After years of feeling underrepresented in auditions and dance teams as a plus-size Latina dancer, Jessie Diaz-Herrera turned to Instagram to share her talent. After the warm online responses from over 17,000 followers on her account @curveswithmoves, Diaz-Herrera started teaching body-positive dance classes in 2017.
In the two-and-a-half-hour sessions, she creates a safe space for all-level dancers by emphasizing that “it’s not about the moves, but about how you feel.” Many of her students have gone through traumatic experiences and use Diaz-Herrera’s dance classes as emotional therapy.
On top of being body-positive spaces, Diaz-Herrera’s classes also have a cultural component. Growing up in a Dominican and Puerto Rican home, dancing was a central part of the Diaz-Herrera family reunions. Now, Diaz-Herrera shows pride for her heritage by presenting a fusion of traditional and modern Latin dances in her classes.
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