that’s created.

I was having a really good night, feeling genuinely optimistic about life in general.  And then my lesson was cancelled. Cue descent into darkness.

I know, I know, so dramatic! It’s just one lesson. Disappointment, sure, but descent into darkness? Really? Financially, it helps me because it stretches my last lesson payment that much further. So what’s my problem? Well, like any good addict, sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is my next fix. I think it’s been well established that I am addicted to ballroom and my heart and soul gets poured into it. Good or bad, I desperately rely on my two standing lessons to get me through some weeks. I may be hating life, but at least I have a lesson to look forward to. So when that oasis I’m crawling toward turns out to be a mirage? Let’s just say the struggle is real. Still too dramatic? Just wait, it gets better.

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When Taking Ballroom, Side Effects May Include…

Ballroom dancing is a drug. And like any good addictive drug, it gives you an amazing high for little cost. At first. But soon you find yourself needing more and spending more to maintain that high. And as with other drugs, ballroom dancing comes with side effects.

I’ve been an addict for a little over two years now and have no intention of giving it up! I have encountered some interesting side effects. Some were expected, like benefits to my health, but others came as a surprise.   Continue reading