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A Magical Healthy Heart

Hey Sweet Hearts!

We are in the last week of February and heart health month and black history month are coming to a close. 

I want to honor both by bringing awareness about heart disease in women, especially black women.

Black women have an even higher chance of dying from heart disease—and at a younger age—compared to white women, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.  Statistics show that:

  • Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African-American women annually.

  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.

  • Only 1 in 5 African-American women believes she is personally at risk.

  • Only 52 percent of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

  • Only 36 percent of African-American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

When it comes to heart disease prevention, it’s no secret that getting active and staying active is important.  There have been long-standing discussions about how black women don’t work out for a multitude of reasons (mainly hair).  So, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to shout out all the black women in the fitness and health industry who inspire and encourage others to be kind to their hearts. 

To all my sisters out there promoting a fit and healthy lifestyle whether you are a doctor, nurse, fitness instructor, dietician, or health coach etc. I salute you and the work you do!!   I’d like to highlight a young woman who found a way to bridge the gap between her first love, Ballet, and fitness.  I’m not talking about Barre (although she teaches a mean Barre class), but a signature style that fuses Ballet and Zumba®.  She’s a Zumba® Jammer for the state of Maryland and bubbly black girl magic in a bottle. I’m extremely proud to call her my dear friend and sister, Miss Kéarsha Saxon. 

Kéarsha Saxon was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She started dancing at the age of 12 in BSA’s TWIGS Program. In 2002, she graduated from The Baltimore School for the Arts with Honors and in 2006 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of South Florida.

One of her greatest achievements was performing in Castano Primo, Italy in June 2006. She has danced principal roles in the City Nutcracker, Paquita, Raymonda, and Missa Brevis to name a few. She has worked with three professional dance companies The Stephanie Powell Ensemble in Baltimore, Maryland, Premiere Dance Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble in Rochester, Michigan. Kéarsha became a Licensed Zumba® Fitness Instructor in October 2010 and has enjoyed every minute.

She is licensed in: Zumba® Step, Zumba Sentao™, Zumba® Gold, Aqua Zumba®, Zumba® Toning, and Zumba® Kids and Zumba® Kids Jr. In October 2012, Kéarsha became a Licensed Zumba® Jammer for the state of Maryland, which is her highest promotion in the corporation. In 2018, Kéarsha presented the very first Zumba® Kids ZIN™ Session at the 2018 Zumba® Convention and presented three sessions at the 2019 Zumba® Convention: Zumba® Kids ZIN™ Jam Session, Kizomba ZIN™ Jam Session, and Get to the Pointe, a new session that incorporated Ballet with Zumba®.  She will return as a presenter at the 2020 Zumba® Convention. Other notable accomplishments include being a Master Presenter on the KarmaVacations Dance Fitness Cruise for the last two years.  She will also serve as the choreographer for this year’s Pre-Game Blazers Zumba Performance at the Portland Trailblazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies game in April.  Continue to shine your light and inspire!    Follow Kearsha on Instagram: @kearshazj

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