Finding Self – Part 1

When you’re petite, have melanated skin and smile a lot, you tend to get asked for your ID a lot more than most over 40 year olds!! I’m not complaining or bragging. I’m proud that with my hectic life (two kids, marriage, a physically demanding job, and owning a business), that I don’t look as worn out as I could. Is it a beauty cream? Nope!

Here’s my secret… movement!

My movement is dance!  And for me, the byproduct of dance is joy!  And then I feel like I can conquer anything!  I feel like a true badass! 

It took me a while to get to this place but now I am here.  And I am celebrating myself and other over 40 fabulous women by entering the FabOver40 competition – voting started today btw.  Here’s my link https://votefab40.com/2022/oreet-jehassi-schwartz 

If you just have to know more about how I finally got to this badass place, below is my the first installment of my blog series called “Finding Self”. Enjoy.

The Letter

“Dear Mom & Dad,

When I was 10, I went to sleep away camp for the summer… do you guys remember?  Yeah, I had some good times, but I also remembered feeling super lonely, left out and not loved. Why?  Because all the kids in my bunk received weekly letters and care packages from their parents.

And you guys… were not one of them.  And it hurt.  It hurt a lot!

I wondered… why were you both so different?  I wanted you guys to be like the other kids’ parents.  The kind of parents that sent me gifts with “I love you” notes, so that I could be and feel like the other kids. Or at least, be the kind of parents who would write me back!  Yep, I got zero response from all the letters and postcards I sent to both of you.

Then one day I decided to write my last postcard to you both.  I remember that postcard vividly.  It was one of those plain, white, pre-stamped, 13-cent postcards. I stated that this was my last letter and that I will never write to you both again – because I was hurt.

Until one day that summer (and only one), I finally received a response. You guys might not remember – but I do.

Your message was short and sweet.  I could see that you both struggled with your writing and grammar.  You guys may have been embarrassed or thought I wouldn’t understand, but after that day, I did.  I understood. 

See, at the age of 10, I had no concept of how you guys navigated through the world.  I mean, the U.S. was still fairly “new” to you, having immigrated in 1968.  You were living in a world that was different from what you were accustomed to, yet all I could grasp was that you guys were so different from other parents.  

Although the 10-year old version of me wished you’d sent me letters and care packages – now, the over 40 version of me is grateful that you didn’t. 

Cuz I get it now. 

Your “I love you” notes were disguised in a different way. 



So, if you’ve been here for a hot minute, you pretty much know most of my story.  But if you haven’t, let me introduce myself and give you the quick and dirty…

Hi!  I’m Oreet – a 4’10, woman who started SharQui in 1998 at Gold’s Gym in NYC.  It all started because I wanted to “fit in” in this ever-evolving dance and fitness industry, and then quickly realized that my mission has morphed many times over within the (almost) 25 years SharQui has been around.  Yeah, it took me a while to get here but I’m still running this baby, and now, with a small but mighty team of four.

If you feel like you’ve just got to know all the dirty, dance details about moi, (well, not all) then feel free to binge my blog series called, My Journey.  Go ahead and grab some popcorn and your favorite beverage and then come back here… this is chapter 1.

And for those of you who’ve been here for a hot minute, I figured it was time to share a little more about how my story and moments have shaped who I am today (warning…I’ll be getting a little more personal.) 

So, hold onto your seats until next week where I‘ll go deeper into my personal journey and the lessons that came from them.

Oh, and tell me how you flaunt being over 40 and f*cking fabulous!!

Ciao for now, 


P.S. If my story moves you, I would love your vote. Thank you for participating in the celebration. Here’s my link https://votefab40.com/2022/oreet-jehassi-schwartz.

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