Tag Archives: Zumba

Lessons learned in the classroom

14 Aug

As a group exercise instructor, it is my mission to give each class participant motivation, encouragement, a challenge, and a fun time during class so when he/she walks out of my class, he/she feels better, stronger, more energetic, and glad that he/she made the effort to attend my class.

Last Wednesday morning in Zumba at Northside YMCA, I had a new class participant and she had never tried a Zumba class before.  I made sure to chat with her after class and encourage her to come back.  She proceeded to tell me that it’s the first class she has been back to after losing her mother unexpectedly at the end of June.  I could tell she wanted to talk, so for 20 minutes I listened….shared a little bit of my story of losing my grandmother a few weeks ago…and shared how being physically active can help us through dark, emotional moments. We both shed a few tears and then she gave me a hug and a little kiss on the cheek and thanked me for listening and said she would be back.

In this same class I have a senior lady who attends….I figured she was in her late 60s…she has been attending for a few weeks now…always smiles…has a great time….and makes sure to thank me after class.  I was moved to tears when another participant shared me the story of this lady, Phyllis.  Phyllis is 79 and is the caregiver for her husband who has Alzheimer’s.  She hires a sitter once a week so she can attend my class. I was overwhelmed with emotions after hearing the stories of these two ladies.

That is why it is vital for me as an instructor to give 110% in every class…no matter how I feel or no matter the day that I am having.  It is not about me….it is about my class participants.  Health and wellness is more than just physical fitness….it is emotional wellness…..it is mental wellbeing….it is experiencing moments of joy, happiness, and fulfillment.

I want my class participants to leave my class feeling like a better person…a stronger person…a healthier person….and feeling empowered, encouraged, and motivated to face the rest of their day no matter what may come their way.

More lessons I’m learning from the classroom….

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Zumbathon for YMCA Change a Life

19 Feb

The Knoxville Zumbathon was from 2 – 4 today at the downtown Hilton.  However, doors opened at 1 and demos of Zumbatomic, Zumba Gold, and Zumba Toning began at 1:15.  There was no swimming pool in the room so there was video of Aqua Zumba playing so participants could see what an Aqua Zumba class is all about.  Over 300 participants were in the ballroom…and that doesn’t include the 80+ volunteers and sponsors that were helping out.  This Zumbathon raised $10,000 for the YMCA Change a Life Campaign for the East Tennessee YMCA!!!! One of the things that I LOVE about Zumba…..you can fill a room with people, get 20 instructors to get on stage and “instruct” 2 songs, and everyone can follow along and have a great time for TWO hours while burning lots of calories and getting healthy. Now I teach other formats and enjoy teaching them – but what other class can bring all ages, fitness levels, shapes, sizes and ethnicities into one room…even if they have never participated in that class before…and keep them moving for two hours — AND keep them smiling and having a great time???? From the moment the music kicked in for the demos until the end of the last song, the energy was high – the excitement level was intense – and the room was rocking 🙂 The instructors were just as diverse and unique but each one rocked the stage and brought his/her individuality and were truly “superstars”.  Endorphins were high…..heart rates were up…..the workouts were ditched….and the party was joined!!!!  What a way to raise some money!

Zumba Love :)

18 Feb

Zumba instructors having fun

One of the fun things of being a Zumba instructor is you never meet a stranger when you meet another instructor.  It’s cuz we are one big family and there’s lots of love to show.  We’re all so busy with life, classes, etc that we usually don’t get time to just interact, converse, have fun, and get to know one another.  Someone had the clever idea for us to meet at Pelancho’s so we could network, mingle, laugh, and eat.  At this first ZIN night out, there was 30+ showing the Zumba love…..and we were in “normal” clothes and not all hot and sweaty!!!  By the time we were done, everyone knew we were in the building….because Zumba instructors are always ready to throw some Zumba moves!!!  There was a group of people next to us celebrating “Angie’s” 40th birthday…..well, guess what?  We all knew Angie by the time the night was over.  We became part of her birthday celebration and even “performed/instructed/danced” three songs for her and her crowd….and then we sang “Happy Birthday” to Chris.  We do more than just “teach”….we bring laughter, fun, and movement wherever we go.  Life is too short to not live in the moment and spread the love and joy of moving.  Bailamos!!!