After taking her first Zumba class in 2008, Yulissa Arescurenaga knew she had found her life’s passion. The pulsating Latin beats called to her, and she knew she had to make this her life’s career.
However, at the time, there were no other certified Zumba instructors out there like Arescurenaga. The 24 year old California native has Down syndrome, but was determined to reach her goals.
For years, Arescurenaga worked tirelessly to in order to memorize a variety of Zumba dance routines. Arescurenaga practiced six hours a day learning new steps, rhythms, and routines that she would hopefully one day teach to enthusiastic crowds.
Finally in 2012, the dancer achieved her dream of becoming a licensed Zumba instructor, and now teaches classes in San Francisco. She is the first person with Down syndrome to be a certified Zumba instructor.
Recently, Arescurenaga was invited by the Alaska Chapter of the National Down syndrome Congress to teach a few classes at the Service High School and The Alaska Club in Anchorage, Alaska. Her classes filled up, and eager students followed along to her fun routines.
Arescurenaga is not only inspiration is those with Down syndrome and autism, but women everywhere. She shows that with hard work and dedication you can achieve any goal. Check out the video below to see more highlights from Yulissa Arescurenaga.