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Jess 3 teaches Zumba at S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio  in Luzerne Like many Zumba enthusiasts, Jessica Hodle went to her first Zumba class with a friend who insisted she would love it. She wasn’t 100% sold on the thought that she’d love it because she had tried many exercise plans before. She decided to give it a shot anyway.

Her friend , of course, was right. After just one class, Jess was hooked and her love of dance and enthusiasm for being active was sparked once again.

As a child and young adult, Jess took dance classes and cheered for her high school team. She had always loved dancing routines and helping to create new ones. As a member of a few sports teams throughout her school years, she enjoyed the team atmosphere and was always motivated to give it her all to support her teammates.

When she became a mom at the age of 21, her energy level dropped and she struggled to make time for fitness. That is… until that one day when she joined a friend at a Zumba class.

Not long after she began attending Zumba,  she decided to get certified with some friends, who were doing it on a whim. Though she had always been excited about the idea of being a Zumba instructor, Jess had no real plans to start teaching anytime soon. She fully admits to having self-esteem problems and wanted to be in a better place personally before being on the stage.

Jess got certified in November 2011 and posted her achievement to her Facebook that day. Jess Sands saw it and asked her if she wanted to join in a multiple instructor celebration for the new year. Jess 3, as she is known at S.W.E.A.T., accepted the invitation, but was quite nervous to teach a routine.

Jess worked on that routine all night long before the big day. She never thought her love of dance would have her, as she says in a “somewhat public manor moving my hips and shaking my groove thang like I was in a night club,” but she was determined to do it.

Jess 3 teaches Zumba at S.W.E.A.T. Fitness StudioShe got up in front of her S.W.E.A.T. family and taught them her routine, swiveling her hips and moving her feet. After her routine finished, she was amazed at the adrenaline rush she got and how much fun she had.

Jess 1 asked her to create more routines and said they would make a class for her to teach. About three weeks later, Jess 3 taught her first class and never looked back.

Though she may not have intended on becoming a Zumba instructor, she loves creating new dance routines and bringing her energy to the people at S.W.E.A.T.

For some people, coming up with a dance that actually goes with the music is hard to imagine. But for Jess, it’s as easy as hearing the music and knowing what she wants to do. Like a few instructors at S.W.E.A.T., she listens to music while driving and works the routines out in her head before trying them at home. She also likes to incorporate some choreography that Zumba (the company) sends her.

Jess’s creativity does not stop with dance routines. As many people know, Jess runs her own cake pop and cake making business. Check out Sugar Sticks Pop Shop on Facebook to see her amazing cakes and cake pops!

Being a mom, Zumba instructor, cake maker and having a full time job is more than a full plate. Just like many of the clients, Jess sometimes feels she doesn’t have time to workout. The hardest part for her is knowing she may not be giving each part of her life 100% of her attention. It gets stressful and like everyone, sometimes she has to take a step back and just relax.

There are days where she wishes she could skip her workout, but once she gets to the studio, all of those worries melt away. She say’s she always tries to remember that when she lets exercise become an option, she was not happy with her life.

When it comes to teaching her classes though, she is always puts her heart into teaching. The clients and fellow instructors at S.W.E.A.T. have become a second family and the studio itself, a second home. That comfort is a great recipe for a successful workout for herself and for the clients.

Since rekindling her love of dance and fitness, Jess has taken on new challenges, including a six week boot camp called “Strong and Sexy Boot Camp” through Fame Strength. Thanks to the team atmosphere she once thrived on, the instructors and her fellow participants, Jess is very happy that she finished her first boot camp and lost 14lbs. Boot camp made her realize that your mind and body have to be in sync to succeed.

“I finally feel like I have the right mindset to make the changes I need in my life to actually reach my goals. It takes time and there is really no miracle person or program that turns you into who you want to be. You have to choose it and live it. One day at a time.”

Wise words for Jess and everyone on a fitness journey to live by…

Hope everyone enjoyed Jess 3’s inspiring story! If you haven’t tried her class, get to S.W.E.A.T. Tuesdays and Thursdays  at 4:15 p.m.

-Aimee

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