In 2006, Ann Saldi’s twin boys were diagnosed with Autism just months before she auditioned to become a Zumba Education Specialist (ZES). She saw her world collapsing before her eyes. “I remember doing my Zumba trainings, and then getting in the car and crying my eyes out on the way home.”
Ann fell into a deep depression and gained a lot of weight. As an educator at heart, she always wanted to have a good influence on others, but sometimes struggled to convey those emotions when feeling sad inside. When Zumba creator Beto Perez visited her city for an event, he sat down and told her that the entire Zumba Home Office had her back. Though she had been putting a lot of pressure on herself professionally, this simple comment gave Ann a sense of relief.
She pushed forward, using dance and her kids to help her grow as a person. At her trainings, Ann always talks to her students and tells them her story; she learned that the more she talked about it, the better she felt.
“Today I am so proud of my boys. They knock me out of my socks because they are so smart! Every time my kids excel, I excel. They give me the strength to move forward and get out of my depression.”
So what are Ann’s tips?
1) Don’t be ashamed of yourself and your depression. Open up to people. It helps.
2) Know that deep down inside, in that dark place, there’s still a strong person in there that will once again shine!
Here’s a special video of Ann’s son Bobby singing at a Christmas Gala :