Home > Uncategorized > Studio Zahiya Dancer Profile: Jen Ferre

Studio Zahiya Dancer Profile: Jen Ferre

Jen on stage at the Moulin Rouge Benefit

Profession: Grant program administrator

Hobbies/Interests: Gardening, cooking, preserving food, off-the-wall movies

Family: Married to Brett Spivey for 14 years. Their baby is Mellow, a pit bull mix.

Dance changed Jen Ferre’s life.

“When I started Lisa’s classes about two years ago, I was overweight, approaching 40, and my self-esteem was diminishing,” Jen said. “Dance not only helped me lose weight, but it was also the spark that ignited a whole array of life changes. Since I started dancing again, I am happier, healthier and heartier than I have ever been in my life.”

Jen dances in Lisa Zahiya’s bhangra and Bollywood troupe, Bala!, and has taken Lisa’s classes since 2009.

“I have so much fun in every class,” Jen said. “Lisa is very supportive in her teaching. She creates an open and welcoming environment with her joyful spirit and kind heart. She makes me feel good about myself, and I always leave class feeling like I accomplished something important.

“Plus, she’s just so funny!” Jen added. Lisa entertains the class with anecdotes from her life, and her internal monologues periodically spill from her head to her mouth. She’s not afraid to laugh at herself – and that is contagious to the dancers, standing in front of the mirror watching their reflections move up and down to high-energy Indian music. Her students appreciate reminders not to take themselves too seriously.

Jen also values the camaraderie with the other dance students and the interaction with the audience.

Jen as a young dancer!

“The performance troupe has brought me to the next level in my dance journey,” Jen said. “I feel that there is no better way to celebrate dance than to share it with others. That’s the part of being in the troupe that I love the most. Yes, it’s fun to wear pretty costumes and put on jewelry and make-up, but it’s great to see other people enjoying the performances so much. It takes a lot of work and time, but it’s very rewarding.”

Dancing with Lisa also brings back Jen’s fond childhood memories, a time when dance was a key part of her life. Her first ballet recital was at age three.

“I’ve rediscovered the reasons why I love dance in the first place—it’s fun, challenging, a way to express myself and it’s in my blood,” she said. “I got back into dancing thinking it would be a great way to help lose some weight. The weight is gone now, but I’ll keep dancing!”

written by Megan Riley, www.wncmretc.com

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