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The Dance and Fitness Life: Meet Shazzy Fitness Instructor, Kristie Cansler!

Kristie CanslerMy name is Kristie Cansler and I live in Virginia.  I am a wife to a wonderful husband, and a mom to a wonderful “tween” son who is 10 years old.  My husband and I have been married for 13 years.  I have served as our son’s assistant Vacation Bible School teacher for six years and served as a mentor for my church’s Ladies’ Mentoring Fellowship Bible Study class for four years. 

In the community, I am an active member of the Hampton Roads chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc., which is a national organization for mothers of color, of which is open to any mom who supports its mission. I held various leadership roles in this organization during different seasons of my life.  As a Stay-at-Home Mom, I served as one of the six charter members of the re-established chapter and as the Support Group Meeting Topic Coordinator.  Upon returning to the workforce outside of the home, I served as the Working Moms Network Coordinator.  Later, I served as the Vice President and the Tweens & Teens Network Coordinator where I coordinated such events as a Meet & Greet at my house, a Laser Tag outing, and a glass blowing demonstration at the Chrysler Museum of Art. 

By profession, I work as an Educational Counselor at a university where I get to serve students who are pursuing advanced degrees.  In my spare time, my husband and I like to explore different culinary restaurants since we are both “foodies.”

Kristie CanslerFitness and dance have been a part of my life since the time my mom used to take my siblings and I with her to her Jazzercise classes when we were children.  As I got older (high school and college), I started going to Jazzercise on my own.  In high school, my sister and I rehearsed and performed a dance routine at a “Drug Free Zone” talent show at our school where we danced vigorously to Janet Jackson’s and Heavy D’s “All right” song.  During my high school years, my siblings and I made our own dance videos at home to such artists as MC Hammer, Kool Moe Dee, and others. 

During graduate school, I worked as a Graduate Assistant in the residence halls (dorms) and was responsible for programming for the undergraduate female students, so I thought I would put together a Jazzercise routine for them, based on my significant amount of experience with the format.  I executed the class with only two students in attendance, but it was still a successful class! Years after graduate school, I got married and my husband and I relocated out of state and I found another Jazzercise class and attended on a regular basis but eventually stopped.

Over the next several years, I attended two different types of dance fitness classes off and on, neither of which sat well with my spirit due to some of the lyrics or some of the choreography moves, so I stopped attending multiple times.  During the “on” time, I taught a 2-minute dance fitness routine to my co-workers and we performed it during our work "fitness themed" Christmas party to Mandisa's song entitled "Good Morning." 

Kristie CanslerRecently, after the final time of me not attending those two types of dance fitness classes, I decided to make my own “clean” dance fitness routine.  I needed some additional choreography, so I Googled “Christian Dance Fitness Classes” and Shazzy Fitness popped up!  I read and re-read what they were about and was in agreement with its mission and signed up for their instructor certification training.

I agree with Shazzy Fitness founder and CEO, Kristy McCarley, when she states that all facets of life should be God-honoring, and I am grateful for this ministry outlet that allows me to have fun working out without compromising with things that do not align with the Word of God.  My life verse is "...Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38.


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