Team: Board of Directors
I am certified in the following: Zumba® Fitness, Zumba Gold® (for beginners or active seniors), Zumba Toning® (includes body-sculpting using Zumba Toning Sticks®), ZumbAtomic® (for children ages 4-12), Zumba Gold Toning® (specially designed Zumba® classes for the active older adult or deconditioned participant using Zumba Toning Sticks® to enhance rhythm and build strength), and Aqua Zumba® (the "pool party" workout for all ages using the Zumba® formula and traditional aqua techniques). I provide instruction at classes throughout San Diego County at local YMCA's, dance studios, local high schools, Libraries, and through the city's Parks and Recreation Department. Originally from Venezuela, I have been closely involved in dance all my life. I am one of the first Zumba® instructors in San Diego and have built a regular following throughout the county with my high-energy professional instruction and everyone is welcome attitude.
After my daughter graduated high school, I had the opportunity to join her in college. It was at this time in my life that I was looking for a career that allowed me time and flexibility to pursue philanthropical interest in my community.
In 2014 I founded a small floral and event design company, called Petal Vision Design and Events. From the very beginning my mission was to stay small, make a personal connection with each client and give back something to my community for every event I did. Whether it would be a percentage of my sales, a donation of flowers from an event to be repurposed and delivered to patients in hospice care or my time serving the community. These volunteer efforts have given me back so much more than I could have ever imagined and have allowed me a platform to serve others.
When I met Lis and heard her story and journey with her son Juan Carlos, I was compelled to serve her Non-Profit Organization. I want to help in any way I can and offer any of my experiences in an effort to continue the legacy of the Juan Carlos Program.
I am excited and honored to serve on the board of JCO with all of the wonderful and dedicated volunteers, as we celebrate The 5th anniversary and spread our wings into the future.
I am a native San Diegan and the mother of three grown daughters. My husband Steve and I enjoy traveling and entertaining friends and family in our Mission Hills home. As a polio survivor who was stricken with the virus at the age of 8 months, I was left with some residual weakness in one leg. I began taking Zumba® classes with Lisbeth Garces in October of 2011. Hearing about Lisbeth's late son Juan Carlos and his affliction with Muscular Dystrophy struck a chord with me. As Lisbeth's vision of a non-profit organization grew into reality and she began to speak about her mission, I realized that Lisbeth's core message and my own life's perspective had converged. In early 2012, I joined the Board of Directors of the Juan Carlos Organization.
After 30 years as a special education teacher, I retired in 2009. That fall, instead of going back to school, I joined the YMCA. I had always loved to dance and one of the first classes I tried was Zumba® with Lis. I had such a good time that I went in search of other Zumba® classes, but always came back to the classes with Lis. She has a way of making exercise feels like fun and not work. She intuitively knows how to pace a class for the group and our abilities. It is always a good challenge, but not too difficult.
This was also a time of many transitions in my life. My daughter was on the east coast finishing school and getting her first job. I lost my father and moved my mother to San Diego. Then my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Through all of these events in my life, Zumba® classes with Lis gave me relief from emotional pains and comradeship with the group of women and men who regularly attend her classes. Dancing brings me good mental and physical health. By joining the board of the Juan Carlos Organization, I have found my spirit and I am able to help bring the joy to others!
The mission of the Juan Carlos Organization is to stimulate joy, acceptance and achievement for people of all ages with physical, sensory or cognitive challenges through guided dance and rhythmic exercise programs.
The "Dance Therapy Exercise Program" is targeted towards individuals with special needs, especially those with movement challenges due to age or physical limitations. The concept was born, first and foremost, from Lisbeth Garces' personal experience with her son Juan Carlos' wish to be as active as he could be, despite his disabilities due to Muscular Dystrophy. Development of the program also has been influenced by her experience of living with a mom who suffered from Parkinson's Disease before she passed away, and with an older sister who still lives with Cerebral Palsy. These life experiences stimulated her to build better relationships with the special needs community and with the world. This program of strengthening body movements in an atmosphere of personal trust encourages each participant to express his or her best efforts.
Every class in the Dance Therapy Exercise Program provides the special needs community with physical and mental challenges, as well as socialization opportunities. Having fun through an exercise program with Zumba® based routines enhances their health and wellness and acquaints them with the enjoyment and benefits of regular exercise in their lives. Stimulating their physical and mental capacities regularly can ensure more successful responses in achieving their everyday life-skills goals. Zumba® is a fusion of Latin and International high-energy music and dance moves. The routines are a gentler version of Zumba® with combinations of fast and slow aerobic dance movements that tone and sculpt the body. The program has built-in incremental routines to support steady improvement of the students.
The professional leadership of the program director, Lisbeth Garces, certified Zumba® instructor, combines a personally-compelling family reality with her present instruction of these classes in San Diego through the YMCA, the Centrol Cultural de la Raza, the public high schools, and the branch libraries.
1. Increased physical fitness promotes cardiovascular strength, tones muscles, and sharpens alertness.
2. Participation in music and dance therapy builds self-confidence and self-esteem and improves socialization skills.
3. Special needs people are among the most disenfranchised in our society. Participation in a craze that is sweeping the world promotes normalization.
For more information on the importance of physical exercise for adults with disabilities, see:
"Adults with disabilities should strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week..." -- in 'Key Guidelines for Adults with Disabilities,' p. viii, 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 2008
Address: Juan Carlos Organization
P.O. Box 90352
San Diego CA 92169
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Copyright© 2013 Juan Carlos Organization. All Rights Reserved. Juan Carlos Organization is a not-for-profit organization. Articles of Incorporation classifying the Juan Carlos Organization as a tax-exempt, non-profit with 501(c)(3) status were approved on May 4th, 2012 by the California Secretary of State, and the organization became IRS approved on September 21, 2012, retroactive to May 4th, 2012. See the IRS Determination Letter.