Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified individuals to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against sexual violence.
This year we’re celebrating Take Back the Night in Hamilton on Thursday, September 18th at Hamilton City Hall.
More details about the event here.
We’re highlighting the amazing performers that bring life to and share their skills with us during our TBTN rally.
Maria Isabel Garcia Castro is a Zumba instructor in Hamilton and will be getting folks moving and bringing the energy to our TBTN rally.
Why do you march at TBTN?
I march for me, my mother, my sisters, my friends, coworkers, and students! I march for those without a voice, because I feel I have strong voice and can scream to the world that for sure we are NOT ALONE and that we reclaimed our right to walk without feeling scare or being abused.
How did you start leading Zumba?
After attending a few classes from another great instructor in the Stoney Creek area, I realized Zumba was something I like to do as my job. I became and instructor on April 16, 2011, a few weeks later I started to do my own little class at the basement of a church downtown Hamilton. I sometimes had 3 people, sometimes 8, sometimes none, but I kept that class going for 6 months.
Now I teach an average of 13 classes a week.
What excites you about leading Zumba at Take Back the Night?
That I can reach out to people, especially women, who have never been able to explore dance and fitness they way I did! I have found a way to feel free! To be alive and to care about me through Zumba, and I want others to feel that too!
Do you have a particular TBTN memory that you would like to share?
I remember I was able to take my boys to take back the night and they were really excited to be there, I felt safe and strong walking with them and the whole group down the streets! We chant together that we are not afraid. I was grateful for the opportunity to show and teach my kids from a very young age that we are equal and that we need to respect each other.