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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (July 9, 2015)
Active in the community Coastal Life
With a husband in the U.S. Coast Guard, Zumba instructor Karla
Nayelli Dalida makes an effort to be involved in the local area
oving from one home to
another, one city to anoth-
er, is, for most of us, one of
life’s more difficult trials.
Yet for U.S. Coast Guard
families it is a regular and
frequent occurrence and an
event they learn to accom-
plish with a certain confi-
dence and equanimity. In
the time it would take most
of us to fill the new place
with moving boxes, the av-
erage Coast Guard family has unpacked
the boxes, arranged the furniture, enrolled
the kids in school, and volunteered for half
a dozen organizations.
“I love to be involved in the communi-
ty whenever we move,” says Coast Guard
wife Karla Nayelli Dalida, Nayelli to those
who know her. “It’s the best way to meet
new people, especially those with kids the
same age as yours, and it’s important for
the Coast Guard wives who are self-em-
Dalida provides child care for a local
church, helps out at an elementary school,
and has volunteered for fundraisers against
cancer and — on Aug. 7 — to help a fam-
ily that was victimized by thieves. She’s
also self-employed as one of the area’s
most popular Zumba instructors. Therein
lies a story.
Dalida’s early life was spent in San
Diego. After her parents’ divorce, she at-
tended high school in Calexico, California
while living with family in Mexicali, the
capital of Baja California. Every day she
would walk across the border to school
and back that afternoon to Mexico.
In 1996, two years after graduating
from high school, she moved to Ha-
waii, because it was, “an opportunity
to see something new,” she says. While
in Hawaii, she met and married Joseph
Dalida, who was then in the Navy. They
had their first son, Joseph, in Hawaii,
and when his hitch was up, Joseph Sr.
chose a career in the Coast Guard as an
operations specialist. The new family
moved to the Seattle area, where they
bought their first home, and their other
two sons, Julian and Javier, were born.
Eventually the family found themselves
4 | July 9, 2015 | coastweekend.com
Karla Nayelli Dalida teaches a Zumba class at Astoria Arts and
Movement Center, located at 342 10th St.
Story and photos by DWIGHT CASWELL
The Dalida family have made Astoria their new home following Senior Chief Petty Officer Joseph Dalida’s transfer to town with the
U.S. Coast Guard three years ago. Pictured from left, Javier, Nayelli, Julian, Joseph Sr. and Joseph Jr.
in San Diego where, Dalida says, “The licensed as an instructor.
boys got to see where I grew up, and I
“I have no dance background,” says
was able to connect with all the family.” Dalida, “but I love dancing. Dance and fit-
It was also in San Diego that she was in- ness together were perfect for me.” Since
troduced to Zumba.
then, Dalida has been licensed in Zumba,
“I’ve always liked working out,” says Zumba Kids, Zumba Toning and Zumba
Dalida. “I stayed fit after
Step, a new take on step
each child with home ex-
The Dalida family
One set of DVDs was
moved to Astoria three
a Zumba program. “Then
years ago, where Dali-
For more infor-
I discovered Zumba had
da teaches six classes a
live classes,” Dalida
week, plus Zumba Kids
says. In fact, San Diego
classes during the school
Zumba classes go
had scores of Zumba
year. Each class has 16
classes. Dalida went to
different music tracks,
one class after another,
with exercise programs
finally focusing on her
specific to each song.
favorite. The instructor
For each class meeting,
began putting her up at
she changes two or three
the front of the class be-
of the songs on the list
cause she knew all the
because she wants to
exercises to the dance music that is the keep it fresh. “Students can put more into
heart of Zumba, and eventually she sug- it if they know all the songs,” she says.
gested that Dalida take the training to be
Anybody can take a Zumba class.
“There’s no right or wrong way,” says
Dalida. “You can take it at your pace. If
you have physical limitations, like you
can’t jump, there are easy modifications.
And if you mess it up, make it part of the
The benefits of Zumba? “It’s a workout
that improves your balance, coordination,
and self-confidence,” says Dalida. “And it
makes you feel sexy.”
Dalida teaches two classes each at the
Astoria Arts and Movement Center, the
Hilda Lahti Elementary School in Knap-
pa, and the Ilwaco Boys and Girls Club.
On Aug. 7 in Seaside she will join seven
other local Zumba instructors for Zum-
ba instruction followed by a dance party
to benefit the Campuzano family of Sea-
side. The Campuzanos had $30,000 dollars
worth of possessions stolen in California
in January while on their annual road trip
to visit relatives in Mexico.
“Zumba is for every age,” Dalida en-
thuses, “and you just have a better day
when you start with Zumba.”