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ZINCON Schedule Excel Worksheet

Posted on February 23, 2018 by under Projects, Zumba.    

The Zumba Instructor Convention web site launched last week and so I did what I normally do every year that I go to convention — I created a worksheet to help me build my ideal schedule. ZINCON registration doesn’t actually open until February 28 but the schedules are posted so we can all start building our perfect schedules. Then, when the appointed time comes, everyone descends upon the site to make sure they get their top choices.

The scene when registration opens is a lot like this one in Big Bang Theory.

So many people are hitting the site all at once, it’s actually been known to crash a time or two. I often am stuck in some sort of meeting when registration first opens so Brian usually has to register for me. Thus, the need for worksheet that tells him what classes to sign me up for. I usually give him several options in case a session is no longer available, which happens more often than not. Specially with some of the more famous presenters and new training programs.

In 2016, when STRONG by Zumba launched, the training session was full within minutes of registration opening, so I couldn’t get in it. Brian ended up signing me up for Sentao, which is the only other format that I wasn’t already licensed for at the time. I waited another full year to complete my SBZ training.

Since registration will be open in just a few days, I decided to build my worksheet before bed one night while watching the Olympics. The worksheets I’ve used in the past just allows sorting and filtering, to make it easy for me to compare sessions and review all of my options. I usually still have to build my schedule manually. This year, Brian challenged me to make the worksheet so that it would build my schedule automatically. I’ve never made that part automatic in the past because there’s multiple ways to build a schedule. You could opt to take training sessions on both Friday and Saturday, or you could just do training on Friday and regular workshops on Saturday, or the opposite — regular sessions on Friday and training on Saturday, or you could go with just all workshops and no instructor training. I usually have to decide this for myself so it’s really tricky to make a worksheet automatically build the schedule. I figured it out, though!

Worksheet 2

The solution isn’t the most elegant, but it works. Basically, I created tabs for the four scenarios: SESSIONS ONLY, FRIDAY TRAINING, SATURDAY TRAINING, and FRI-SAT TRAINING. The first tab has all of the options listed. You put an X in the SEL column to specify which sessions or training you want to take. The worksheet populates all of the other tabs. Obviously some sections will be blank in the other tabs, depending on your choices.

For example, if you opt to take a training session (which takes up pretty much the entire day) then you won’t have time to take any other sessions on that same day. If you go to the SESSIONS ONLY tab then it will have some empty slots. Depending on how you laid out your schedule or what choices you’ve made, you just have to click on the appropriate tab to view your personalized ZINCON schedule.

It’s not perfect, but it works. I probably could create an Access solution but most people don’t have access to Access (see what I did there – LOL) but almost everyone has access to Excel. The gears are working in my mind now, though. I could create a web site that does this more elegantly. An app would be better, but I don’t know how to make phone apps. Sigh.

Worksheet 1

Here’s a preview of the first page of the full schedule, should one decide to print it. I don’t know why you would, unless you just want to kill trees. There really is no need to print the whole thing. Oh, and you’ll notice there is an X next to the Kickoff session. I made it so you can’t remove that X. I’m a nerd and I think everyone should go to it. Obviously, people could still skip attending Kickoff if they want but it will print on their schedule regardless because that’s how I built the worksheet.

Worksheet 5

I’ve enabled auto-filters so the person using the worksheet can slice and dice the schedule however they wish. This is an example of how you can filter by Time. Say, for example, if you don’t want to get up before a certain time so you only want to see morning sessions that start at 8:30 AM or later.

Worksheet 3

This next one is an example of filtering the schedule by Presenter. It makes it easier to see all the various sessions that someone is presenting. Makes stalking your Zumba idols a lot easier. LOL.

Jokes aside, it really is mostly for doing comparisons. Being able to look at all the times side-by-side makes it easier to plan around sessions that you absolutely, positively do not want to miss.

Worksheet 4

Here’s an example of filtering the schedule by Session Title. So if you just want to look at all the ZIN Jam Sessions, you can do that.

I don’t show an example of it but you can also put an X in the SEL column of the sessions that you want to compare side-by-side. Maybe they are totally different sessions at different times and by different presenters but you want to look at them side-by-side so you can decide. When you put an X on all these sessions and then filter the schedule by SEL then you can eliminate all of the other sessions and look at just the ones you want to compare. It helps to remove all the clutter.

When you are finished making your choices, remove all the Xs that you don’t need and leave only the ones that you want (making sure that there is only one session selected under each time slot). Then click on the appropriate tab based on the choices you made. The tabs represent the four possible schedule scenarios:

  • SESSION ONLY – this tab is if you didn’t select any instructor training at all
  • FRIDAY TRAINING – this tab is if you opted to take a training on Friday and picked regular sessions for all the other time slots
  • SATURDAY TRAINING – this tab is if you opted to take a training on Saturday and picked regular sessions for all the other time slots
  • FRI-SAT TRAINING – this tab is if you opted to take training sessions on both days

Worksheet 7

If you selected training sessions on Friday and Saturday, then click on the SESSION ONLY tab, you’ll see a bunch of blanks. Your correct schedule will be under the FRI-SAT TRAINING tab. It does take a bit to understand how to use the tool but, once you understand how it works, then it makes building your schedule super easy — since the tabs are automatically populated.

Here’s an example output of selecting all regular sessions.

Worksheet 6

Having your schedule automatically populate on the schedule tabs is actually a real time saver. So you can create multiple schedule scenarios. You can have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and so on. Trust me. Unless you are one of the lucky ones who can actually get on right when registration opens (they never tell us the time either so some people actually take the day off work so they can sit in front of their computer and wait and then pounce when the time comes), you don’t always get all of your first choices. Sometimes you can get lucky, though.

Brian is usually able to register for me in case I’m stuck in a meeting and can’t take the time to register myself. I just give him my login credentials. Thus, I’ve had to come up with this solution so he knows exactly what sessions to sign me up for. I give him multiple choices. Anyway, it’s really helped me out a lot so I usually share it with others. I’ve shared my worksheet the last couple of years.

I shared this 2018 version earlier this week on the official ZINCON group in Facebook. If you’re not in the group but would like the worksheet, please leave a comment below with your email and I will gladly email it to you.

I hope it helps. See you at ZINCON!

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Boulevard Brewery Tour

Posted on February 21, 2018 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

Brian and I meant to attend the Kansas City Brew Festival but the event sold out before we got our tickets so we ended up going to tour the Boulevard brewery instead. This was our second time doing the brewery tour.

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We got there early and picked up four tickets since we were meeting a couple of my college friends there. The main difference between the tour we did last year and the tour this year is that Boulevard is now charging for the tours. They used to be free. Still, $5 is not a bad deal for an hour of entertainment and beer drinking.

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I just love how friendly the Boulevard people are. I guess you would be friendly too if you were allowed to drink on the job. LOL.

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If you’ve never done the brewery tour, you should. It’s a must in Kansas City!

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Now that they’ve built the Beer Hall, there’s plenty of room for people to mill about while waiting for their tour to begin. I heard it used to be super crowded in the pub next to Brew-house 1.

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If you do decide to go for a tour, Brian and I recommend getting there early and enjoying some snacks at the upstairs Beer Hall. Our favorite thing to get is their meat and cheese board. This way you have some food in your belly before you start drinking a bunch of beer. Then again, you could start pre-drinking which is what Brian and many others do.

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This is where they used to start their tours back in the olden days.

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You get to start drinking right off the bat. Much to Brian’s disappointment, I was in a beer drinking mood and actually drank my glass of Pale Ale. On our first our, he got to drink both mine and his. I actually didn’t mind the Pale Ale this time. Not sure if my tastes are changing or I’m just becoming more open-minded about beer.

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It was freezing that day so we didn’t spend too much time on the terrace. Our tour guide talked while we were inside and then we just stepped outside briefly for those panoramic views and to take some photos.

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Like this one.

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And this one.

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The tour culminates in more beer drinking. You actually get to pick two beers from the dozen or so they have on tap. The idea is to try flavors you haven’t had before but Brian always ends up getting a glass of Tank 7, which has been his favorite for a long time. Except, he discovered the Irish Ale on this trip and now that’s his most favorite of all the beers that Boulevard offers.

Again, this is a part where Brian usually gets to drink all of my beers but I decided to actually try some beers instead of just getting extra beers for him to drink. I tried Jam Band and Cranberry Orange Radler and I loved both of them! The Cranberry Orange Radler is my absolute favorite, though. It’s very un-beer-like.

As an added bonus, Brian volunteered to be the “caboose” on our tour expecting to get an extra pour at the end (which is the volunteer’s reward is usually) but they were trying to get rid of some six-packs so I ended up getting a free six-pack of Cranberry Orange Radler. They didn’t have any flavors that Brian wanted so I ended up getting the beer I liked instead. Lucky me!

I’ve never been a beer drinker but Boulevard is slowly changing my mind. There are beers out there that I can enjoy after all. Baby steps.

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Shaker Full of Wishes

Posted on February 19, 2018 by under Events.    

Brian and I had the opportunity to volunteer at Shaker Full of Wishes this year. It’s the third time that Make a Wish has held this event.

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Thanks to my friend Bee for inviting us to volunteer at the event.

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We got to partake of the delicious food, beverage, and other treats in exchange for volunteering so that was awesome.

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My favorite was this cotton candy martini. Check it out.

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YMCA Annual Celebration

Posted on February 16, 2018 by under Community, Events.    

A few pics from the YMCA Annual Celebration a couple of weeks ago at Century II.

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It was our first time being invited to the Triangle Society pre-celebration reception.

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The YMCA Late Night program is only a year old but it’s one of my favorites. So glad they came up with it because it gives teenagers a safe place to go and constructive activities to do on a Saturday night.

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Down below, they were getting set up for the main program and dinner.

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My new friend Betty Schwahn. We met her for the first time at a Triangle Society event a couple of months ago. Super nice lady!

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My name tag would not stay because of the texture of my dress so we decided to stick it to my arm instead.

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I eventually gave up on the name tag altogether and just stuck it to the table next to my drink. LOL.

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We also ran into Suzy at the celebration.

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They recognized some very deserving people. It was a wonderful celebration altogether. We our so grateful for our local YMCA for making sure that we have the best facilities and great programs that everyone can enjoy regardless of their finances. We feel truly blessed that we can make a small contribution toward making all of it possible.

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2018 Black Light Zumba Party

Posted on February 9, 2018 by under Community, Zumba.    

We had a great time at the Black Light Zumba Party at South Y a couple of weeks ago. Joel sure knows how to throw an awesome party. I think this is the third year that they’ve done it. I missed the very first one but did have the opportunity to attend the one last year. This year was even bigger and better than ever.

Last year I was a little bit disappointed that I didn’t glow so I decided to go all out with my outfit. Here’s a sneak peak.

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The funny thing about the tutu is that when the package arrived Brian was like, “Don’t you already have a tutu?” I have several but this one lights up!

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Sarah is one of our amazing Zumba instructors at the YMCA. She taught a few songs that night but was also helping with the event. She helped decorate and she also manned the glow in the dark body paint table. The glow in the dark body paint is something new they did this year and worked out really well.

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Here’s the scene at the body painting station.

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Brynden bought glow in the dark body paint also and she painted her face even before she arrived at the event.

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This is Brynden’s mom, Laurie. They’re an awesome mom/daughter duo.

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Here’s another dynamic duo, Andrea and Sharlie. We got light up glasses!

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Another improvement from last year is the specially designated t-shirt cutting area. I pretty much got stuck there helping people cut their shirts. Brian finally had to get me out of there so I would get a somewhat decent spot in the studio. He said people were already filing in and warned me that I would get stuck at the very back if I didn’t get up there, stat. Yikes!

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Here’s the scene upstairs. They doubled the black lights so everyone glowed. I should be pretty easy to spot in this photo. You can’t miss me and my light up tutu.

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Still can’t find me? Let me help you out.

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They were turning the lights on and off so people could test their glowy-ness. Basically, if you didn’t feel like you were lit up enough, you could go back and apply more glow in the dark body paint. I skipped the body paint because I was decked out in LED accessories from head to toe. My white gloves light up also.

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Here’s a picture of me with Hannah and Charis.

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Here’s some of our Zumba family.

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This is an awesome panoramic photo of the whole studio.

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Here’s the studio with the lights out.

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Here’s a picture of people dancing after things really got going.

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It was quite a sight to behold.

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Here’s me and Brynden. I ended up changing into my shirt from last year halfway through. It actually glowed a lot better.

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Here’s another group photo.

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With and without the flash.

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These guys are so fun!

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These are the awesome instructors who led songs at the event (from left): Jonie, Janefer, Charis, Sarah, Joel, Todd, and Missy.

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This is our Wichita Area ZINs group photo.

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Here we are with the lights on, in all our goofy glory.

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I love how welcoming and supportive our ZIN community is in Wichita. I have heard horror stories in other areas where instructors do not support one another at all. Wichita is not like that at all. Instructors team up and work together all the time to host events and raise money for various causes.

We actually have another event coming up. This one is at Andover YMCA on Saturday, February 17, at two o’clock in the afternoon. It is a member appreciation event so it’s a FREE Zumbathon. I’m hosting the Zumbathon along with Mandy, Charis, Francie, and Angie. Tiffany would have hosted the event with us but she has to work that day. We’re doing an 80’s theme so it should be super fun.

I hope you can join us!

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