/// I . F E L T . C E L E B R A T E D ///
March 1, 2018

Violet is a trainee that attended our February Twin Cities training. She received one of our training scholarships, funded by the donations of Oula Studio clients in Missoula (for more info about these scholarships, click here.) Following the weekend, we asked her to tell us about her experience.  Thanks Violet, for sharing so much about you, your time at the training, and all that you gave during that weekend!
 
///A B O U T . M E ///
I’m a single mom of 3 fantastic kids, living in the Twin Cities Metro.  I was raised in Idaho and went to school to study music (flute) and eventually ended up getting a degree in nutrition.  I have always had a strong connection to music and movements, so naturally I was drawn to Oula to experience both.
 
///O N . F I N D I N G . O U L A///
 
I was taking a Zumba class regularly at a local YMCA and I saw a flier advertising an intro to Oula.  The description captured my attention right away and I was looking for a dance experience I could really love.  [A friend] did the intro class.  I liked it because I recognized the music and she brought another friend along.  They were both so into the movement and their comfort in movement really inspired me.  Shortly after, our Zumba teacher called on another Oula instructor to sub on a few occasions and I really began to see that I liked the Oula format quite a lot.  
I did go through a period where I didn’t want to go to Oula because I didn’t feel that I deserved to look sexy or feel sexy.  After being abandoned by my husband I had a painful journey to self-acceptance and Oula played a big part in my healing.  When I returned to Oula I became more comfortable with the way my body moved, the way the instructors allowed me to feel good about myself (encouraging participants to look at themselves in the mirror and see how beautiful we all are).  I also grew more comfortable with the way my body looked.  Being surrounded by all shapes and sizes, enjoying movement and music, and forming friendships really helped foster a healthier self-image.  I’ve been asked by instructors who don’t know me as well if I am an instructor, which was encouraging.  And I’ve been encouraged by my regular instructors to go through the training.  It took me a while (2 years) to feel strong and brave enough to get to the training, and I’m so thankful to have received a scholarship for this opportunity!
 
///W H Y . B E C O M E . A N . I N S T R U C T O R  ?///
I really love how empowering Oula is and I have had so much fun getting to know the choreography, the instructors, and other participants.  I really want to push myself out of my comfort zone and grow, and to help others in the same way I’ve been helped.  
///M Y . T R A I N I N G . E X P E R I E N C E///
My favorite part of the weekend was feeling the sense of unity and total support from everyone present.  We all had our own fears and and excitement about instructing, and I loved how everyone was so over-the-top excited when we each took turns instructing.  Having so many rush up to me and hug me, to tell me how proud they were – that was incredible.  And I did it!  I actually got in front of people to do something I love that was terrifying.  I’m capable of so much, and having one purpose of the weekend be getting up in front to instruct really forced me to do what I needed to do.
I learned that I can make a positive impact on a class as a participant by being more vocal. I also learned that even though I can feel really nervous in front of others, I am totally capable of feeling emotions of a song while attention is on me.
I really appreciated how gentle and encouraging the feedback was when I instructed my group.  It is obviously pretty difficult to get up there for the first time and I felt really well-supported and loved on!  I was cheered on to do something uncomfortable and I felt celebrated for just getting up there and doing what I felt I could do.  
I’m looking forward to building a strong community with the other trainees as we practice together and encourage each other as we learn to cue and invite participants into our passion for Oula.
 
///F O R . F U T U R E . T R A I N E E S///
Going through the training will help you understand more about how Oula can impact you as well as others.  It is also really great to understand how to cue and how to break down a song, even if you never teach.  Learning about those things has really tuned me in to how a class runs and it has become easier to remember choreography.