Dancing Helped War Veteran Surive After Combat

Angelica joined the United States Marine Corps in 2003. She was young, but she knew that service for her country was honorable and she believed that she could make a difference in this world. After being deployed to Iraq in early 2005, she was afraid to enter into an unfamiliar territory, a world completely unknown and a war that was very unconventional. However, she was optimistic, and she approached the mission with positivity.

On June 23, 2005, Angelica and her team were a target of a terrorist ambush that changed everything. The ambush was so severe that she was sent to the hospital with third degree burns and shrapnel wounds. Angelica was hospitalized for one month, had to undergo two surgeries, and was also treated in constant outpatient care for one year.

Physical and emotional scars threw Angelica into a deep depression. She needed an outlet, something she could be passionate about, something that moved her soul. So, she turned to dancing.

“Dancing was the only thing that could keep my mind and body occupied,” Angelica recalled, “After discovering the Zumba program, I was instantly inspired. The sound of the music, the beats, the rhythm, the choreography, and the movement, was soothing and healing. It ignited the flame inside of me and made me feel whole again. Dancing made my worries disappear and my fervor for life reappear.”

Angelica now uses this passion when teaching Zumba classes regularly. She wants her students to feel the same joy she now feels when they are dancing together.

“I dance not only for myself, but also to continue fulfilling my service to others looking for a positive change in their lives. The only difference is…this time Zumba fitness is my mission!”



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