There are a few things you should know about me, one of them being my current level of hip-hop skill is on par with Taylor Swift in her “Shake It Off” video. I’m not a huge hip-hop fan and for all intents and purposes, you should know I am not a dancer. I have tried Zumba before through the YMCA and found it fun, but the choreography was hard to keep up with. So I hang out in the back during all group classes and try not to make too many sudden movements. 

Naturally, when I heard about a dance studio that welcomed adults, I needed to check it out. Recycled Barre is a nonprofit organization founded by two Latinas in Chicago with a passion for dance. It offers grownups the opportunity to learn ballet, modern, hip-hop, jazz, and more at a discounted rate. They just launched in Pilsen last month and have been bringing dance classes to many of the Windy City's underserved and predominantly Latino neighborhoods. 

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When I was younger, my family couldn’t afford to send me to a professional dance studio. The cost was just way too high for a family with four kids. So I tried one session of ballet through the Park District and despised it. I was the oldest kid in the class (by about five years) and was so embarrassed, I asked to stop going. I felt like I had missed my chance. 

Well, lo and behold my next opportunity would come about 10 years later! Here’s my experience trying hip-hop.

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Michelle Rivas is a Founding Creator and wellness blogger. When she's not writing for, you can find her on her at