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Daily Inspiration: Meet Shaunita Grase

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaunita Grase.

Hi Shaunita, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I became a licensed Zumba instructor on July 5, 2020. I decided to become a Zumba instructor after years of talking myself out of it. For nearly ten years, I convinced myself that no one would take a plus-sized Zumba instructor seriously in the fitness industry. On 12/31/2019, I made a New Year’s resolution to become a certified Zumba instructor after hearing encouraging words from the members of Salt-N-Pepa, who were headliners at a New Year’s Eve event called Famously Hot New Year in Columbia, SC. I am where I am today because of the many people who believed in my desire to show that you can be plus-sized and influential in the fitness industry. My class participants like the accountability and community that has created among class participants. They support each other and they are my source of motivation to be a leader and role model in the fitness community. It’s about the representation of plus-sized group fitness instruction and creating a fitness community where people are comfortable and have a sense of belonging while working out.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle was obtaining initial Zumba instructor certification. My training was rescheduled twice due to gym closures as a result of COVIC-19 last year. I really wanted to take the course in person but I was offered the opportunity to take the course online with a live instructor-as if we were at the gym. I was reluctant at first. But the training was authentic and I was able to obtain certification to be an official Zumba instructor and ZIN member (Zumba Instructor Network).

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a special education teacher at a local middle school. I teach students with emotional disabilities like ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am finishing up my third year. I am also the Assistant Girls Basketball coach at my school. This season we were undefeated and the District champions! This is my second year coaching basketball. Previously, I was employed for nearly 17 years at a law enforcement agency. The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students who others have difficulty managing their behavior. I am able to find solutions and work through challenges other may think are too difficult to overcome.

What matters most to you? Why?
What matters the most to me is helping people believe in themselves. This is important because I had to believe in my own abilities to achieve the level of success I have achieved in various areas of my life.

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