• Jerri Haslem

Speak Up📣


It’s #ThrowBackThursday & #TodayIWill #SpeakUp📣 Never allow your voice to be silenced. The year was 2004 and I can recall every nuance. The name of the facility was #SportsFirst located on Highway 280. I had applied to teach #StepAerobics. The Director of the Fitness Program told me to arrive early enough to complete the application prior to my demo/audition. When I walked in and greeted the front desk I told her I was to fill out an application per #Julie. She said, you must be mistaken she’s over the Aerobic Instructors, but we do have some openings for #Housekeeping. I am too dark to turn red, but I bet I looked like a ripe tomato😂 I elevated my chin, dropped my shoulders and in a calm authoritative voice said, I’m Jerri Haslem. I’ve submitted my resume to Julie and she’s expecting me on today for my audition.(Insert Fake Smile). Out of nowhere, Julie appears and says it’s a pleasure to meet you, your resume is filled with some amazing fitness experience, and welcome. Let’s do the audition and you can fill out the paperwork afterwards. Y’all already know I didn’t come to play during that audition. I decided whether they hire me or not, when I finish these folks will know who I am, period. Back then, you choreographed your routines, you needed to know the top of the phrase, how to put together a 32 count block, how to mirror, and hear the difference between the down beat and the up beat. When I finished the demo, she asked me if I could start the next week?


I taught the 5:30AM Step Class! My first class I arrived early, and was sitting on the step of the stage as students arrived. Everyone was curious as to who was the new teacher. It was no one in that room that looked like me, I was probably a size 8 and the largest woman in the class. There were like 3 men and one was very petite but the other two were larger than yours truly. As I sat there, thinking 🤔 and pretending to lace my shoes. Dreading to look up to one more size zero woman giving me the eye of who is this new student...I stood up and spoke up, Good Morning I’m Jerri your instructor for today. Thank you for starting your morning with me, we are going to have a great classic I believe in safety, I will provide modifications and let’s sweat. I turn my back to get the music started and one person leaves the room. I then think, aww hell I’m going to beat the brakes off of this class (Yes I know this was petty) hunches shoulders and insert (blank stare) The music starts I give a warm up and then I just start showing out with an intensity that’s crazy. One by one they start to get water and realize this chic has taught a class or two before😂 I end the class with a smile and I laugh like #VincentPrice I have several students to say, ummm that was great. I didn’t know what to expect, wow you can teach.. where have you taught before? I just smile, hand on one hip and I say #Thanks. I never answered their questions with my credentials and my actions I #SpokeUp #SignedJH🍑

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