story and photo by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
Three kids, final exams and a 12-hour shift at the hospital in front of her.
Lauri Gosney has a way to deal with all of it.
She cranks up the music and let’s loose.
“I can’t not dance,” the Oklahoma City Community College nursing student said. “It’s my happy place.”
Gosney first went to college at Rose State where she worked as a lifeguard and taught senior citizen water aerobics.
The Zumba craze happened shortly after she had her kids. One class and she was hooked.
“I tried my first class in March of 2009 and started teaching in May 2009 and have taught ever since,” she said. “I just love to dance and I have absolutely no shame as far as dancing goes.”
And she’s helped hundreds get through quarantine and now social distancing through her online Zumba workouts via Zoom.
Gosney teaches classes at The Health Club in Norman, which has opened back up with distancing restrictions.
But for anyone who needs them, Gosney hosts online classes from her home.
An active group of friends and followers on Facebook find out her Zoom times weekly and attend from the comfort of their own home, garage, park or wherever.
“This is what I generally like to tell people: if you’re worried about what you you look like or about looking dumb just don’t care,” said Gosney, who loves to dance so much she once taught a class at 8:30 p.m. before having her baby six hours later. “We’re all working out having fun and enjoying dancing. No one cares about what the other people look like.”
“Focus on you because that’s what it should be about – your fitness or your stress relief or your enjoyment. If you enjoy what you’re doing you’re going to look cool at what you’re doing and people will want to do it with you.”
Gosney tells people they can turn off their own video and just watch her. Even she’s too busy to focus on 30 or more frames of people individually.
“It is a nice thing to get people a chance to try it who have been scared to try,” she said. “If I can see someone that’s new to a class I can break it down a little more.”
Gosney says she has the occasional participant Venmo her $5 or $10 but it’s not what she does it for.
“The amount of money I could make doing this is not enough to push it,” she said. “I just enjoy doing it. It’s a hobby for me. I like to dance. I’d rather just dance and people come rather than try to make $30 off a class.”
“I feel like I have a following. People have been coming to my class for 10 years.”
Gosney graduated from Harrah High School before heading to Rose State to play soccer. Her soccer coach also happened to be the boss at the college pool.
She would spend 10 years as a lifeguard total, even earning lifeguard of the Year for the entire southwest region twice.
“I’ve got that competitive nature so any competition I’m going to try really hard,” she said.
Now with kids ages 14, 11 and eight, her next competition is with herself and nursing school.
A stay-at-home mom for 14 years, Gosney wanted to find a career with security. She settled on nursing.
“It kind of was more of a necessity,” she explained. “I found out I was pretty good at it.”
At the hospital, Gosney works on a critical care floor taking care of anywhere between eight and 12 patients as a certified nursing assistant.
“I was definitely shocked at how much work there is,” she said. “I don’t sit down a lot. It’s go, go, go, go but I kind of like it. It makes the day go by so fast.”
It’s fast-paced and good experience.
I definitely wanted some experience,” she said. “I had never even worked in a healthcare setting and if I was going to become a nurse I wanted that experience and just be able to get my foot in the door as far as what kind of nurse I would like to be. And using the skills I’ve learned so far at the patient bedside setting will help me be more confident as a nurse.”