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Personal Story

Mi historia

Enough of fancy, schmancy biographies. So, I’ve sold a few DVDS, won a few awards and been in a few magazines. Now let’s get personal. Who is Ana Cabán, really? Well, I have no rags to riches or fat to thin story to share, (although I have packed on the pounds once or twice in my life.  See photo at left, for proof). However, what I do have is a bunch of interesting tidbits of my life that I am willing to share, should you be interested. If so, read on. If not, this page will self-destruct in 60 seconds, anyway. (Just kidding).

  1. I began dance lessons at the age of 3 ½ because according to my mother I “twirled around the house” every time she put on music, which was basically all of the time.  You see my father is a tech-guy.  And our house was wired for sound, with speakers upstairs AND mounted into the ceiling of our furnished basement, (where I gave many a dance performance, I will have you know).  Did I mention that this was many years ago?  Yeah, I can confidently say that we were hi-tech, even back in the 70’s.
  2. I may seem outspoken now, but I was painfully shy and was held back a year from starting kindergarten, for just that reason.
  3. I began teaching dance in the 6th grade, to children in the lower levels of the school that I attended in my hometown of Amherst, MA.  (So I’ve been teaching movement for over 30 years!)
  4. An entrepreneur at heart, my first business was in the 8th grade, making stationary out of those big old Esprit catalogues that wouldn’t stop arriving after I ordered one item from them (my white mesh Madonna-esque tank).
  5. I was nearly an author at 13, writing a book about my solo-travels to and life as a “tween” in India.  Key word being “solo”.  Yes, that’s right.  When I was 12 I flew off to the hilltop town of Panchgani (Hindi for 5 mountains), without my family, to attend an international boarding school, BY MYSELF.  (I realize the redundancy of that sentence but left it in for added effect).  This life-altering experience has been tantamount in shaping me into the person that I am today.  I have a true appreciation and gratitude for my life, and all that I have, and will always be humbled by that experience.  As for the book, let’s just say that at the time, being a 13 year-old girl was more of a priority to me than being an author.
  6. My first “real job” was running a balloon shop for $4/hour, at 18 years old.  Not only did I run the shop, (i.e. answer the phones, fill orders, do inventory and order balloons), I did all of the deliveries.  Did I mention that I was in costume?  I was either in a tuxedo, dressed as a clown (with rainbow wig and red clown nose) or as a gorilla.  Oh, I failed to mention 2 key things: 1. It was summer in humid Massachusetts, in other words HOT!  (Balloons frequently popped when being forced into my light blue ’86 Chevy Nova and the gorilla deliveries were brutal).  2. If the customer paid $5 extra I had to sing.  Trust me, I’m surprised that the balloon recipients didn’t pay me $5 to stop singing at their doorsteps.
  7. I have always been a gypsy spirit.  While many people would find it impossible to live 3000 miles away from their entire family I have always been one to go where the wind blows me.  Or more accurately where I felt inspired to go.  (Don’t believe me?  Refer back to #5).
  8. Prime example, bored with high school, I took math and English classes one summer to graduate high school a year early.  Instead of just putzing around my hometown I moved to Colombia and Costa Rica for 10 months and learned Spanish, (again, sin la familia).  Then I came back to the states in time to start college with all of my high school classmates.
  9. I’ve always cared about others’ feelings.  When in college and dining alone I would feel badly for other people dining alone, because in my mind they had no one to sit with.  (In hindsight, maybe they wanted to be alone.  I was.  Who knows?)  It’s strange but true.
  10. Another college anecdote?  While a student at Umass/Amherst I taught aerobics for the P.E. department and Flamenco (which I learned studying abroad, in Seville, Spain, junior year) for the Continuing Ed. Department.
  11. So after graduating college I moved to NYC to pursue a (short-lived) career in dance, on the suggestion of a friend (who has consequently become an international superstar).  And a few years later, opting for warmer weather, I packed my bags and boarded the Amtrak to Miami.
  12. A few more years later I was approached by a company that wanted to expand their award-winning Yoga DVD line into the Pilates genre.  (Surprisingly, it wasn’t until the other day that I realized that I was a Pilates DVD pioneer.)  The first day of shooting my Director and Executive Producer told me that I was “a natural” on camera.  Truth be told, I didn’t even notice the cameras.  You see, my dad studied film in college and therefore chose to document my brother and my entire lives on film.  There was always, and continues to be, a camera on us.  In fact, it has gotten so bad that we have since changed his nickname from “Pops” to “Popsarazzi”. LOL
  13. According to “Popsarazzi”, I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer.  I never wanted to just “get a job” and I certainly didn’t want to be what I called a “corporate pawn”.  I knew that whatever I did I had to really give a damn about and it had to be of some real benefit to others.  That’s where you come in.  What I do is all about you!  Sure it tickles me pink to be healthy, happy and fabulous (to eat healthy, exercise and be a kind and conscientious human being).  But what really moves me is when something that I have said or done has inspired you to make your own life, or the life another, a little bit better.  That’s what moves me.
  14. Speaking of my dad, there is not much that I enjoy more than dancing salsa with him.  One of the perk’s of going to college in my hometown was that my dad, being the coolest dad ever, would actually get out of his p.j.s to meet my girlfriends and me at the university’s salsa parties when we called him to complain that there were no good salsa dancers there.  At his retirement party there was even a request from one of the guests for he and I to dance for the group.  We kindly obliged.  We always knew how to cut a rug.
  15. A wise woman once told me that I “suffered a lot in a past life”, so I should ask for whatever I want in this life and it will be given to me.  So far she has been right.  She also told me that I am a “teacher and a leader” which is perfect because my hope is to teach and inspire YOU.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. If I do nothing else, I hope that I inspire you to be fearless and to go after your dreams.

VIVA La Buena life!

Ana