Lia

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Lia

I am a native San Franciscan. My mother taught me about exercise and nutrition. She had learned weight training when she worked as an accountant for a body builder. I started studying Yoga at age 15, judo at age 17, long-distance running at age 21, karate at age 23, and bodybuilding at age 25. My long-distance running and bodybuilding activities continued until I was 44—that terrible year when I received a diagnosis of a progressive form of spinal disease. I learned at that time that I would have to give up running and that, in only two more years, I would probably be walking with a cane!

I started belly dancing seriously with Marin dancer Dhyanis to strengthen my stomach and back in 2001. My childhood friend, the late Devi ja Delgado, first introduced me to Middle Eastern music and dance. I fell in love with the sound of the drums and with any dance that celebrated rhythm. Learning dance has sustained me threw many of my life’s traumas (for example: running loose and coming to terms with sexual abuse). I feel that I am finding my own inner grace through dance. By finding inner peace and joy through music and dance, and by exposing myself to the challenge of troupe dancing and performing, I have developed a lot of self-confidence.

Now, as my physical pain increases, I enjoy my exercise DVDs when I cannot get to a class. We have a good tribal style teacher in our school; therefore, I am trying to learn the Tribal style of Belly dance, since American Tribal style is not so hard on one’s lower back.

I am a critical care nurse in an electronic ICU, where I have a desk-job with a lot of data entry! It is wonderful to be able to inject dance and exercise into my work life, which really connects me to my spirit. Dancing reminds me of my better self, and that a personal zenith can be achieved at any age, with any challenge—at every moment.

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