Several years ago, Angel Kinssies’ world was turned upside down. She lost her best friend and husband of over 40 years after a short 4-month battle with cancer. During her grieving process, she was diagnosed with melanoma, a very serious form of skin cancer. After the initial shock wore off, she thought that maybe she should just give up. She was understandably depressed and had lost her will to live.
After much persuasion, Angel agreed to join a close friend for a Zumba® class. She admittedly was a bit overwhelmed at first and after about 10 minutes she left, vowing that she just couldn’t do it. She weighed 200 pounds and had chronic knee pain. She couldn’t get the music from class out of her mind though and something inside of her urged her to return. The next day, she went back to the class and stood in the back…this time mostly watching. But she began to slowly move her arms around a bit and found herself getting lost in the music. The class energy was infectious and she slowly felt a familiar feeling of happiness for the first time in a very long time.
It wasn’t long before Angel was regularly attending Zumba class 3 times a week. She found an instructor she loved, Hugo Garrido, and began to feel joy creep back into her life. After two months of steady Zumba classes, Angel’s body began transforming. She had lost 17 lbs and was feeling a sense of pride, both emotionally and physically. She was completely inspired by her instructor Hugo and started making friends with other Zumba students.
“It was not just the dance in the Zumba class, but the energy with all the people…like a family. Just the love that you feel with everybody,” she said.
Friends and family noticed a change in Angel too. Six months into it, Angel was in the best shape of her life and had lost a total of 36lbs. She found herself smiling and laughing again.
Four years later, Angel has become a licensed Zumba instructor and teaches a total of of 8-11 classes a week in Pompano Beach, Florida.
“I never thought I’d get my joy back,” she said. “I feel so good when I’m in class telling people that are older than me, that if they are a widow, and they are going through grief, they can get past the pain and get their joy back…even people who have had cancer. There is life!”
Angel aims to inspire others the way she was inspired by Hugo…and despite the many hardships she faced, feels so grateful that she was given a second chance.