Even in the most ideal situation, it is not easy to achieve personal and professional goals. Yet, there are a few select people, who are able to conquer their fears, overcome obstacles and inspire others. Vanessa Valentin is one of those special people.
Born in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, Vanessa was at the impressionable age of thirteen when she moved with her mother and two brothers to New Jersey. Her mother, a seamstress, was a woman of values with a strong work ethic. She supported her children and instilled structure, commitment and discipline into their lives. Times were extremely difficult. It was not until she herself had to face difficulty that Vanessa would come to understand the inner struggles and strengths of her mother.
Like most young adults, structure and discipline are not easy to achieve. Vanessa’s early twenties saw rough financial times as she tried balancing education with work.
In 2000, Vanessa found herself in a relationship that resulted in the birth of a son. Pregnancy, weight gain and the responsibilities of a new child, combined with a failing relationship, were overwhelming. Vanessa remembered the strength of her mother and was determined to find balance in her life.
It was easier said than done. Her life had dramatically changed. A single mom and head of the household, she was in charge of everything from car pool to cooking; she even had to change the oil in her car. There was no time for her to worry about herself. Taking time from her son or responsibilities was not an option. So she decided to turn all her chores into something fun.
Driven and determined to get her life in balance she started dancing her way through those chores. In the kitchen cooking, cleaning the house or playing with her son, all became opportunities to work on her mental and physical health. It was not long before Vanessa started to see dramatic results and realized that dancing was the way out of her self-consciousness, depression and lack of motivation. She was determined to balance her life with happiness, self-control and a healthy life style.
“One can always find a reason not to do something. I stopped focusing on the negative and made time for the positive” says Valentin. First on her list - change her eating habits. “With a healthier diet I found new energy, could think clearer and had more time in my day” she continues. Next – a ballroom dance exercise class. Vanessa recalls, “It was quite difficult at first, to find extra time, just for me, but as I started to see the changes I became more determined to dance my way to health and happiness”.
In the next year, Vanessa danced off 50 pounds! Dancing had positively changed both her body and her mind. With a new outlook and self-confidence, the things that were once obstacles became her motivation to move forward. Determine to share her life changing experience, she decided to teach others how to shape up and build up from the inside out. She became a certified Zumba instructor.
In 2006 Vanessa opened RhythmX. Her energy and personality are contagious! Her client base of loyal “dancers” grew rapidly and Zumba at RhythmX is on the way to balancing new lives.
Today RhythmX is a household word and Vanessa has garnered media coverage from El Nuevo Dia, Orlando Sentinel, Rumba 100.3, Univision, WOFL 35 Fox Orlando, La Mega 98.1, Channel 13 News, Playground Magazine, Salud Es Magazine and Linha Aberta to name a few, Growth plans include additional classes and new locations. “It is all about dancing your way to a balanced life that brings love, happiness with the added benefit of a great body” says Valentin.
Vanessa holds an Associates Degree from Lehigh Valley College. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her son Izak.