/// S H A R E . T H E . M A G I C ///
March 30, 2018

Angie Swanson in Missoula recently attended a Teacher Training here at the Studio. We had seen Angie around quite a bit prior to the training, and have danced with her a lot over the past year! Here’s a little about her experience at the Training Weekend.
// A B O U T . A N G I E //
I am a 47 year old woman living and working in Missoula, MT. I was raised in small town of Fairfield, MT. I grew up raising and training horses, playing volleyball, participating in impromptu speaking and playing the bari sax. I moved to Missoula upon graduation of high school to attend the University of Montana where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting. I’ve been married and divorced. I currently live with the coolest feline in town.
// O U L A . J O U R N E Y //
I attended my first Oula class on January 25, 2017 at the Oula Studio in Missoula, MT at 5:30pm with Kirsten as the instructor. I was attending as a participant in a study looking into the positive connection of Oula Dance Fitness and depression relief. This was a very important day in my life! I believe in fate and am sure that day is a product of it. It was an eye opening experience to have a real-sized fitness instructor showing the class how to dance and that it is ok to share joy and be authentic. The other dancers in the class were so welcoming and kind even though I was the squirrel in the back row hiding by the pillar. I could barely make it through the warm up. I was again blessed to have a friend involved with Oula take me to Stacey’s class at Lifelong Learning Center the following Tuesday. BAM! Another amazing instructor, class and experience. Now I was hooked. I continued attending more and varied classes including Oula.One, Oula Power and Oula X. I knew in the fall of 2017 I wanted to do the training to become an instructor, but the timing didn’t work out because the Universe knew I wasn’t quite ready. I was able to take the training in Missoula in March of 2018 which is a continuation of and new chapter in my journey. I can hardly wait to see where it leads!
// W H Y . B E C O M E . A N . I N S T R U C T O R //
I wanted to train to be an instructor because I wanted to be sure I could always have Oula in my life. I also want to be able to share the magic with others. I just wanted to take the next step to allow Oula to become a bigger part of my life.
// F A V O R I T E . P A R T . O F . T H E . T R A I N I N G //
My favorite part of the weekend was the last 5 hours when everyone gets a change to dance their song, bereviewed and then dance with the instructors and mentors. I didn’t expect to be so emotionally involved with each trainee’s journey through the training nor the support we all gave each other unconditionally. It was so real! I have not previously spent 20 hours with 27 women without a single snarky word spoken! Also, watching the instructors and mentors dancing with each trainee was a great opportunity to watch and learn techniques. The energy was so uplifting!
// W H A T . I . L E A R N E D . A B O U T . M Y S E L F //
I learned it is not enough to simply love myself. I learned I must also stop hating myself.
// M O S T . V A L U A B L E . M O M E N T //
I had a rough time when I watched the video of myself dancing for the instructors and mentors’ review. When I dance, I feel so much different than I look. I couldn’t imagine how anyone would want to be instructed by someone that looks the way I do in that video. I spend some time working through my feelings. At first, I decided I would just have to work harder to make my movements larger and more magnetic to compensate for the things I don’t like seeing. This gave me something I could control so it helped me get through until I realized that maybe people don’t see the me I see when I look in the Oula dance mirror/video and that maybe, just maybe, people see and feel how I feel when I am dancing. Maybe it REALLY is not about how it looks and is all about how it feels! What a concept!
// W H A T S . N E X T //
I am looking forward to getting certified! It is so fun to have access to the videos. They help me learn the choreography so much more easily than my simply attending classes. I am able to know the songs and learn the lyrics more quickly as well. I have been fortunate to have many willing instructors allow me to do practice songs in their classes. This is helping me gain the confidence I need to continue toward my certification class. I am also looking forward to continuing to meet new people and sharing the Oula concepts.
// I N T E R E S T E D . I N . A T T E N D I N G ? //
I would tell anyone to go for it! If you choose to engage/participate, there is nothing to lose!!! While I was so fortunate to attend the training via the scholarship, the value of the training weekend exceeds the financial cost. I would tell anyone that the time with the instructors/mentors and other trainees is an experience that cannot be replicated. Thank you!
// A D V I C E . T O . A . F U T U R E . T R A I N E E //
I would advise a trainee to not stress about the training. They should prepare as well as they can with their song, eat well and hydrate effectively in the days prior to training as well as during training, bring a thick pillow, open their hearts and minds to everyone and everything and to step outside your comfort zone but stay authentic.
Thanks for spending the weekend with us, Angie. We so appreciate your energy and positivity here at the Studio. We are looking forward to seeing what you do!

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