ZUMBA: “Exercise in Disguise”

FIRST OFF: I hope you all are keeping up with this weeks challenge – devoting at least 20 minutes each day to yourself. If you find this difficult, no worries – you are not alone, I have found this to be one of my biggest personal challenges to overcome.

Big announcement (as seen on my twitter) : As of yesterday, I am now licensed to teach Zumba classes! What is Zumba? This Latin-based dance style that is a fun, high energy workout in disguise! It is a combination of 4 latin style dances: Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, and Reggetone. With all the body movements, hip shaking, and intermittent bouts of high intensity and low intensity cardio – you can torch hundreds of calories in just one session — Just by dancing and having fun. FINALLY, a fun way to get our cardio squeezed into our workout plan!

Morning learning materials 🙂

The day began bright and early in downtown LA at the convention center, where they were holding the I.D.E.A. Health & Fitness Convention. We kicked things off with a Master class session, one full hour of a high intensity Zumba routine. Now, I will let you all in on a little secret: I have never taken Zumba before…so you can imagine the confusion I went through as everyone followed along with ease beside me to the quick movements. I know you are probably asking yourself why would I get licensed to teach something I have never even done before?! Well, the truth is I did it for several reasons. I have always wanted to try it (but never got the chance to), and growing up with a background in dance, I figured this would be a great way to bring dance back into my life while giving people a fun workout, where technique is not required. I also did it in part for my mom. She would always rave about how much fun she has doing Zumba, and then eventually she would shake her little hips around the house to the dance moves. I felt like this could be a way to have that extra connection with her while living on the opposite coast; even  more so because, I could really see how happy this workout style made her feel (just a little kindred side-note for you all, haha).

When you think of a group fitness instructor, we tend to picture  Jane Fonda  with the classy ankle warmers, spandex, and that dang head-set yelling out each high-energy movement in a contiguously peppy manner. One major flaw about me you ought to know – I am SO scatter-brained, and slightly dyslexic. You do not want to take a step aerobics class with me. I would confuse everyone with lefts and rights, and I would end up announcing one movement while performing something completely different. Zumba, on the other hand, is preferred to be taught with no verbal instruction, but rather by simply mirroring the instructor…thank goodness! That was when I knew this could be a good fit for my style.

After about 4-5 hours of dancing, I was finally given my certificate…and purchased my Zumba Instructor Membership where I get all the inside scoop on new music, apparel, and best of all – networking with other instructors! While I may have been completely exhausted and drained, I have to say it was beyond worth it, and I cannot wait eventually teach my first class! :

Felix and I with Joy (one of the instructors) and our certificates!! yay

The crazy twist to yesterday was that Felix was first of all a life saver on keeping me up to speed with learning the technique, but he also ended up being best friends with a friend of Mat and I who just so happened to be visiting us this week from North Carolina! We really live in such a small world.

So happy to be finished!!

I highly recommend giving this  class a try – it is an exciting way to spice up your work out with heart pounding rhythms and full body toning movements.

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