Since she was a young girl, Joanne wanted to be a ballroom dancer. She was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, where she could not stand on her webbed legs. The fact that she has never walked did not deter her from her goal. Dancing is her passion especially since she discovered Zumba® Fitness. Today she is a Zumba instructor and leads experiences for children and families at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas. Watch Zumba co-founder Beto Perez leading a class at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Florida.
Watch Joanne on NBC news:
Watch Beto Perez, the co-founder of Zumba®, lead a class in the hospital:
Sean had a heart transplant when he was three years old. We met him at a school-wide service learning day as 407 students created SoaringMurals to brighten the waiting rooms at Beth Israel Medical Center. During the activity Sean told Lisa, “When I was a baby I lived in the hospital for years. I know that this is not simply an art project, it is a lifeline that will let hospitalized children and their families know that they are not alone.”
Sean stood up at the Closing Ceremony in front of all of the students in elementary, middle and high school and told them his story and thanked them for being part of the project. The gym erupted in applause and the students and teachers gave him a standing ovation. Sean spoke at many of our events sharing his courage and his positive message about doing something nice for other people. Watch SoaringChampion Sean inspiring teens to make a difference.
See Sean speak at Soaringwords event, 3:55 time code:
Gabby missed two years of school during her treatment. Her mother discovered Soaringwords from her job at Johnson & Johnson where we shared Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver webinars and other healing tools for employees and families grappling with serious illness. Soaringwords taught Gabby and her mom about the power of healing imagery in order to help Gabby experience a sense of control. Each morning and night, Gabby and her mom closed their eyes re-enacting the special SoaringImagery that Gabby designed.
In this way, Gabby and her mom took an active role in her healing. Gabby wanted to do more to share the power to heal with others. Each time she went to the oncology clinic for her treatment she brought a different activity – superheroes, haikus and other positive interventions to share with patients and families. This gave her a sense of meaning and purpose and the opportunity to focus on helping others instead of worrying about her condition.
Zumbathon Charity Event in support of Soaringwords! Featuring 7 Zumba Education Specialists!!
Soaringwords is working with Zumba Instructors around the world to bring the love of music, dance and community to hospitalized children, families and hospital professionals who care for them all year long.
Be a part of this special initiative and break a sweat & a smile with us in Chicago! This is going to be an EPIC event with 7 Zumba Education Specialists! (ZES’s) and a Zumba Jammer!
Zumba Education Specialists!
ZJ Lisa Danhouser
Be a part of the generosity and break a sweat & a smile with us in Chicago!
Ticket Price is $25 for adults and $5 for children. 100% of proceeds will support the Soaringwords+Zumba Hospital Program Initiative.
There will be Zumba, Zumba Kids and the newest program for infants and toddlers, Zumbini!
Click here to purchase tickets.
Gratitude opens your heart and inspires you to give back to others. Sometimes these things are so fleeting that it is easy to take them for granted. Today we’re going to pay attention to GRATITUDE in order to find joy and appreciation for the simple little things that happen each day.
Gratitude is one of the 24 universal character strengths that are part of what make each person unique. Take a few minutes and write down several things for which you are grateful. Do you have any ideas to share with your friends and family? When you start thinking about and talking about gratitude, it actually starts to make you feel more positive and hopeful.
Sometimes we need to be reminded to “tune in” to things we may take for granted or not notice, such as the clear blue sky, someone holding the door for you or someone smiling at you.
What can you do to notice things and appreciate more in everyday situations? What can you do to “pay it forward” and do something kind (a good deed) for someone else? The Three Good Things exercise will help you get started.
Let’s Get Started:
1. Close your eyes and think about your day. Think about three good things that happened today. Write them down.
2. Share this activity with someone else. Take turns sharing what you are grateful for each day (at dinner, before bed, when you wake up in the morning). Repeat the exercise every day this week. See how many new things you can come up with!
Be on the look-out for things you are grateful for each day.
Notice what others do or say that make you feel good.
Notice things and people in your world for which you are grateful.
“Pay it Forward” – do something kind for someone else that will most likely be appreciated.