Saturday was busier than usual. Started out with my last Saturday Zumba class of the year at Evergreen Recreation Center. After that it was off to Chipotle for a quick lunch before our dental appointment.
We arrived at the dental office early hoping that they could get us in earlier than our scheduled appointment. No such luck. Instead we ended up going to Pier 1 to pass the time. But it worked out because I got to pick up some new Christmas decorations.
Lucky for us the dentist was running on schedule so we were both able to get out of there shortly after two o’clock, which meant I was able to make it to the Zumbathon at Bishop Carroll High School on time. That was a lot of fun.
After that Brian and I had to shower and get ready quickly so we could head to Cheddar’s and put our group on the waiting list. They don’t take reservations or call ahead. They are strictly first come, first served. The hostess I spoke with on the phone on Friday night was pretty adamant about that. LOL.
We had to wait at the bar for our table because of the 40-minute wait. And, Cheddar’s isn’t able to accommodate large groups so we were actually seated in three different booths. Thankfully, the booths were pretty close to one another so at least we weren’t in opposite sides of the restaurant.
I took some pictures while we were waiting because that’s what I do.
I had two of these yummy concoctions that night.
Booth number one…
Booth number two…
Cheddar’s does pretty well for a restaurant that just serves okay food. I think the one thing they’ve got going for them is their proximity to the movie theater. I bet they do extremely well whenever there’s a big movie out.
Their croissants are pretty good too. Brian and I always order some when we’re there. So there is that. The food prices are pretty reasonable also so you can’t really go wrong there. It’s an easy choice for a pre-movie dinner. I just wouldn’t recommend them for large groups like ours. We had a total of 17 people that night at the restaurant, with 16 going to the movie.
The movie was great. I definitely felt my two Maui margaritas during a couple of parts, but I managed to stay awake.
I think everyone enjoyed the movie and had a great time. Thanks to Andrea and Carla for hatching the plan to go to the movies together.
We’ll definitely need to do this again soon!
I pretty much followed Tony around on the final day of convention. On Sunday morning I had Ballroom Beatdown, which he and his wife Jessica presented. Then in the afternoon I had the warm up and cool down workshop.
Here are some of the bits I learned (or re-learned) that day…
For best results classes should begin with five to ten minutes of warm up. The warm up is designed to increase blood flow; raise the body’s core temperature; stretch your core or postural muscles; loosen the joints, ligaments, and tendons; and preview movements that will be used during the workout. By starting with a good warm up you can prepare class participants for the workout and decrease the risk of injuries.
A good cool down consists of five minutes of diminishing intensity and five minutes of stretching. Moderate to low activity in the cool down is designed to return the body to a normal state and create the ideal state for stretching the muscles used during the workout. Doing a proper cool down also helps to prevent muscular and cardiovascular injuries. Remember to stretch all of the muscle groups including neck, upper and mid back, deltoids, chest and arms, core, quads and hamstrings, gluteal and hip regions, calves, ankles, and shins.
- Some reminders…
- Don’t lock your elbows or hyperextend the elbow joint
- Keep core tucked in and spine in line
- Control or avoid any major twist or torque in the core
- Don’t let knees go over your toes when doing squats or lunges
- Avoid twisting your knees away from the direction of travel
- Select warm up music that is around 120-134 BMP
- Avoid “dancy” movements in the warm up until your body is ready
- Avoid long breaks between warm up segments
- While the Zumba formula is still very important, it may be necessary to repeat movements or keep the same types of moves for different parts of the music to ensure that all of the appropriate parts of the body are properly prepared for the workout.
I’m going to try and incorporate all of these tips beginning with my playlist for Fall 2013. Saturday Zumba classes at Evergreen Park Recreation center start on September 21. Be sure to register for the 10-week session if you haven’t already. The cost is $24, or you can drop in for $3 a class. What a bargain!? See you all soon!
I forgot to post this picture of Sebastian the other day when I posted pictures from my Zumba Kids training. Sebastian is the son of Alfredo and Aileen Padilla, a couple of Zumba Education Specialists (ZES) based in California. He is so adorable and cute. He actually helped with the training and got into all of the activities. What a great spokesperson for the program!
The ZIN Soiree was one of the events I was most excited about but it almost didn’t happen due to a wardrobe malfunction. Since I’m not crafty, I bought an inexpensive costume online to wear to the event. It arrived early, at least a week or so before departure. Had I been smarter, I would have tried it on upon receipt and planned for contingencies but I made the decision to pack the costume as is because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to fold it back into the same compact packaging if I took it out.
Fast forward to our arrival in Orlando. After we checked in and got settled into our room at the Peabody, I decided to unpack my suitcase and hang up my dress. I decided that I ought to try it on before hanging it up. That’s when I figured out that the zipper was broken. At the time, the gap was pretty small so I figured that I could use safety pins to close the gap. No worries.
The night of the event, the zipper was in worse shape than it was originally and now the dress was completely open along the side. I was faced with three options: skip the party, attend without a costume, or improvise. I’ve never been one to give up when faced with adversity so I decided to trudge on.
I threw on a Zumba tank top and wrapped a coin skirt around my waist to cover the zipper opening. Instead of being a generic fairy, I turned into a Zumba fairy. It actually worked out fine. I was still able to use the accessories (wings, headband, and light-up wand) that came with my costume. I’m glad I didn’t let the issues with the costume ruin my evening as I would have missed out on such a fun night.
Believe it or not, the simple rope around Brian’s neck got him into the party that was supposed to be for Zumba instructors only. I’m glad he got to hang out with me.
My awesome makeup was courtesy of one of several face painters at the event. The Zumba Fitness folks sure know how to throw a party!
Here are some more photos from that night…
My costume malfunction was actually a blessing in disguise because it gave me a reason to wear Zumba sneakers to the party. If it weren’t for the sneakers, my feet would have been screaming because we were standing around most of the evening.
Oh, I almost forgot one of the highlights. While we were in line to take photos at one of the photobooths scattered around the party area, this guy that looked like Marc Anthony got on the stage and started performing. Everyone thought it was Marc Anthony because the line to the photobooth cleared and in an instant we found ourselves at the front of the line. We didn’t really care so we just went on to take photos at the photobooth. Afterward, we worked our way toward the stage to see what all the commotion was about.
The impersonator they hired did a really good job. We all really thought it was Marc Anthony. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized it was only an impersonator. Brian was like, “No wonder he wore his sunglasses the entire time.” I was thinking that, had it truly been Marc Anthony, I would have been very impressed. Sean Paul is one thing, but I’m not sure the event could afford to hire Marc Anthony. They only charged $500 for registration after all.
As for my defective costume, it didn’t come home with me. My suitcase was full of new zwag so I didn’t have room for it. It ended up getting left in the hotel room trash can. The skirt still lights up and I probably could have gotten the zipper fixed. Oh, well.
Here are some additional pictures from my Zumba Kids training at the 2013 Zumba Instructor Convention in Orlando.
Gina, Jessica, and Lindsey were the presenters. It was an awesome training session.
We also got to see Gina’s kids and Jessica’s kids and also this cute little boy named Sebastian. It was a fun day of training. I’m actually excited to teach Zumba Kids.
These are pictures from the Zumba wear fashion show and Sean Paul concert.
I wondered if they got to keep all of the Zumba wear that they modeled.
Other pictures from that evening…
I lucked out and got a good spot toward the front again.
The event started late so it went on well past eleven o’clock. I didn’t want to stay for the whole thing so I left before it was over. Ran into Christina on our way back to our room so we stopped for a photo op.
The second day of convention was another great, fun-filled day. Wow!
Here are some pictures from my Zumba Toning training with Madalene Aponte.
Madalene is amazing. The Zumba Toning master class we had in the morning was fantastic. I had a great workout and it got me really pumped for the rest of training.
There are no words to describe the Zumba fitness-concert at the 2013 Zumba Instructor Convention in Orlando. It was overwhelming in so many ways. Not just because of all of the amazing performers… It was literally overwhelming because of the mob of instructors that attended. I was sad when the fitness-concert was over because I didn’t want it to end. When it was over, the swarm of people leaving the basement of the Orange County Convention Center reminded me of a scene from World War Z. Seriously. I can’t wait until next year!
Here are some additional photos from that evening…
Me and Christina, Waiting in the Line to Get In
Actually Not Too Far From the Stage
Somehow Got Closer to the Stage as the Night Progressed
Look at All the People Who Were There
My first ever Zumba convention session was with Walter “Wally” Diaz, a Zumba instructor based out of Coral Gables, Florida. Wally presented the history and background of various rhythms such as merengue, bachata, cha cha, mambo, pachanga, boogaloo, and salsa. He demonstrated the basic steps and variations and then we did a master class. He is amazing! And his assistants (backup dancers?) were as well. I had a fantastic workout!
Besides getting a workout, the objective of the session is to give class participants the skill to identify the various rhythms and put the steps into practice. Once we identify the rhythm, we should listen to the song several times to identify the intro, musical phrase, chorus, musical bridge, and final cut (outro) to apply the Zumba formula. Here are some of the photos I took from that amazing session.
This is a two-step dance (almost like marching), but the knees are slightly bent and hips move side to side like a pendulum.
The basics to the dance are three-step with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap that is often accompanied by a “pop” of the hips on the 4th beat. Knees should be slightly bent so that you can sway your hips easily. The hip movement is an important part of the dance.
Danced with two slow movements and three fast ones. It’s easier to demonstrate than describe in words. Just remember to cha cha cha.
Step touch three times then step back.
A “happy go lucky” dance of Cuban origin with a Charleston flavor due to the double bending and straightening of the knees. Step, step, double kick (Charleston step).
You can use all rock and roll steps with the basic steps of salsa.
There are eight beats, but beats 4 and 8 are pauses. The pattern is right-left-right-pause then left-right-left-pause.
Zumba Instructor Convention — CHECK!
As many of you know, I teach Zumba fitness classes in what little spare time I have. It’s actually really funny how that came about. I got licensed to teach Zumba (and joined the Zumba Instructor Network) for one reason only. I had heard about the Zumba Instructor Convention in Orlando, Florida from several Zumba instructors and wanted to experience it first hand. Only instructors are eligible to attend so, naturally, I got licensed. LOL.
When I went through Basic 1 training last year I honestly had no intention of teaching. I’m teaching now (because I have to cover my monthly ZIN fee somehow) and I actually enjoy it. I actually prefer teaching a class than taking a class these days. I realized that, when I take other people’s Zumba classes, there are inevitably a couple of songs that I really don’t like and can’t get into. When I’m the instructor, I’m in control of the music, so I only do the songs that I like to do (keeping the Zumba formula in mind, of course).
I officially became a ZIN member in April 2012. However, at that point, convention registration had already been open for a couple of months and all of the workshops and training sessions were full. It didn’t make sense for me to go. So I vowed that I would attend the convention in 2013. Let’s cross that off the bucket list, shall we?
There are no words to describe the amazing experience that is the Zumba Instructor Convention. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it. There are hundreds of training sessions, workshops, and master classes to choose from. I can see why instructors go year after year. Anyone who is someone in the Zumba world is at the convention so it’s a great opportunity to catch all of your Zumba idols in one place. Besides that, I also got to meet some really cool people from all around the world. There were even some instructors who traveled all the way from the Philippines to attend. That’s how huge this event is. Here are some of my favorite pictures.
Keoni Manuel (above left) is a ZIN member who owns his own dance fitness studio in Hawaii. He presented Hawaiian Dreams with Zumba Education Specialist (ZES) Madalene Aponte (below).
Jessica and Tony Witt (above right) are a both Zumba Education Specialists and Zumba International Presenters who are based in the Overland Park/Kansas City area. Tony and Jessica are two of the 13 original Zumba Education Specialists who were hand-picked by Beto Perez, the man who originated Zumba. Jessica is co-creator of the Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. (formerly Zumbatomic). They own Amore Dance in Overland Park.
Madalene Aponte (above left) is the ZES for Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. She owns Madalene’z Dancefit Studio in Pearl City, Hawaii. She taught my Zumba Toning training at the convention. She is amazing. Seriously. I only took Zumba Toning because the Aqua Zumba training sessions were already full, but I’m actually excited about Zumba Toning now.
The nerdy looking guy on the right is Zumba Fitness CEO Alberto Perlman. While Beto is the face of Zumba, Mr. Perlman is the brains. Being nerdy myself, I had to get a photo with the CEO. LOL.
This photo of me with Zumba celebrity Gina Grant and Jessica Witt, co-creators of Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. (formerly Zumbatomic), taken right before our training.
Lindsey Taylor (another Zumba superstar), Gina, and Jessica presented my Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. training. What a treat! We had three all stars all in one place. We also had several other Zumba Education Specialists assist because we easily had four hundred participants in the class.
Lindsey looks freakin’ amazing for someone who just had a baby. That’s really what makes her a perfect fit for the Zumbini and Zumba Kids programs. On the right is a picture of me with ZES all star Tony, Jessica’s other half. They are truly a Zumba power couple.
On the left is a photo of me with Zumba International Presenter Heidy Torres. Huge thanks to Brian for spotting her for me so I could get a photo.
On the right is Zumba legend Jani Roberts. She is the brains behind Zumba Toning and presented the Zumba Warrior learning capsule at the 2013 Zumba Instructor Convention. I didn’t take the Zumba Warrior session but heard lots of great things about the workshop. Many of us are hoping that Zumba Warrior becomes a full-fledged Zumba program like Aqua Zumba, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold, etc.
You all know these pretty ladies already. They’re the Kansas crew. Starting left from the top: Pat, Andra, Christina, Jeri, and me. We were well-represented at convention.
Speaking of well-represented, so was the Philippines.
Here are pictures of some of the cool instructors I met at convention…
Trish (left) is a Vietnamese Zumba instructor based in Auburn, Washington. She not only looks Filipino, but she’s had the opportunity to teach Zumba in the Philippines. Michael (right) fulfilled his dream of performing a Zumba routine alongside Beto. He will be featured in Zumba’s first anti-bullying video which was filmed right there during the kick off session at convention.
Natalia (left) and Iris (right) are both Florida locals who came to convention together.
Carolyn (left) is a Filipino teacher in Maryland. Hali (right) owns Come On Get Happy cardio dance and fitness studio in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
I met so many cool people. I can’t post all of their photos here.
Out of all of the photos, this is my favorite by far. Brian got a photo with Gina even before I did. Of course, he wasn’t cooped up in training all day the entire time. I think next year I may give him a list of Zumba celebrities and send him on a little photo scavenger hunt. LOL.