In Rachael's memory . . .
Thank you to everyone who supported our recent Zoomathon in Rachael's memory - we raised £920 for St Ann's Hospice where Rachael spent her final weeks.
Rachael and I first started working together as early as 2002 when she came to deliver some one off jazz dance sessions with my senior students at Deana Morgan Academy. Right from the moment she walked in to reception I knew she was something special. Tall, willowy, elegant, immaculately made up .... wow, she knocked my socks off and she hadn't even danced a step!
Interestingly Daniella & Joshua were two of the students in her class that night and they too remember vividly her powerful presence and incredible talent. A gifted dancer and a cracking teacher; one of those people who stands out in your memory and you will refer to as truly inspiring.
At that time she was still working professionally for Princess Cruises as their lead production choreographer, based in Los Angeles and yet she always gave time up on her rare visits home to come and get stuck in. When she suggested "retiring" and coming home to start the next phase of her career I offered her the role of Vice Principal and so we came to really cement what was to become a very exciting working relationship.
Zumba had already hit our shores and I was already teaching classes but when Rachael got hold of her Zumba reins she really took the Zumba scene by storm. We decided her skill set would be better used to ride the Zumba wave and so we set up Zumba Bradford together and enjoyed unprecedented success. At one point we had over 22 classes a week running with a team of Zumba instructors. She also launched her very own "Zumba Bradford Belles", a performance troupe of willing ladies who embraced all things Zumba and more importantly all things "Rachael"! They performed in many high profile events across the North of England and to critical acclaim!
Once the Zumba bubble began to fade we launched ALLSTYLEDANCEWORKOUT but to be honest we felt at the time that we were pushing water up hill and that the market wasn't ready so we shelved it until such time as we might bring out, dust it off and start all over again!
In 2018 Rachael was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer following a few months of feeling unwell. The diagnosis came as such a shock to us all and none more so than Rachael who preferred to deal with her illness behind closed doors. Sadly, she slipped away from us in October of 2019 and the void she leaves is enormous. In her final months we corresponded by email & messages and we laughed & joked about some of our many escapades. I also pointed out that I reckon we had one of the most successful Zumba Dance Fitness businesses in the UK! With Rachael's very full dance career and her Zumba endeavours she leaves quite a legacy!!
Her tagline for allstyledanceworkout was "Let's Do It All" in other words, no genre, no style, no music should be left out and that was pretty much Rachael's code . . . so as Rach would say "let's crack on!" . . . Rachael, we will "Do It All!" for you . . . . . sleep well. Love you always, Deana XXX
All Style Dance are hosting a Zoomathon fundraising event on Rachael's birthday, Wednesday 3rd February 2021. Proceeds in ai of St Ann's Hospice.
Click the link to buy your spot on the dance floor.