Roxanne Darling

Roxanne Darling, photo by Tracy Wright Corvo

Roxanne Darling loves to travel, speak in public, be on and in the ocean, and is giving up working really long hours. She walks the line between technology and communication with a ballerina’s balance (she used to dance at the Palo Alto Dance Theatre and is a certified yoga instructor) and has a way of inspiring even luddites to try new things with technology. Please let it be known though, perhaps as a graduate of UC Berkeley, she is not a bystander or interested in the status quo! Click here is you want to book Roxanne as a speaker.

Roxanne's Work and Education History

Roxanne Darling is an early adopter. She was in the first graduating class at University of California Berkeley that wrote their own custom degree programs. Hers was Bachelor of Science from the School of Natural Resources, in Marine Ecology, and provided her with opportunities to study with extraordinary teachers – starting a trend for a lifetime. These days, she would say that is merely because she is a voracious student – and how could she not attract these brilliant guides? She traveled for over four months on sabbatical with Mary Lou Preston (now Coulston), one of three female instructors in the Biology Dept at UCB – which had over 100 male instructors. She received her UCB-approved for research SCUBA certification in 1973 – one of the first women to complete this grueling 10-week course that was modeled after Navy Seal training. (Required to be covered un the university’s insurance policy for conducting underwater research.)

She worked with Ron & Valerie Taylor to produce the Oceans book in one of the Time-Life Nature series; they went SCUBA diving for sharks at night to get footage for the Taylor’s TV show back in Australia, laying the early desire Roxanne would develop for internet video! She studied with Dr. Robert Risebrough, who discovered that DDT causes eggshell thinning in pelicans – his research directly impacted their survival. She was hired immediately after college by Dr. Ken Norris, who was responsible for discovering that whales and dolphins use sonar for navigation. She was part of the research team that conducted the first ever marine bird and mammal surveys off the Southern California bight. One of the high points was a glassy day on the water in their 60′ research vessel, while a 100′ blue whale swam just beneath them!

She gave up a budding career as a marine biologist to follow a deep, though fully untested desire to dance ballet. The well-known teacher, Richard Gibson, accepted her into his school at age 23, where she studied full time with 14 year olds. She joined the company and performed with the Palo Alto Dance Theatre before opening her own dance and exercise studio in Santa Cruz, California. She took her first aerobics class from Jane Fonda herself, and the famous studio in Beverly Hills.

Roxanne then became one of the original aerobics pioneers. A presenter at the first ever aerobics convention in San Diego in 1984, on the committee to write the first international certification exams, the first to teach low impact and mind-body aerobics both in the US an in Japan and Europe. She wrote the first fitness certification training manual, “No Train, No Gain!” Originally typed on a typewriter and xeroxed for her workshops, in 1986 she got her first Apple macintosh computer and taught herself desktop publishing and Filemaker database software. She created a unique community fitness leader training program that she taught in over 35 states, focusing primarily on indigenous communities from Alaska to Maine, working with Navajo, Hopi, Seminole, Cherokee, and many more tribal nations.

In the early 90s, she took a little time off to have a mild nervous meltdown, dealing with some deep-seated issues of depression. It worked and this time of her life continues to remind her that one never knows what others may be going through – act with kindness and respect.

She introduced “body esteem” to the early self-esteem awareness communities, led in part by people like Jack Canfield, publishing “30 Days to Body Esteem” and being featured on CNN, and in Vogue, Shape, and numerous publications. She built her first website in 1997; she gave the first talks on blogging, podcasting, and social media to the Hawaii business community starting in 2005. She and Shane produced one of the first video podcasts (aka internet tv shows), Beach Walks with Rox, which earned numerous awards and was the first of its kind to produce a daily show – going for 402 days straight! She produced Hawaii’s first Podcamp and Wordcamp events, attracting over 400 people and live-streaming both days to the world. She produced the first social media campaign on Maui, for the Maui Visitors Bureau in 2010. She won Best Social Media Campaign in Hawaii, in 2011 for her innovative work with the Lanai Visitors Bureau.

Please read some of her public speaking testimonials here.

View the Bare Feet Studios company testimonials here.

Photo Credit: Tracy Wright Corvo Portrait Photography
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