Inspirational Dancer Battling Sjogren's Syndrome
GAINESVILLE - I cannot imagine not having dance or music in my life. Dancing has kept my spirit alive and its kept my body mobile," said Jaqueline Valdez.
Dance, a way to freely express yourself with your body. Jacqueline valdez a professional dancer in gainesville is sharing her passion and talent with other women. "I love giving people a period of time to kind of forget about their stresses, to forget about their worries, to forget about work troubles. And kind of just come shake move their body, listen to good music, keep their joints moving, keep their bodies mobile," Valdez said.
Pilates, zumba, yoga and pole fitness are some of the things valdez teaches in her unique all women's studio, Elegant Body Pilates." "I love seeing the confidence that the women get when they've taken the class and their personalities start to shine through," Valdez added.
While valdez teaches right here in the comfort of her own home, she does hope to expand her dance studio by getting more poles, raising the ceiling and having more space for more dancers. There's one thing she fears may slow down her dancing career though. In January she was diagnosed with an incurable disease which produces muscle pain and stiff joints. Sjogrens Syndrome a rare arthritis-related condition.
Christina Pettie, one of Valdez's students and a physical therapist says dance is one of the best ways to take care of one's body, even with Sjogren's."The core strength, the muscle strength, the low impact on joints. All of that is very beneficial to keep and maintain what you have. I think everybody has a fitness level, it's just figuring out where they are and going from there," Pettie said.
Kat Carter-Finn another one of Valdez's students who also suffers from auto immune issues, agrees. "If you can't do the full pose, she works with you to find a modified pose or something that you're still exercising, you're not doing anything dangerous and that you're still being safe. And that's really really important that she makes sure your technique is right," Carter-Finn said.
"I do notice that i can't train like i used to... I used to professionally compete in pole dance and i made a decision not to this year because of that. The recovery is just to intense." While valdez hopes to rehabilitate herself through dance... She also wants to help people get fit in safe and effective ways. One step at a time.
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