Some things about my childhood I can’t recall. And then there are the vivid memories that I feel fortunate to remember. Some of those accompany a photograph, like this one. She was the Queen of Jazzercise and Aerobics, and I yearned for her fancy leotards, leg warmers and dance moves. (The 80’s did not disappoint with the bold and daring fashion statements - that's for sure!) I could not wait to wear these items of hers... and also to have boobs! It was a right of passage after all, and so I danced and went through the sparkle and shine phase… where we spray painted our tap and ballet shoes. Thankfully the glimmer of my feet would hide my string bean legs for a few years. I would wait until one day when I was older, and I could inherit her dance wear. I couldn’t wait to be a woman and to feel confident in my own skin.
Sadly, I can’t recall if I inherited any of these clothing items in my teens. The one thing I did inherit was her passion for dance and moving to the rhythm. In fact, it became my intense joy and solace growing up. I didn’t dance for anyone (or their approval), just for myself. The stage (or the dance floor) was the one place where I could let go and feel safe with all of my emotions. Not much has changed, except for the fashion statements. Oh and I no longer stick out my tongue when I'm concentrating on my moves. ;-) Gosh, am I the only person who did that?
I look at this photo and who we were back then and I still see the same extraordinary woman that she has always been. She is the fiery Latina who I get my spirited side from. She is the smart and sassy lady who could speak five romance languages and surprise those who least expected it (especially from a woman who grew up speaking English as a 2nd language). She is the determined woman who believed in empowering other Moms like her. She taught so many of us how to feel beautiful and confident from the inside out. She is the hot Mama (on the right hand side of the photo) who sacrificed so much so I could live the life of my (and our ancestors) dreams.
I wonder if the Queen of Jazzercise knew what her legacy would be back then? Do you think she had any idea of the impact that she would have on the woman I’ve become? I’ll have to ask her. So until then, I’ll ask you. What is your legacy? What are you working hard to pass on to your children now? What are the gifts that one day they’ll look back upon longingly and realize they were from you? How are you working to make a dent on this Universe so the generations and family members that follow will feel your impact?
I welcome your feedback, and thank you to all of the Queens of Jazzercise, Zumba and more... for never being afraid to be your higher self!