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Experts / August 2018
Sarah Corda, Global Newsroom

Jessie Diaz Shows Her Strength In The Gym And On The Dance Floor

Dance and Crossfit may seem like an unlikely pairing. However, for Jessie Diaz, dance was “a part of her journey” that lead her to her passion for Crossfit and all things fitness.

“Crossfit has been a gift to me” says Diaz. The inclusivity of Crossfit is what makes it so appealing to her.

“Crossfit allows you to work out with a comradery of people doing the same thing” notes Diaz.

She loves feeling like she is “a part of the team” in an environment where everyone is emboldened to achieve their unique goals.

In addition, Diaz loves the theme of unity that is present during each Crossfit class. The welcoming environment encourages you to push yourself to be your personal best, with plenty of challenges along the way.

“There is always something to aspire to and always a next level to get to” which keeps Diaz constantly motivated. “What healthy looks like for me is having more endurance, having more strength, and having more definition.”

“There is always something to aspire to and always a next level to get to” which keeps Diaz constantly motivated. “What healthy looks like for me is having more endurance, having more strength, and having more definition.”

She serves as a role model to all women because of her unapologetic promotion of confidence and body positivity. Diaz epitomizes what it means to #BeMoreHuman and positively influences those around her each day with her strength.

As a child, Diaz fell in love with dance, but it wasn’t until she started dancing hip hop that she found her groove—literally. “As a ballerina there’s sort of a certain standard, and it’s funny because, there’s such a vocal standard of what you’re supposed to look like as a ballerina. And hip hop was one of those genres where it doesn’t matter what you look like as a hip hop dancer. And for me, hip hop was one of those things that transcended gender, race, size, and was a just a great way to bond people together who had, you know, different things about themselves.”

When asked about how she reached this positive place, Diaz notes “It definitely didn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey. Body positivity isn’t a thing that just one day ends and you suddenly feel confident.”

Diaz wanted to promote these ideas when she noticed a lack of voices. She says “I really just started becoming an advocate and I found that there weren’t a lot of women and men who were dancing in the plus size community at the time”

When she began posting on social media and blogging, the reactions were amazing. “I started to see the reactions of people saying ‘I wish I could dance like you!”

Now, Diaz teaches dance classes that have an overarching theme of body positivity. “I created a safe space where women can dance and not feel judged. It turned into such a phenomenon and I have such a loyal class members that come to every class.”

“I realized there were a lot of people who wanted to dance but were scared of being the plus size girl in the room.”

“What’s beautiful about my classes is I have white, black, Hispanic, Asian, from 16 years old to 60 years old, and it’s just so nice to see the variety of women that come to my classes. They’re like 1/3 body positive expression, and 2/3 dance.”

Diaz takes being a role model seriously, and notes: “What people don’t realize is that when you start being an advocate for something, you’re going to get people who tell you their story and relate to you.” She wants to ensure she makes every individual feel confident about themselves, and does so in the messages she sends to her followers and class attendees.

“The energy from these women feels so great. I could dance alone, or record a video, but it’s not as fulfilling as being in a group of women where everyone is just like “Yes! Go!”

“The energy from these women feels so great. I could dance alone, or record a video, but it’s not as fulfilling as being in a group of women where everyone is just like “Yes! Go!”

The ability to influence others through dance is something Diaz is grateful for. “My body is allowing me to dance in a way that feels great, so I should thank my body for allowing me to have rhythm and for allowing me to move the way I can.”

Diaz is passionate about fitness, whether it be dance or doing CrossFit. She embodies #BeMoreHuman as she encourages self-affirmation and loving yourself each and every day.

When asked what advice she would give to other women, Diaz says: “If you really want something, put your mind to it and don’t let the stereotypes or people tell you that you can’t do it.”

“Just keep pushing. Know that every time you fall, you get up even stronger.” Diaz empowers others to do the workouts that give them the same fulfillment she gets from dancing and doing CrossFit.

Join the women making change at reebok.com/bemorehuman, and #bemorehuman

 

 

Photographs courtesy of Amanda Saviñón.

Experts / August 2018
Sarah Corda, Global Newsroom