Dancers story Jacqueline Valdez from Florida
My name is Jacqueline Valdez; I’m 38 years old and a pole studio owner, dancer and instructor from Gainesville, Florida. My school is called Elegant Body Pilates.
I’m a unique dancer and studio owner and I am originally from Denver, Colorado, where I professionally danced, choreographed and performed modern, African and jazz dance. I have had the opportunity to showcase my choreography and over time received many awards. I was featured on Fox TV’s “Comfest” acting and performing one of my pieces of choreography as a tribute to teen suicide. Over the years I have also done commercial and modelling on the side.
I now reside in Gainesville Florida and in 2001 was labeled “Gainesville’s newest and hottest young choreographer”. I own and am the sole teacher of my one of a kind women’s studio “Elegant Body Pilates with Jacqueline Valdez”. I run a unique studio inspiring, motivating and pushing my clients to be confident and strong. Many people say my style and grace inspire them. I am even labelled in town by many “The best Pilates instructor of Gainesville”. I added pole dance to my curriculum. My group of ladies are so amazing and so supportive they have welcomed my new talent with open arms.
I am a vegetarian and live a healthy lifestyle. I do love my share of pizza and macaroni though! I work hard on avoiding negative people and surround myself with only positive and supportive people. I follow my mother’s example and live life staying positive and having fun. Regarding my own fitness routine, I do pole workouts several times a week and incorporate other fitness activities into my daily routine.
Over the years I have come across many students with illnesses and injuries. I myself had a horrible neck injury due to a car accident and pole dancing has helped me rehabilitate my own injury. I work hard rehabilitating students and donating my services to raise money for charities on behalf of others. Currently we are working on a charity event in memory of my mother, Angie Valdez, who just recently passed away from Scleroderma. This is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease (primarily of the skin) characterized by fibrosis (or hardening), vascular alterations, and auto antibodies. There are two types: Diffuse – rapidly progressing and affects a large area of the skin and one or more internal organs, frequently the kidneys, esophagus, heart and lungs, or Limited – mainly affecting the hands, arms and face. I want to share my mother’s and my story and let others become aware of this horrible disease. My parents were my role models and whom I enjoyed to have in the audience watching me perform.
As a recommendation of one of my clients I began pole dancing late last year and it has changed my life. I work hard to stay ahead of what is coming to the public in the fitness world, so learning pole was nothing unexpected. I actually found getting into the pole world very welcoming. I think pole dancing is a fun, sexy, challenging and artistic form of fitness. It is a thrilling way to dance and yet at the same time it builds up strength, confidence and flexibility. I have also found myself more in touch with my feminine side and found myself allowing my sexy side to come out more and let my shyness peel away. I enjoy putting my heels on, twirling so carefree around the pole and having the glitz and glamour take me away to a fantasy world.
At this time I have been teaching workshops throughout the community and at my studio. I have choreographed and performed in one show that luckily my mother got to watch before she passed. I usually choreograph for those that do compete, although I not at this time. I would be interested in participating in more events especially as I start to grow as a dancer. In the pole world I have done some ad campaigns, modelled clothing, a breast cancer ad, pinked my pole and various interviews to name a few. I am excited to meet all the wonderfully talented dancers out there and share my passion with them. I am very excited and look forward to seeing where the pole dance journey will take me. I am hoping more doors will open up for me as I am excited to embrace more opportunities in the future.