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Archive for "Zumba"

Shaking it for a Cause

Posted on May 19, 2016 by under Zumba.    

I participated in a Zumbathon a few weeks ago in support of my friend Jen Cole’s bid for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year. If you’re going to do volunteer for a cause, it might as well be a fun one! Right? Right!!!

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Brian even helped by taking photos and videos.

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We didn’t have the door code so we had to wait for Abby to let us in. We made good use of our time by taking a bunch of photos.

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We had six instructors — Jen, Missy, me, Andrea, Charis, and Nick — teach four songs each plus a warmup song from Nick and a cool down song from Jen. Everyone picked out some awesome songs. I put together the playlist and I was astounded by how well everyone’s songs worked together. It was 90 minutes of nonstop party and the best playlist I’d ever put together.

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These are the instructors who happen to be some of my favorite people: (clockwise from left) Charis, Andrea, Jen, Nick, Ching, and Missy.

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This is definitely my kind of volunteer work!

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Obligatory “before” photos with our Woman of the Year candidate, Jen Cole.

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Look at these guys and their matchy-matchy shirts!

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I love Missy. She’s so vibrant!

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We had a pretty good turnout also.

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I don’t particularly enjoy squats but I recently realized that almost every song I do in class has squats in it. If we’re not squatting, we’re doing a bunch of jumping jacks. I guess that’s why they say it’s exercise in disguise. You’re having a great time dancing around and don’t realize that you truly are exercising.

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Here are some videos of us in action.

Nick warmed us to the tune of Damelo.

Meghan Trainor’s Better When I’m Dancing with Jen.

This is the song with a bunch of squats in it.

Merengue Choque. I love watching Charis and hearing Nick’s laughter.

Konsey, Konsey, Konsey!

Andrea led us through Lindsey Stirling’s Roundtable Rival.

There’s a ton more videos on YouTube. I won’t post them all here. Just head on over there to watch the rest.

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Courtney and Andrea won Zumba shirts!

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A few people had left already by the time we remembered to take a group photo. It was such a great turn out. I’m grateful that I was able to be there and support Jen and help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

If you missed this event and want to shake it with us, don’t worry. We have another event coming up. Come join us for Zumba in the Square tomorrow night — Friday, May 19 — at 6:30 PM. We will we right in front of the Warren Theater downtown.

Hope to see you there!

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Impromptu Tour of Zumba Home Office

Posted on April 25, 2016 by under Travel, Zumba.    

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I was in Florida on a work trip a couple of weeks ago when I happened by the Zumba headquarters completely by chance. We were walking around Gulf Stream Park when I saw this sign on the wall: Zumba Fitness, CORPORATE OFFICE, 2ND FLOOR.

As soon as I saw it, I heard the sound below.



Without even trying, I had stumbled upon the Holy Grail. I couldn’t believe my luck!

Ginger and Darcy went on back to the hotel. I told them to go on without me. I think it was quarter ’til five but I decided to pop in anyway. I mean, how often do you randomly run into the Zumba Home Office on a work trip? Plus, I didn’t know when I’d ever be in the area again. I had to go up and see if I could get a tour.

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I don’t think Monica was super thrilled to see me that late in the day but she was nice enough to humor me. I explained to her that I’m a ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network member) in good standing and I’m only in the area for a couple of days and I didn’t know when I’d be back and I would like to get a tour of Home Office if at all possible. Monica explained that public tours are only available from 2 pm to 4 pm and, any other time, tours are done by appointment only. “This is the only time I have,” I pleaded. “Can you please check to see if there’s anyone available for a quick five minute tour?”

“Let me check,” she said as she started typing away on the computer. I waited patiently in their stylishly decorated lobby with all of my fingers and toes crossed. After what seemed like an eternity, she told me the last thing I wanted to hear. There was no one available. I should have known. Everybody wants to go home. No one will want to stick around and give a random, crazy person a tour that late in the day.

“Are you able to come back tomorrow afternoon?” she asked.

“No,” I told her. “I have a meeting starting at eleven o’clock and will be tied up well into the evening. Can I come back for a tour first thing tomorrow morning?”

Again, Monica informed me that I would need to schedule an appointment. She did me a solid though, and she gave the name and email address of there person in charge, Community Relations Specialist Gina Graziani.

“May I please have her phone number so I can give her a call as well?”

Monica looked in the system and couldn’t find her phone number but, being the resourceful person that I am, I saw some business cards on the desk.

“May I have one of these?” I asked, pointing at the business cards.

“Oh, yes. If you call that number, they should be able to connect you with Gina.”

I called the number as I walked back to the hotel. I’m not sure what the phone number was for but it wasn’t the right number. The man who answered explained that Gina belonged to a different department and I had to hang up and dial a completely different number. Some people would be annoyed but I was overjoyed that he was giving me the correct phone number to call. I eagerly called the second number and was able to get to Gina’s voicemail. I left a very desperate sounding message and told her that I would follow up with an email. As soon as I got to my hotel room, I fired up my laptop, immediately typed up an equally desperate email, and hit send.

And then I waited. And waited.

Obviously, I didn’t hear back because it was the end of the day but I was hopeful. Darcy wanted to go to the beach before our meeting the next day. I told her I would be happy to go with her but it depended on whether or not I could get a tour of the Zumba Home Office. I was now on a mission and I was determined to accomplish it.

Darcy and I met at 8 am the next morning for breakfast. Still no phone call or email response from Gina at this point. After eating breakfast and visiting for an hour, I checked my email again. Still nothing. At this point, we only had a couple of hours before our 11 am meeting so I didn’t think we had time to go to the beach. However, I had a couple of hours to try to squeeze a tour in.

“What are you going to do?” Darcy asked, knowing I didn’t have an appointment.

“I’m going to ask for a tour and I’m not going to take no for an answer,” I said determined. “I’m going to wait in their lobby and I’m not leaving until someone gives me a tour. Someone is bound to take a break at some point. Maybe I could tag along with them while they take their break?” Wishful thinking on my part, I admit. I failed to take into account that, unlike crazy workaholics like myself, people don’t actually want to work on their designated breaks.

When I got back to the office, Monica wasn’t at her desk so I had to wait outside until she came back. When she came back, I waived at her enthusiastically from the glass doors with a look of “Hi, it’s me again! Remember me? Crazy ZIN from yesterday?” on my face. I’m sure she was thinking, “OMG. Not you again!” but she didn’t show it. To my surprise, she actually buzzed me in.

“Do you have an appointment?”

“I called and I emailed but I didn’t hear back,” I told her, “but I called and emailed really late in the day so she might not have gotten to my call and email yet. I only have free time until eleven, though. Could you please try and see if it’s possible for me to get a tour? I fly home tomorrow and I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

We went over the whole tours are by appointment only unless between the hours of two and four in the afternoon again.

“I know but I don’t have any other time. If there’s another tour that’s scheduled and they don’t mind, I’d be happy to tag along on that tour or, if someone could spare five minutes, I will be quick. I promise,” I told her. Monica explained that tours usually take about a half an hour. Even a quick one would take at least 20 minutes.

“Let me see if Gina is available.”

So I waited once again with my fingers and toes crossed. At this point, I was a little bit nervous. On the one hand, I really, really, really wanted a tour. But, on the other hand, I cannot be late for my meeting which is the whole reason that I was in Florida to begin with. The PwC Experience Center was only two minutes away so I was calculating in my head how much longer I could wait before I had to give up and call it quits. It was then when Monica finally called me back up to the desk.

“Gina is on her way.”

Gina wasn’t by herself. She brought security with her so they could escort me off the premises. Just kidding. Gina actually brought one of her team members, Marsha, with her. Gina explained that she was running late for a meeting so she couldn’t give me a tour. Marsha would be giving me the tour instead.

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Here’s a picture of the three of us behind the reception desk. Gina is on the left and Marsha is on the right. Both ladies were super nice and welcoming. They said that they really love it whenever they have ZIN visitors. Although, I’m pretty sure they prefer it if you make an appointment ahead of time. LOL.

Despite the randomness of my visit, they still made me feel special and welcome. And for that, I’m truly grateful.

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Our tour started at the “Zumba Love” conference room. It’s the main conference room used for the weekly meetings with the department heads. Here’s a picture of me at the head of the table.

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“Is this where Beto sits?” I asked Marsha.

I learned that Beto doesn’t actually have a permanent seat. However, he usually sits at the other end by the door so he can make a quick exit when needed. Makes sense.

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This is the “Salsa” conference room where Forum Live! happens. Marsha asked if I’d ever participated in one but I haven’t. It usually happens during the day while I’m working. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to hop on but I haven’t had the pleasure as of yet.

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This is a picture of their break room where Zumba President and COO Alberto Aghion, the third Alberto in the Holy Trinity of Zumba, has lunch everyday. Marsha said that he usually sits at a different table each time and uses the opportunity to chat with employees. He does this everyday.

Aghion is known to employees but, to the general public, he is the lesser known of the three Albertos. He works behind the scenes so not a lot of people know about him. The only reason I know of him is because I’ve been to a few ZINCONs. He’s not as visible as Zumba CEO Alberto Perlman and definitely not as visible as Beto.

I posted a short video clip that I found on YouTube to help you out.

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Perlman and Aghion’s offices are next to one another. The doors were closed so I didn’t get to peek in. I wish I could have, though. I’m curious what their offices look like.

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Here’s a picture of Beto’s door.

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I’m not sure if the door was locked because I didn’t try it. t wish I would have asked Marsha for permission to look into his office. He wasn’t there. I know this because Marsha told me that any time Beto is in his office he always has his music on full blast you can hear it all the way down the hall. This would explain why his office is away from the other two Albertos. LOL.

Anyway, Marsha encouraged me to take pictures of everything except for Finance, HR (also known as People & Culture), Legal, IT, and Zumba wear. Yes, I got to see the new Zumba wear line and pictures of all of the designs yet to come through 2018. I just couldn’t take any pictures.

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This is a picture of the studio where they have free Zumba classes for employees at least three times a week. Armando and Heidy and other zelebs (also known as celebrity Zumba instructors) teach on a regular basis. Now that’s what I call a job perk!

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In this room they have the ZINfolio – every single boxed set and ZIN DVD.

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I believe beyond that door is the sound studio.

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More pictures of the same room.

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I love this room!

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And then I was Gina Grant for two seconds.

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I want one of these life-sized cutouts for my next Zumba party!

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This is the customer service area. Part of it anyway. They outsource the first level of customer service. If I remember correctly the only customer service work they handle at Zumba Home Office is their online/email support.

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Here’s a picture of me with Monica. Note her outfit. They actually encourage people to wear Zumba wear to work everyday.

Besides all of the fun pictures, I also got a some parting gifts: some rubber Zumba wristbands (Marsha gave me a couple), socks (a 2-pack with a pair each in Zumba green and pink) and a pink “Get Funked Up” t-shirt. That’s pretty much my tour of Zumba Home Office. Huge thanks to Marsha Segree, my wonderful tour guide; Monica Lazarus, friendly receptionist who was ever so patient with me; and Gina Graziani, Community Relations Specialist extraordinaire.

Thank you for making this trip to Florida truly memorable!

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The Trip Home

Posted on February 12, 2016 by under Babies, Travel, Zumba.    

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The ship looked so empty on debarkation day.

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No more Zumba banners and window clings.

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Even thought Brian and I didn’t have a flight until 3:45 PM that day, we got up early anyway. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and then went down to Café Promenade so I can have one more Creamice Mocha.

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This drink is so delicious. I wish that I would have discovered it sooner than halfway through the cruise.

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Anyway, the valets picked up our bags the night before and we were pretty much all set so we went ahead and got ready to disembark the ship at eight o’clock. We thought it would take a few hours to get off the boat and go through customs. Little did we know that our stateroom attendant hooked us up with these special, VIP tags that worked like magic. There were tags numbered 1 to 45 – the higher the number the later it would be before your bags would be delivered to the baggage claim/staging area. I think we were supposed to be number 15 according to Guest Services. Somehow, we ended up with these “Suites/Pinnacle” tags in our stateroom which we were grateful for because that mean our bags would be ready at the baggage claim area by 8 AM. “Suites/Pinnacle” had priority over all the numbered tags.

You basically had two options, you let the valets take your bags the night before and then they put it in the baggage area for you or you lug your bags with you. The downside of letting them valet your bag is that you’re at the mercy of their schedule, which meant the higher numbers would be ready last. Some people don’t want to wait to they decide to cart their bags with them. Brian and I only had carry-ons but I remembered that the elevators only go down to a certain floor on debarkation day and you have to take the stairs all the way down. I told Brian that I didn’t want to lug my bag around so if he insisted on taking our bags ourselves then he would be carting both carry-ons. Plus, I told him that we should use our ultra-special bag tags.

Brian was really glad that he listened to me as went down the stairs from Deck 3 to Deck 1. Since we went down early, the line moved pretty quickly and we were off the ship in no time. When we got to the place where they line up everyone’s luggage, there were only a dozen bags or so there but we easily spotted our bags. We used our red luggage for this very reason.

Several people got off the ship before us, and I think there were seven other ships disembarking that same day, so the line through customs had already started snaking. After grabbing our bags, we asked one of the port staff where we should go and she told us to stand by the red pole. It just happened to be the end of the long line. There were a handful of people getting in line so we let them get ahead of us and then fell in line behind them. We started to follow the line as it started moving but then the lady walked toward us and asked us to follow her. She then lifted one of the barricades and told us to go through and wait right there right in front of one of the customs officers’ stations. We were called up to next so we effectively bypassed the customs line altogether. I’m convinced we got special treatment because of our special “Suites/Pinnacle” bag tags.

It only took about 30 minutes from the time we got in line for debarkation to get off the ship, completely through customs, and out to the shuttle pick up area. It was amazing. I’d never gotten off a cruise ship that quickly before. And then, as luck would have it, our ride to the airport showed up within a couple of minutes and then we were at the airport by quarter till nine. The crazy part is that our flight wasn’t even until later that afternoon.

Anyway, they’re a lot stricter at the Fort Lauderdale airport than in Wichita. They had this Delta attendant there who did nothing but point people to the security line and/or make them check the size of their carry-on against the metal carry-on measurement stand. Brian’s duffel was just a tad too long. We tried to explain to the lady that we carried both of our bags on during our arrival flights and they fit with no problems but she was not having it. She wanted Brian to take items out of his duffel until the bag would fit. There was no amount of stuff we could take out that would make it work because it was the shape of the bag that was the problem and we didn’t want to hassle with trying. Since we were early, we decided to just go to the desk and pay to check our bags. We figured that while we were doing that we could see if we could get on earlier flights home.

The lady at the Delta desk was a lot more helpful and pleasant than the first woman we encountered. She punched some keys on her computer and broke the news to us.

“If I type fast enough,” she told us, “I can get you on the 9:45 AM flight.” It would cost $50 each to change our flights, plus $25 for each of the bags, so we’d have to play $150 total; and we only had a split second to think about it.

Brian and I looked at each other and were like, “Let’s do it!”

She quickly took our payment, printed our new boarding passes, tagged our bags, and placed them on the conveyor belt behind her. I was a little worried that our bags wouldn’t make it on our new flights since we were cutting it so close but she reassured us that our bags would make it.

At the end of our transaction she was like, “It’s 9:08 now so you better hurry because your flight is boarding.” With that, we quickly said our thanks and skedaddled to security.

Security was long and cumbersome per usual but, lucky for us, our gate was close by. When we got to the gate, they were boarding Zone 2, which just happened to be our zone so we fell in line with everyone and got on the plane. We didn’t have to wait around at the gate, which is just the way I like it.

This plane wasn’t as nice as the plane that we flew in going to Florida. There were no free inflight games but the flight seemed to go fairly quick and we were in Atlanta in no time. I think we were 10 minutes early actually. We had a decent layover length before getting on our flight to Wichita. That flight went smoothly as well. We were either early or right on time. We landed shortly after 2 PM. Our bags safely made it and were one of the first few to hit the baggage claim carousel. Our ride home was already waiting for us so we got in the van and were home by 2:30 PM or so.

Brian and I were completely amazed because our original flights wouldn’t have put us back in Wichita until after 9 PM. We got on the flights that, just the night before, Brian told Missy and Todd they wouldn’t be able to make. Crazy!

Things seemed to be going perfectly our way until we got home and found Molly had been badly hurt. She and Saki got in a fight the day before that resulted in Molly getting staples on her head. I guess the reason why things worked out for us and we were able to get home early is that the universe wanted us to quickly get back so we could take care of our poor baby.

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It wasn’t fun coming home to a $175 vet bill but we were grateful to be back early to be with our beloved dogs.

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Cruise Recap Cont’d – Day Five

Posted on February 8, 2016 by under Travel, Zumba.    

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On the fifth and final day of our sailing, the ship was booking it back to Fort Lauderdale. You could feel the difference. We were no longer cruising leisurely along. Anyway, true to my craziness, I had yet another 8 AM class. I could not miss this one though, because it’s a masterclass with ZES Loretta Bates and she is amazing. Such an inspiration!

Just listen to her message. Dance to inspire, not to impress. We should all take this to heart and not judge one another and just dance for the sheer joy of it.

I got up early and got a great spot. Not hard considering I think almost everyone was pretty worn out. I was feeling it too. Thus, the need for the massage the day before.

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Do you see Loretta’s head peaking out above the stage? She is so cute.

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Do you see Brian? We were taking pictures of each other, I guess. He wasn’t supposed to be up there, though. That’s the special observation area for ZESes and other Zumba VIPs. He found that out later. They didn’t make him leave. Brian realized it on his own.

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A couple more of Loretta…

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Do you see the guy in the gray and white shirt? Well, that’s J. Perry.

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If you don’t know J. Perry, he sings some of my favorite Zumba tracks: Dekole, Boujé, and Konsey. If you’ve ever been to my class, you’ll recognize the songs when you hear them. The rhythm is soca, which is my favorite beat to dance to. I have no idea what he’s saying most of the time but the songs are so enjoyable.

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This is where we found out that our special guest will be performing while we Zumba to his tunes. Here are a couple more pics…

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Here are some videos from the masterclass…

TI PAM NAN

ENJOY

KONSEY

There were some technical difficulties in that last one but J. Perry and Loretta took it all in stride. Such pros! They make a great team also. This was definitely the highlight of the whole trip for me. I love, love, love J. Perry and I love, love, love Loretta Bates! Having the two of them together just made me want to explode. I could hardly contain myself.

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I got a shameless selfie with J. Perry!

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And another with him and Loretta both. I was totally fan-girling it. I was so giddy! I was on a roll, too. I ran into ZES Ricardo Marmitte in the elevator on my way to my next masterclass and grabbed a quick selfie with him as well. LOL.

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It was real shame that I didn’t get to take Ricardo’s class. I love his African style. Anyway, they canceled his class the first day because they were still installing/constructing stuff and then we were all going to take his make up class on Thursday night at the jogging track but that got canceled too due to weather. Stupid rain!

Missy and I ran into Ricardo later on. They had him peeling the Zumba decals from the store window at the Royal Promenade. I guess they put him to work because he didn’t have to teach his class. When we walked by, Missy whispered something to him and then he made a face and pretended to spray her with Windex.

“What did you say to him?” I asked.

“I told him that he needs to come over to my house when he’s finished because my windows also need to be cleaned.”

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This is Australian ZES Jarrod Tucker. He was my last official masterclass of the cruise. It was my first time taking his class. He was super nice and friendly and absolutely fantastic but the class was held at the helipad, which was my least favorite surface to dance on. The floor was really grippy and it felt like sandpaper under my shoes. Also, it was super duper windy. It was like doing Aqua Zumba but with air as the source of resistance. That made it really interesting.

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Meanwhile, back at the main pool deck this was happening…

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And at the H20 Zone, Richard Gormley was leading an Aqua Zumba masterclass…

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And Brian got a selfie with ZES Erick Santana…

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I heard part of his playlist while I was at the spa the previous day. He has great song choices. We also got to watch Missy dance with him (she was taking his class at the jogging track while we were at the spa) and she was having a blast. She was so focused that she didn’t even see us trying to wave at her on the other side of the window.

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And I got another elevator selfie. This time with ZES Eliza Stone. We ran into her on our way to back to our room. That was the best part about being on a ship. My Zumba idols could not escape me.

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We made the mistake of taking a brief nap and were late to ZES Armando Salcedo’s class in the Alhambra Theater. Yes, every inch of the ship was being used for Zumba classes. Rob, Todd, Heather, and Missy were already there when we arrived. They got their late too so the stage was already at capacity.

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They were only slightly ahead of us.

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I didn’t get to take any classes in Alhambra Theater but that stage floor looked perfect for Zumba. That might have been the best floor to dance on; even better than the Sports Court, which had been my favorite up to that point..

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Armando had some fun routines. I was bummed that I didn’t get to take his class.

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That theater was rockin’! Everyone was dancing, even in the aisles and between the rows. People kept piling in after us and, since the class was full, they were just dancing in place wherever they could find some space.

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Here are some clips from Armando’s masterclass…

This was the pow-wow about debarkation the next morning.

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Always the bearer of bad news, I think this was Brian telling Todd that chances of them making their 9:45 AM flight in the morning were slim. Brian is kind of a downer like that.

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I made them cheese for the picture.

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Obligatory selfie… You know how that goes.

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Group selfie! Groupie?

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This is ZES Michael Marmitte, Ricardo’s older brother. That was a revelation. He told us that he’s actually older. Everyone assumes Ricardo is older because he’s taller but he’s actually the middle brother. Their youngest brother mixes their music.

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I would have taken his masterclass but I had to use the restroom. By the time I got out, they were at capacity and wouldn’t let any more participants in. It was fine though, because I felt tentative about dancing on carpet with carpet gliders. You have to be really careful or you could twist your ankle and seriously hurt yourself.

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It was a super fun class, though. I did a few songs with the class right outside the karaoke bar. In this space…

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Michael’s class was overflowing.

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He needed a much bigger space than the karaoke bar.

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And then, ZES Walter Diaz (Wally) showed up looking for the same ice skating show that we were looking for that apparently wasn’t going on until seven o’clock that evening.

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I love Wally. I took his Salsa and Merengue Mashup workshop at my first Zumba Instructor Conference almost three years ago. He is amazing!

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Group selfie right before our final dinner together. The first one was tricky because I’m much shorter than everyone so they all had to crouch down. We had to have Brian take another, which was better.

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And yet another group selfie when Rob and Heather showed up.

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Don’t ask me about the selfie stick. I brought it with me but I forgot to pack the charger. I had it with me the entire time but we never used it because it was dead.

We all hung out for bit after dinner but Brian and I went to bed early that night because we wanted to be ready for debarkation the next day. We had to finish packing so we could set our luggage outside our door before 11 PM. The funniest part is that Brian and I both set our clothes for the next day and packed all of our clothes including our dirties. Brian had his clothes for the next day laid out and was completely naked (so was I, actually) and then it dawned on me, “Now, how are we going to put our luggage outside?” We both busted up laughing.

Brian put his next day jeans on and then put our bags outside and then took his jeans back off and hopped into bed. We had some great laughs throughout the trip. It was such a blast hanging out with Glynda, Missy, Todd, Rob, and Heather; but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Come back soon for the final installment of our cruise recaps!

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Cruise Recap Cont’d – Day Four

Posted on February 7, 2016 by under Travel, Zumba.    

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Our fourth day on the cruise was spent docked in Falmouth, Jamaica. Having visited Jamaica a few times before, Brian and I decided to not even get off the ship. We wanted to have a nice leisurely day while everyone else was off the boat, but I had to get all my Zumba classes out of the way first.

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ZES Gina Grant and Dahrio Wonder’s class was my first stop. They gave us a taste of the Hip Hop Turn Up workshop that they do at Convention.

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We learned the moves during the warm up and we got to practice them almost to mind-numbing repetitiveness. Eventually we got to put it all together and actually dance a few songs. Maybe I would feel differently if I didn’t look so goofy dancing hip hop. LOL. I did like the Water Dance.

Here’s the official choreo video from Gina’s YouTube:

My next class was with the amazing ZES Betsy Dopico.

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Here’s a video of her in action:

While everyone else was doing excursions in Jamaica, Brian and I decided to hit the spa and take advantage of the 20-20-20 special.

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The one complaint that we’d heard from people about the spa was that you couldn’t really relax because you could hear Zumba music thump, thump, thumping all through your spa therapy session.

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Brian and I thought we were pretty clever about scheduling our massages at 3 PM while most people were off the ship and there was no Zumba going on. When we were in Labadee, the first afternoon classes didn’t start until four-thirty. Since there was no live concert in Jamaica, the afternoon classes at the jogging track (the stage and speakers were set up right outside the spa) started at three-thirty. Halfway through my massage, the Zumba music started going.

It was ZES Erick Santana’s masterclass which Missy was in. We watched her from the window but she was so focused. She didn’t see us at all.

We met up with Missy, Todd, and Glynda for dinner that night. Not sure what Rob and Heather were up to but we left a message on their room phone. I think they might not have gotten our message until late, though.

This is me playing peak-a-boo with one of the dining room curtains.

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We finally got some lobster on the menu. I think almost everyone except Brian got lobster. I should have had him ask for one too so I could have two of them.

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In case you were wondering how to gracefully take the lobster meat out of the shell, here’s how it’s done.

Voila!

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One of the funniest things about the dinners is that it seemed like I would always end up with the wrong menu. We’d all be talking about what each of us would have and I’d say something like, “I’m having the baked Alaska.” And everyone would be like, “Where do you see that?” Because their menus were different than mine. I think it happened three times. The uncanny part is, I was always the one it happened to.

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Oh, Brian and I were just a few doors down from Beto’s suite so we had to take a picture. Room #1677 is our meager 150 sq ft interior stateroom which. Beto’s suite is the big, bright pink one in the picture below. I think it’s over 1300 sq ft. I saw into the room one day when the doors were open while they were cleaning it. It looked luxurious compared to our closet of a room.

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Seriously, our stateroom is about the size of our master bathroom at home. It’s amazing considering it cost about $1800, without the daily gratuities and drink packages. For comparison a typical Royal Caribbean five-day cruise with the same itinerary would have only cost half that (about $400 per person). That’s the premium you pay for Zumba.

We almost didn’t go at first because of the price, but then Brian and I decided that we would take the cheapest stateroom option just so we could get on the ship and be part of the first ever Zumba cruise. I was afraid that it may not happen again and, if we didn’t go, I’d miss out on the experience completely.

Now, having experienced everything – the plethora of masterclasses and all of the awesome surprises – I have to say that I would gladly pay the same amount all over again. The experience was absolutely worth every penny.

Even though we splurged on Brian’s unlimited drink package (he got the ultimate, ultimate one which included unlimited alcoholic beverages, whereas mine only included unlimited non-alcoholic cocktails, juices, premium coffees, soda and bottled water), we did employ some cost cutting measures such as not buying any overpriced products from the spa (made this mistake on the poker cruise when we spent a grand in a matter of minutes) and not buying any overpriced pictures (even though the cruise photographers actually managed to take some good ones).

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Looking back, I think we could have saved even more by skipping my drink package altogether. I don’t think I drank my money’s worth and you could get ice and water from the bar and multitude of water stations throughout the ship. Brian tried to drink his money’s worth in beer and wine and coffee, but he really had to try. I guess we’re just not that big of drinkers.

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Some nights we did our own thing, like the night that we went to the adult comedy show. OMG. I had drank so much that day that I had to use the bathroom really badly. I didn’t know how much longer it would go and I couldn’t wait any longer so I had to get up and use the restroom. Jim David, the comedian, naturally had to crack some jokes at my expense. I guess I broke the cardinal rule of comedy shows: never get up in the middle of the show.

On this night Missy and Todd talked about going to see the Disney musical variety show after dinner. Brian and I were going to do something else, but decided to see the show at the last minute. They were already a few of minutes into the show when we arrived at the theater. Luckily, Missy and Todd were easy to spot. We just looked for Todd’s head. We found a couple of empty seats right behind them. We hung out with Missy and Todd a little bit after the show while waiting for the party at the Royal Promenade.

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We took some porthole pictures at Café Promenade. I really like this place because they had this yummy Creamice Mocha drink. Although, they tried to charge me for it twice even though it was included in my drink package. I wish I would have know about that drink sooner because I probably would have gotten my money’s worth on my drink package then. LOL.

Alright, it’s bed time. I’ll finish the cruise recap next weekend. Until then…

HAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

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