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✹ ✺ SALSA Dancer COMPETES to spread a message of CONFIDENCE and It Goes Viral ✹ ✺

DENVER – What started off as an escape has turned into a career for Latisha Hardy.

Now, she’s in the running to spread the message of how salsa dancing changed her life to the world.

The first time Hardy put on her dancing shoes, it was almost by accident.

“These really sexy Latino boys came up to me,” she recalled the story like a telenovela.

They asked her if she danced salsa, and she said no. They followed that with an invitation to La Rumba in downtown Denver. She accepted, and fell in love with salsa immediately.

“I felt like Baby in Dirty Dancing,” she said.

With it came a newfound confidence she didn’t have before. A few years ago, Hardy said she was in a really bad place. She lived in Las Vegas and was constantly drinking, smoking and going out.

“I was coming out of an abusive relationship. Physical, verbal, mental, psychological — all of it,” Hardy said.

(Photo: Tom Cole, KUSA)

She finally put her foot down and said no more. Hardy moved to Colorado, left a corporate job and decided to dance for a living.

“I want everyone to feel that much self-assurance and esteem and love for themselves,” she explained with tears in her eyes. “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Now she’s competing to be the face of a salsa shoe company she’s respected for years, GFranco.

If Hardy wins the competition, her picture and name will be shown wherever the products are sold. Her message of confidence and empowerment would be recognized nationwide.

(Photo: Tom Cole, KUSA)

The vote is open to the public until Dec. 20 and folks can vote once a day.

Click here to support Latisha.

© 2018 KUSA-TV

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