African Dance Takes Over Curacao
I was so annoyed. Like, totally bummed out. Here we are in the middle of the Caribbean with all the prerequisites for a day at the beach: Towel. Check! Sunglasses? Check! Teeny Weeny Bikini? Check! Sunshine……..
Wait….so you’re telling me the sun is gonna have the AUDACITY to not come out on our ONLY free day in Curacao??
WORD, SON? IT’S LIKE THAT?
I was done with Mother Nature for good. Real talk. (I’m a teeny bit dramatic in my mind sometimes – you would think there was a hurricane or something) As I sat there on the deck by the pool with entirely too much of the breakfast buffet on my plate, stewing in my #TellEmWhyYouMadSon moment, my 2 girlfriends Cass and Sim joined me at the table, temporarily distracting me from my internal tirade against the sun.
The deck was fairly quiet that morning, since we had no excursions planned and many of the people on our trip had yet to roll out of bed. The ocean waves softly washing ashore was a nice break from the sirens and foreign cursing on my block in New York, so I was excited about doing absolutely nothing but laying on the beach and roasting to a nice shade of Rotisserie.
Then this young (lovely white toothed smooth skinned chocolate boy) staffer approaches our table, asking us “What do you think about some cardiovascular activity?” I’m like “Is this fool for real?” Then I read his shirt which stated “Activites Team” and realized we were probably being recruited for one of those corny resort aerobics classes where Blanche, Dorothy and their friends clap, shimmy and raise the roof to some awful techno music.
“No thanks,” we replied, and continued chatting until we finished breakfast and were ready to hit the beach. As we walked across the pool deck towards the ocean, we heard a calpyso beat, and noticed that the water aerobics class we had been recruited for had started.
“I think I wanna try it! We should do it!” said Cass. I looked over at her like What You Talkin Bout Willis but she was already drawn into the rhythm of the beat, dancing to her own moves as she sauntered over to the class. She and Sim tried to convince me to join but I was dead set on my rotisserie tan so I headed to the beach to wait for the sun to come out.
And then something interesting happened. The sun came out but it had nothing to do with the weather. Soca and African dance tunes were coming from the speakers and the energy on the pool deck had completely transformed. Cass has taken over the entire aerobics class, with a group of women from around the world grooving to the Ghanaian tunes coming from her iPod! She was in her element, happily teaching her new students (including the chocolate boy who was supposed to be teaching the class), and was so into the moment that she didn’t even notice what was taking place all around her.
The entire resort was captivated by her energy. People at the dining hall stopped eating and walked out to see what was going on. Folks on the beach had gotten up and were taking pictures. There was a whole crowd on the pool deck watching, and every time she finished one of her signature workout sequences and the music stopped – everyone burst into applause! It was magical, like the sun came out in one spot over her class, creating a spotlight that everyone couldn’t help but pay attention to.
Cass is no stranger to drawing a crowd, but what she probably doesn’t realize is how much she inspires people in the smallest ways. She’s a true friend who literally has sunshine coming out of her skin and helping people reach their fitness and nutrition goals makes her beam with joy so much that you can tell it’s truly her calling. So, I wouldn’t be a friend unless I asked for a few things from you guys (some would call this a shameless plug, but it’s more about supporting the dreams of people close to you
1) If you live in New York please check out her classes! They are a blast and if my 2 left choreography challenged feet can keep up, so can you. They are held on Thursdays from 7-8 PM at Mark Morris in Brooklyn, on Mondays from 8-9 at the Mad Cool Fitness Power Hours in Harlem, and one Saturday a month from 10-11 at Black River Dance Studios in Harlem. For her full class schedule please visit: http://wellnesswithcoachcass.
2) If you are trying to tone up but haven’t had success, I HIGHLY recommend working with Cass to meet your personal goals. Her own weight story is proof enough that she knows what she’s doing. Check out how she dropped 10 dress sizes on Ebony.com
3) If you know of conferences, events, or resorts that feature a fitness component (classes, seminars etc.) please reach out to her! Both nutrition and fitness are her specialties and she’d be happy to speak or teach at your event. For more info please visit http://wellnesswithcoachcass.com/
At the final dinner for our trip, Cass won an award from OHPsalms (the company that organized our trip) for that special moment at the pool. All of us in the #travelfamily & #socabandit crew are super proud of you as you turn your passion into your career and will always be there cheering you on from the sidelines.
P.S. The sun eventually came out. And all was well.
This is what we did for 90% of the trip
Mel recreates the Curly Girl Collective logo in the sand
Cass kept the vibes going on the beach. Always bring your own music!
Chilling with the OHPsalms #travelfamily