Community invited to Dance for Mandy
Dance Tech Studios will host Zumba class
March 24, 2017
Dance Tech Studios owner Nicole Fielding was teaching class on March 28, 2016, when she noticed a pack of emergency vehicles converging to an accident.
"One of our studio's windows looks out to I-80 and it was very disconcerting to see all the emergency vehicles arriving at the accident," Fielding told The Park Record. "I knew in my gut that the accident involved someone I knew.
She was right. The crash took the life of Amanda "Mandy" Streit.
"When I did learn it was Mandy, I felt an utter devastation for her mom for losing a child," Fielding said. "In my eyes, she was a perfect loving human being."
So, when two of Streit's friends, Lisa Phinney and Celene Calderon, asked Fielding if they could host a Zumba class in Streit's honor at Dance Tech, Fielding went a step further and donated the space.
Dance for Mandy that will be from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at Dance Tech Studios, 786 Division St. The event is open to all ages and abilities.
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"We will dance for 75 to 90 minutes and share our memories about Mandy," said Phinney, a Zumba instructor for Basin Recreation. "People don't even have to dance. They can just come and watch, because this is to celebrate Mandy's life. We have missed her presence and essence so much."
Streit loved Zumba.
Parkites could see her nearly every Sunday for six years dancing alongside Phinney at Basin Recreation on Sunday mornings.
"My husband Chris' class was the first class she attended and then she came to mine afterwards," Phinney said. "Mandy had her spot immediately to my left. She was one of my very best friends."
After the accident, the Phinneys thought about dedicating a class to her, but it wasn't until Calderon brought up the idea again a couple of months ago.
"We considered doing a special class for her last year, but at the time, I didn't feel like I was mentally prepared yet," Calderon said. "I was struggling at the thought she was really gone and she wouldn't be there in her designated spot. I was in a place of denial for quite sometime. Doing a one-year master class in honor of Mandy was a no brainer."
Since Fielding donated the space for the event, there is no admittance fee, but people can donate if they want.
"Our goal is to get a memorial dedicated to Mandy or donate to one of her causes — National Ability Center or Mountain Trails Foundation," Phinney said.
Phinney loved Streit's enthusiasm.
"She was hearing impaired, but it was so cool to watch someone who, while not hearing the music, dance to it while feeling it," Phinney said. "I mean, the whole basis of Zumba is 'feeling the music' and she really did."
Streit was also a warm presence in the classes.
"She was the first person to greet a new person to the class," Phinney said. "She would always ask how you were and not make the conversation about herself. She was also a champion for the underdog."
Streit was an inspiration for the Zumba community.
"She was featured in a Zumba magazine called Zlife that reached more than 7,000 people worldwide," Phinney said. "After that was published, other hearing-impaired people wrote in and said they wanted to try Zumba."
Calderon and Streit formed a friendship after a few steps into a Zumba class.
"Mandy stole my heart from the moment she took class with me," Calderon said. "She always would let me know which songs she approved of and which were so-so. But music and Zumba were the two things that bonded us and was always a constant conversation between us.
"We are taking some of her favorite Zumba songs from the years and having one big celebration of her life. If there's one thing that Mandy taught me it was to live, love, laugh."
Streit's mother Martha Harward introduced Fielding to her daughter.
"I met [Martha] when my son was at Treasure Mountain Junior High, and she was the most influential in his life within the Park City School District," Fielding said. "She was there for his academic and goal-setting needs and got him through school. I am ever grateful to her."
That's how she met Streit.
"Regardless if she was running late, Mandy never failed to stop and say hi and ask how I was doing," Fielding said. "I felt a love from her."
Fielding would like to see Dance for Mandy become a yearly event.
"As a mom, I would want that for my child and I am ready to commit a space for that as long as Lisa and Celene will do this," she said.
The community is invited to Zumba for Mandy, a Zumba session that will celebrate the life of Mandy Streit from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at Dance Tech Studios, 786 Division St. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted. For information, visit http://www.facebook.com/events/400644303628794 or http://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-for-mandy-zumba-class-tickets-32790409999. In addition, Lisa Phinney's 9:30 a.m. Zumba class at Basin Recreation will be dedicated to her.
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