Everyone that is born into the world, immediately begins their journey down the road called "My Destiny." That journey is symbolic of a blank canvas and everything that is painted on our canvas of life...struggles, accomplishments, trials, love, disappointments, wins, ups, downs; EVERYTHING-divinely molds us into our creation and designs our gift to share with the world. Gift - a natural ability or talent...something given willingly to someone without expecting payment or rewards; a present. Very often, we come in contact with people that share common or similar gifts, but Shauna Marie's mother realized that at a very young age, her gift to dance, motivate, and inspire was like nothing she'd ever witnessed. It served as a light, and EVERYONE was drawn to it.
Whether, she was playfully entertaining everyone at family gatherings or fearlessly performing in front of hundreds at the town's local talent show...she found her breath; dance. And she was willing to inhale everything that it embodied. Although, Shauna Marie loved all genre's of dance, one electrifying genre left a footprint on her heart that she would never be able to remove...hip hop! She was captivated by its very essence to capture people from all around the world, and make them speak a universal language.
From her early childhood through college, Shauna Marie performed on dance and step teams, cheer squads, and choreographed for pageants, concerts, music tours, commercials, and music videos. Dance became her life, and the rest was just rehearsal. After graduating, Claflin University in 2000, with a Bachelors in Biology and a minor in Criminal Justice she pursued her dad's dream for her and became a High School Biology Teacher.
Shauna Marie's father did not believe that dance was a "real" or stable career, and since she was the product of generations of teachers, he found it politically correct for her to follow in the family's footsteps. Only one major problem...her dream was to become a dancer and own a dance studio. For 3 years, she worked as a full time middle and high school teacher...she loved her job, she loved the kids, and ultimately recognized her gift of teaching. But, there was something missing...a void in her life that prevented her from feeling complete. To state the obvious, dance was missing and she was missing dance. To compensate for the imbalance she began to attend casting calls for professional hip hop dancers. Even pursued a group fitness and cardio kickboxing certification at a local gym, and taught weekly classes. But, there was still something missing. Shauna Marie kept searching for the missing pieces to the puzzle...there had to be a way that she could fuse her love and passion for teaching and dance. Months seemed to travel by at lightning speed, as she searched for the perfect plan of success, and to be honest she felt like she was losing time and she began to lose hope.
In 2004, Shauna Marie gave birth to her son, and it changed her entire outlook on life. Now, she had a TRUE reason to fight for her dreams, success, and faith. She began to pursue a second degree in dance to better equip her to become a dance studio owner. She was a full time mother, full time student, and worked a full time job. She woke up at 5am, had her son at daycare by 7am, was in class by 8am, clocked into work by 12pm, and was picking her son up and preparing to do it all over again by 6pm. Tired was an understatement, and being a single parent and having to do it by herself only seemed to make her frustrations grow. And to put the icing on the cake, because she had obtained a degree prior to enrollment, necessary monies were not allotted to her to assist with her tuition and housing for her and her 6 month old son. Money was running low, and she didn't want to disappoint her family, but time was running out, and she couldn't afford to lose the grasp on her dreams. A destiny altering choice had to be made...it was do or die trying. Stay in school or purse the dream? In December of 2004, Shauna Marie withdrew from Winthrop University and began to pursue a full time career as a professional dancer and choreographer. After several months of attending auditions and casting calls, Shauna Marie got her big break to nationally tour with a local R&B artist as a professional dancer and choreographer. Her credits include touring with Frankie Beverly & Maze, and The Gap Band, opening for Lil Kim, Exhibit, Big Daddy Kane, Montel Jordan, Shirley Caesar, Byron Cage, Bruce Bruce, and performing on BET's Revamped.
In 2005, Shauna Marie's dream was complete with the opening of her very own dance studio. With over 20 years of dance experience, and experience as a professional hip hop dancer and choreographer she brought a non-traditional, cutting-edge, and high-energy dance and fitness curriculum to children and adults that not only provided weight loss results, but motivated people to get in shape through the medium of just having fun! This is when Crunk Cardio was born! She had great success, and her business was an on an upward hill climb. But, there were 3 pivotal moments that would change her life forever. Six months after she opened her studio, the entire plaza went up in flames, six months after she re-opened she tore her ACL at a dance audition, and lost her ability to walk for a year, and one year later she had lost all of her clientele.
Shauna Marie had found her purpose, accomplished her dreams, and now had to start all over. But in her own words, "If you want to be successful in this world, you must understand that your talent only makes up 10% of your success; the other 90% is perseverance." Due to her injury, she was unable to walk, much less dance and she gained 65 lbs. But, she was not going to let her condition dictate her position in life. She began attending physical therapy sessions 5 days a week for 4 hours each day...struggling for the energy, pushing through the pain, and fighting for the day she'd be able to walk and dance again. She battled with her weight, but began to do the only thing she knew would work...Crunk Cardio Live® !
It took almost 2 years, but with God, and the strong support of her loving family Shauna Marie re-opened her dance studio and brought Crunk Cardio Live® back...bigger, better, stronger, and with more love for motivating and inspiring people to be their best. Crunk Cardio LIVE® with Shauna Marie is not just the "Hottest" dance party in the nation, but its her ministry; a platform to draw people closer to God and to motivate, empower, encourage, and inspire people through the medium of outrageously fun fitness.
My story is my testimony, and I thank God that He loved me enough to keep me during my qualification process for glory. Our struggles and trials mold us into people that we're designed to be, and push us into our purpose. How do we realize how strong we are if we never get knocked down? How do we learn to trust God if we know every leap of faith we have to take? It's impossible to know how and why are steps are orchestrated in a certain pattern, but we must understand that it is for our good. My gift to the world is to give, love, and motivate via dance. I strive to inspire every person that I come in contact with to come to terms with the fact that they may not be perfect, but they are wonderfully created in the Lords image. My reward is to help others achieve their mental, physical, and spiritual goals. Words can't articulate what I feel when someone has lost the weight, improved their confidence, and has begun to love who they see in the mirror. Thank you to my family, friends, and crunk diva's. But, I give the honor to God for trusting me with a gift and a testimony that would allow me to give Him all the glory!