Meet Corrine Chu
By Beverly J. Clark, Publicity Director
Meet Corrine Chu. She prefers to be called “Corrina.” Corrina began her City career in 1969 with the Library as a Clerk Typist. After 33 years, she retired in 2002 from City Planning in the Code Study Division.
Corrina loves to sew and used to make clothes for her daughter and her daughter’s dolls. Now that she is Retired, she keeps busy teaching dance classes in Alhambra, San Gabriel and Rosemead. She teaches 29 classes that include tap dance, jazz dance, yoga, Pilates, line dance, stretching, social dance and Zumba. Her favorite classes to teach are tap and jazz. She developed a special line dance combination that combines pop, rock and Latin moves. Her students range from age five to 96 years old, and they often put on performances and recitals for various events.
Corrina has always worked a minimum of three jobs even when working with the City. She has one son, Casey, and one daughter, Hollie. “Casey is my inspiration,” Corrina says “At the age of 17, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening ailment but was able to overcome it after many months of treatment.” Hollie graduated with a double major. She is a teacher and has two daughters.
“My community service involves donating to nursing homes a special blend of body wipes made for sensitive skin for their patients. They are difficult to find, and I order them from HSN (Home Shopping Network).”
What words of wisdom can you share with those Retired or about to retire?
“I have a chalkboard on which I’ve inscribed the following: ‘Eat Well, Sleep Well and Keep Good Friends.’ These are words I live by. I remember listening to a radio talk show psychologist some time ago, and she said, ‘People go to get their needs met where they get met.’ That statement stuck with me. So when I have a dance class scheduled and only a few students show up, I reason that their needs were not met and I’m okay with that.”
She also incorporates another slogan into her daily life from a prominent TV psychologist: “You teach people how to treat you.”
What did you do to prepare for retirement?
“I had not actually prepared to retire when I did. However, after 9/11, going to work became a hassle. I worked in City Hall, and every morning just to get to my office I would have to take off my shoes and have my purse searched, and then there was a white barrier in front of the building that made it a little more difficult to get dropped off. I realized that I met the criteria to retire, so I did.”
What do you miss or don’t miss about your years working for the City of Los Angeles?
“I love to dress, and enjoyed dressing up to go to the office. I enjoyed receiving comments on how professionally I dressed.”
As you reflect on your City career, would you have done anything differently?
“Working for the City was not my first choice. My plans were to be a sociologist. I loved people and wanted to do something in that field. I married and began a family, so my plans changed. Also, with the ensuing divorce, I found myself a single mom needing to take care of my children and maintain stability. However, I do not have any regrets working for the City.”
How do you fill your days in retirement?
“Along with my passion for teaching dance and fitness, I love doing crafts and cooking. I have not traveled much but would love to do so. I welcome anyone who wants to stay healthy and keep active to join one of my classes.”
“I love to dance, and I love music. I love a variety of music and I encourage everyone to listen to music more. Music, healthy eating, humor and moving are great ways to self-medicate. I enjoy people. There is always something to be learned from each person I meet.”