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Keeping Community Connected in Crisis

Instructor teaching Muevete from home

"Digging Deeper for Better Food Access and Better Health"

Big thanks to Edible East Bay for covering DSAL and the Dig Deep Farms Food Hub. The article, written by Austin Price, describes how the Food Hub is helping to address food insecurity and chronic health conditions that exist where the current food system disenfranchises low-income communities of color. Dig Deep Farms works to close those gaps and build a thriving local food economy. Click here to read the full article.

“Muevete is a great workout! ”

Before having kids, Kelly Soffioto-Scott was into fitness, but with two young boys in elementary school--one with special needs--she has a lot to juggle. Like so many stay-at-home moms, Kelly found it hard to keep up a regular exercise routine. But then a flyer from her son’s teacher about the DSAL Soccer League caught her attention.

“I noticed all of the programs they offer for kids, and then I saw Muevete, the one where they are dancing,” said Kelly “And I realized it was right up the street from my house!”

Having a fitness program so close to home made it much more feasible for Kelly to work out, and she soon discovered that she loved the Muevete class, and especially DSAL’s exuberant Muevete instructor, Angie Gonzalez.

“Angie is my absolute favorite,” said Kelly. “Muevete is a great workout and Angie is amazing. "She’s super-encouraging, and her energy level is so motivating! I was hooked. I like the environment, too. It’s nice to be in the classes with all the other women.”

After three-and-a-half years participating in Muevete classes, Kelly has found that she’s getting a lot more than just a workout, she’s also finding friends and community.

“I've met a lot of girls. We keep in touch on Instagram, and it's really fun,” she said.

Dealing with the COVID Shutdown

Kelly’s husband has been fortunate to be able to continue working throughout shelter-in-place, so the family has not been financially impacted like so many others. Kelly is very grateful for that, but, she says managing the distance learning for her two boys has been a challenge.

“I feel bad complaining about home-schooling, while other parents actually have to juggle work-at-home and then home-schooling. but it’s still definitely challenging for me, because I have a special needs kid and a kindergartner,” she said. “They call it distance learning, but I had to facilitate every step for each child. They’re not at an age where they can sit there and independently complete their work, so that is my biggest challenge.”

Dancing From Home

Since the shelter-In-place orders went into effect, Angie’s Muevete classes have moved online, to Zoom and Instagram. Kelly loves being able to participate in the program from home, especially because the videos can be watched at any time.

“It's nice because you can still view it later on in the evening,” she said. “Sometimes, if I can't get the full workout in because of my kids—if they're acting a little bit wild and I can't really focus. I can still download it and then do it on my own time. Sometimes I have to pause and say, ‘Oh shoot, I have to stop right now and be a mom.’”

Although she loves the convenience of on-demand dancing, Kelly is looking forward to getting back to in-person classes, and getting back to normalcy.

“I would love to get back to the regular routine, dancing with the girls and just being able to get back to a regular schedule," said Kelly. "I like to do the evening classes. And I was able to do some of Angie’s morning classes when the kids are at school. That would definitely be top on my list.”

What would Kelly like to make sure people know about DSAL?

“With DSAL, you can make a donation, but essentially, it’s free,” she said. "People don't realize that there are all these programs with amazing instructors. People don’t know all the people that it takes to put these fitness programs together. It’s really great that you provide this for the community.”


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