Feb. 2, 2012, Vol. 10 Issue 2
People often ask me how I find my speakers, and the answer is that many paths lead to my door! Some find me through other speakers or by searching on the web. I find others through recommendations from other speakers, or they show up in my Google alerts. I often search out speakers for clients looking for a specific topic or angle, especially when I’ve worked with the client year after year and I know what they like. And one of my favorite sources of speakers is my clients themselves. Now that may sound counter-intuitive, but it works. Often it’s someone in their local market whom they highly recommend and who subsequently I can help step out into the national arena.
Such is the case with Chris Linnares, of Fargo, ND. I’ve been working with Mrs. Mikey Hoeven (former First Lady of ND) booking keynote speakers for her women’s health summits in Fargo and Bismarck for almost a decade. While I have recommended national keynote speakers for her, she drew on her local resources as well, and that’s how I heard about Chris. I’m excited to share her story and her exciting concepts for helping women be happier, healthier, and sexier — to become naturally the powerful force we were all meant to be.
For Health and Your Well Being
Chris Linnares is one colorful woman — not just because of her big smile, exotic accent, and exuberant personality — but because she’s re-invented herself several times. She knows success, loss, depression, grief, big change, the pure power of joy, and the body’s ability to heal itself. She believes in the power of women, the beauty of women from the inside out, and the importance of giving back.
It was marriage that brought Chris to the frozen tundra of Fargo, ND, from the tropical paradise of Brazil, where she had already had a succession of successful careers as a psychotherapist, talk show host, author, professional dancer and actress. Now she added wife and mother to her roles — and challenges. For Chris the move was not just a climate change, it was a complete culture shock. Here was a woman who had been at the top of her game professionally in Brazil, and now she found herself uncomfortable speaking a new and strange language, English.
After the move, and additional life losses, depression set in. Her therapists wanted to treat her with anti-depressants but she resisted being medicated. “They said my depression was a disease. They wanted to take away this difficult time in my life and give me artificial happiness. But being sad is not always a disease. I had a right to be sad. I wanted to find a way out without being medicated.”
Her experience as a psychologist gave her a basis to yearn for a better way, and she was attracted to studies about the mind-body connection. A study about exercise triggered memories of dancing in Brazil, and how that had brought her joy. Cue the samba music! Chris started dancing and eating better. She felt better. She was working out at a gym and started talking with the owner about the mind-body connection and dance. It took some convincing (she was still shy about her English) but she finally agreed to teach a class. Forty women showed up for her first class and Diva Dance® was launched. “I saw those women and felt the fire,” she said. “I made fun of how I talked and the women responded to my humor. It surprised me. I was so happy that I was not alone.”
So what is it? Diva Dance® uses Latin and fun dance moves as a practical way to energize your body, empower your mind and express your soul. It’s the psychological element that Chris brings to it that sets it apart from programs like Zumba. Chris notes that in the dictionary, Diva is defined as “Divine” and Divine means “Powerful.”
“Power, at its core, is energy – a force able to make change,” she says. “So, any changes we want to achieve in our lives – our bodies, our relationships, our careers…we need energy! We need to find ways to unleash our power. Now, more than ever, I believe our world needs passionate, healthy and powerful people. People who have an abundance of energy to dance their own dance and make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
As a keynote speaker, Chris uses laughter, spirituality, and inspiration, to touch people deeply — connecting with her audience in a moving, powerful way. Her amazing life story, humor and unique ability to use dance as a metaphor, and as a creative and practical way to improve health and self-esteem, make her keynotes resonate for women — in their bodies as well as their minds.
Her mentor, Mikey Hoeven says, “Chris is one of the most gifted speakers I have ever heard. She is genuinely interested in helping her audience become the best they can be. Your attendees will walk away feeling inspired, happy and refreshed!”
Chris continues to live in Fargo, where she is a proud mom, step-mom and “part-time wife” to publisher and filmmaker Billy Black. Together, they created the social project Beautiful Women Of™ to encourage young kids to use Art and Literature as a way to expand the definition of beauty and bring human values to light. In 2011 more than 12,000 kids will have the opportunity to be touched by this mission. Among her many projects, she’s launched a line of pure and empowering products for women, called “Naturally Diva – from Head to Soul.” A part of proceeds will support Chris and Bill’s foundation, “Dance Your Own Dance.” Rather than raising millions to go to faraway places, their foundation gives small grants to individuals and organizations locally.
You can preview Chris on our website where there’s a video online. To bring Chris’s bright light and energy to your event, give me a call at 503-699-5031.
Getting My Nia Back
Speaking of dancing, I am so happy to be dancing Nia again. Last fall I discovered a new class right in my neighborhood — walking distance, no less. I was so happy, I shouted, “I got my Nia back!” Only two classes into the session, I sprained my ankle while out walking the dog in the dark. Ironically, I had gone out to see the full moon, and that’s when I stepped in a hole between sidewalks and went sprawling. It was a very bad sprain, requiring a lot of sitting with my foot up. I finally felt stable enough to go back to yoga in January. Now Nia is back in session, too. I’m stepping carefully, and and my body and soul are rejoicing.
Walking home from yoga this week, I looked up and noticed a whole wall of camellia bushes blooming, right next to my fitness center. Thought you might enjoy a hint of spring. Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.