” I met Joany about 6 years ago at an Empowering Woman’s workshop set up by my work. She was putting on a beginner’s belly dance workshop. No matter what my size I have always loved music and dancing. I have always been the girl who is first up on a dance floor at weddings and last to leave the floor at the end of the night. So I figured I would enjoy the workshop.
Of course I loved the workshop, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the way belly dance made me feel mentally. It wasn’t just about rhythm and steps, it was about embracing your curves and confidence. Having always lacked confidence in my body it was very difficult for me to feel ok with moving my hips and “shaking the girls”. I watched Joany, and I was completely mesmerized by her beauty and confidence and I knew then and there that I was hooked.
I signed up for her class and started once a week. As the weeks went on I noticed more flexibility and more comfort. I felt beautiful when I belly danced!
My confidence grew, and I branched out into her other classes throughout the years. Bollywood, disco, salsa, cowboy ugly, hula, and of course burlesque.
I have been part of the burlesque group for a few years now. Yes I have lost weight, yes I have tightened muscles, but more than that I walk taller, speak up louder, laugh more, and feel beautiful each and every time I dance in the studio or out in public. I’m not afraid to say “I need dance class”. I take time for myself and put my dance on the calendar as “Me Time”. My family knows that I am a much happier wife and mommy if I dance regularly and I hope that by seeing me make health important, my children will follow as they grow up.
In the end, thank you Joany Gauvreau. I cannot ever begin to tell you how much you have changed my life for the better. You allow me to challenge myself, grow in character and SHINE in so many wonderful ways. You are truly inspiring and I love you for it.”