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Archive for "Zumba"

Dance for Kids’ Sake

Posted on February 18, 2017 by under Events, Zumba.    

I’ve been participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ bowling fundraiser on and off for about 15 years. It used to be called Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Now I believe it’s known as Change the Game for Kids’ Sake. Last year, I single-handedly raised $1195 for the campaign. Our team wasn’t the top fundraising team (Jimmy Martinez’ team took that honor) but we were definitely the best dressed. LOL.

Amy invited me to be on her team last year but, since she’s moved out of the Customer Relations Center and Wichita, she isn’t bowling with us this year. Faith, who I bowled with the year before, recruited me to be on her team again this year. Our team consists of Alex Weber, Alicia Grissom, Faith Roach, Mike Blake, and me.


Obviously, I’ve sent my individual fundraising emails already directing people to my fundraising page but we will also be doing fundraising as a team. One of our big fundraising efforts this year is Dance for Kids’ Sake, which is our take on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake campaign but using Zumba® as the platform for reaching people and getting them involved instead of bowling.

I was actually really overwhelmed with the response when I put feelers out for hosting a Zumbathon® for Big Brothers Big Sisters. All of my ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) friends wanted to help. So we have nine amazing instructors teaching for 90 minutes. It’s going to be such a blast!

Faith secured the venue for us. The Zumbathon® will be held on Saturday, March 25, at the basketball court/gym in our office on Central. Doors will open at 2:30 PM and the dancing will start at 3:00 PM. While participants are waiting for the Zumbathon® to start they can take fun pictures at the photo wall (I ordered a couple of backdrops from Oriental Trading and Faith is going to let us use her photo booth props) and buy tickets for the raffle. We are raffling off some fabulous prizes! I’m super excited just thinking about it.

I’ve been pretty diligent about getting donations for the raffle. We will have lots of Lularoe stuff; a gift certificate for 20 free yoga classes at Satya Moon Yoga; the Alley donated some free bowling; go karts, and laser maze… We will have a fabulous basket full of Zumba swag. We will have passes to various area attractions and maybe even Music Theatre Wichita tickets. There will be a wine basket and a car car basket. It will be off the chain! I hope I’m using the expression correctly. LOL.

If we get half the attendance that they had at the Zumba Love Party at East YMCA, then we will raise lots of money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am super excited!


Speaking of the Zumba Love Party, here are some pictures from that event.



The instructors involved were Jonie, Charis, Missy, Jenny, and Aimee. They did such a great job on this member appreciation event including decorating and promoting. The event had a fabulous turnout!

The next member appreciation event is tomorrow at West YMCA. This one is called Step Up & Dance because it consists of Hip Hop Step with Jacqueline and Kristin and Zumba with Jonie and Joel. Sounds like a blast. I’m really bummed to miss it because (a) I have to teach my own Sunday Zumba class, (b) have to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and (c) it’s bowling night.

There are just too many fun things going on. Anyway, if you’re not doing anything, you should check out Step Up & Dance because it’s free for both members and non-members. And, of course, save the date for Dance for Kids’ Sake because not only will we have a great time but we’re also doing something that benefits our community! See you there!

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The First Day of the New Year

Posted on January 8, 2017 by under Events, Life, Zumba.    

Brian and I are pretty strategic about what we do on New Year’s Day because we understand how it can set the tone for the entire year. I’ve already mentioned how we never want to stay out too late on NYE and be hung over on NYD. We want to be productive and on our A-game on NYD so we can be productive and on our A-game for the rest of the year.

We start preparing for NYD weeks in advance. Normally, we clean the house top to bottom, clean and stock the fridge, organize the pantry, organize my closet (which means getting rid of a bunch of clothes that no longer fit, etc.), organize the linen closet, clean our cars – all of that stuff to ensure that everything is all set for NYD.

It was so much easier when Brian worked for Viega because they always shut down during the holidays. I would save some of my vacation time so that Brian and I would be off work together at the end of the year and we could tackle all of the tasks that needed to be done. The last couple of years have been a bit more challenging because Brian doesn’t have as much time off so now he has to work between Christmas and New Year (and he didn’t before). I would try to tackle all of the projects by myself but then I would end up completely overwhelmed. Brian has always been the more organized one of the two of us.

Anyway, we just tried to do what we could this year. Both cars were clean on NYD. I managed to get rid of a bunch of Zumba gear and free up some space in the closet. The house was tidy enough. It’s a mess right now, but it was in decent shape for NYD. Clutter is a constant battle and as long as it’s manageable most of the time then we consider it a win.

Brian and I rang in the New Year in our traditional way and went to bed at a decent time (for NYE standards) – about 1 AM. We got up at 5 AM to feed the dogs and let them out to do their business. I usually take my thyroid medicine at that time as well. We went back to bed to catch some more Zs and then eventually got up at a reasonable time to start our day.

We had a very important appointment that day: brunch at Newport Grill and then a WSU men’s basketball game (Wichita State vs. Bradley).


Here’s a post-brunch picture of me and Brian. It has been a long time since our last visit to Newport Grill. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy their brunch. I’m so glad that April suggested it for before the game.


April also loaned us her BG parking pass but we didn’t end up needing it. The weather was perfect that day and it was a beautiful day for a walk. We also arrived at the arena super early so we found decent open parking.


This is April and her husband Nelson. April is the reason we got to go to the game. She works for the Wichita State University Foundation and was kind enough to invite me and Brian along. Thank you, April!


Though the game wasn’t very exciting (it was a blowout), we had a great time.


The final score was actually 100-66, Wichita State. Some people actually left with 10 minutes more to go because it was pretty much a forgone conclusion. There was no way for Bradley to recover. However, we stayed for the whole game because (a) we don’t get to go to that many men’s basketball games and (b) I really wanted to see WSU hit triple digits.

What a great way to start the New Year!

Oh, I didn’t realize this before, but on days when the women play after the men you can stay to watch the women’s basketball game for free with your men’s basketball game ticket. I suppose that they don’t sell enough tickets for the women’s basketball so they can afford to give seats aways. We didn’t stay for the women’s basketball game but I kind of wish that we would have. It would have been more exciting.

WSU women lost to UNI but it was a close game (63-61).

I think Nickira and I actually watched the WSU vs. UNI women’s basketball game around this time last year. I can’t remember who won. The women’s basketball team is actually really fun to watch. I wish more people would go to their games.

Since we started our year off with a men’s basketball game, maybe this will be our year of supporting WSU athletics. What you’re doing on the first day of the year is what you’re going to be doing all year long, right?

As far as resolutions go, Brian and I don’t really have new year’s resolutions. However, we do sit down and for our annual budget meeting (which we revisit halfway through the year) and then we also sit down to set goals. Our three main objectives this year are as follows:

  1. Reach our respective goal weights by October so we don’t go on my 40th birthday trip completely disgusting.
  2. Pay off our trip so we can enjoy our trip guilt-free.
  3. Get our house organized so we’re not scrambling in the event we have to sell it.

In addition to our joint goals, I have the following personal goals:

  1. Read 24 books by the end of the year.
  2. Run/walk at least 1 mile everyday.
  3. Complete my 10K Runner app.
  4. Travel to some place I’ve never been.
  5. Eat out less and eat at home more.
  6. Crochet a Zumba Fitness beanie.
  7. Complete 200 volunteer/community service hours.
  8. Stay employed.

I also have ZIN goals:

  1. Add two new songs to the playlist every month.
  2. Learn everybody’s names.
  3. Teach facing class, move around, and teach from different parts of the room more.
  4. Get licensed to teach Strong by Zumba at #ZINCON.
  5. Build and maintain a loud, fun, welcoming class.

So that’s pretty much the our first day of the year. Brunch, basketball game, and goal setting. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also took the dogs out for a nice, leisurely walk. We did about a mile and a half altogether so that actually satisfied my run/walk goal for the day.

We’ve just completed the first week of the New Year. So far, so good.

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Starting and Ending the Year with Zumba

Posted on January 1, 2017 by under Events, Life, Zumba.    

Remember how I was so happy that I was able to teach Zumba on January 1, 2016? If not, here’s a short video to refresh your memory.

Guess what, New Year’s Eve 2016 fell on a Saturday so I got to teach a class on NYE also. I love how I had the rare opportunity to start and end the year with a Zumba class. It couldn’t have been more perfect.


These are just a few of the people who stuck around for a group photo following our NYE Zumba class at Andover YMCA.

Much like the previous year, 2016 has been a memorable one. Brian and I went on the first ever Zumba cruise. Here are some of the highlights of the trip:

SIDENOTE: There’s actually a second Zumba cruise coming up which sails in April. If you would like to go, please use my affiliate code (461028) when you book to receive $25 onboard credit.

This truly was the year of Zumba for me, actually. Not only did we get to go on the Zumba cruise, I also got a tour of Zumba Home Office while on a work trip in Florida. And, not only that, I also got to go to ZINCON again!

The significance of last year’s ZINCON is that it was the 10th anniversary of the Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN). However, I am very much looking forward to going to ZINCON again this year because it will be the 10th anniversary of the convention itself. (There was no convention during the first year of the Zumba Instructor Network. The first ZINCON didn’t happen until the year after.)


One of the highlights of this year’s ZINCON was meeting performer Max Pizzolante and his wife Maritza Bustamante. He is the singer behind a couple of songs in my current Zumba playlist: Quien Quiere Bailar, Vive Y Baila.

I actually plan to add another Max Pizzolante song to the playlist very, very soon. Stay tuned, Zumba pals!

Vive Y Baila is one of my favorite songs to do in Zumba class right now so I’m posting a video of it here for you:

Besides traveling for Zumba, Brian and I got to do some traveling for work as well.

Other trips we’ve made this year include…

Brian and I also had the privilege of attending or helping with several amazing events/benefits this past year:

There are so many worthy causes out there and these organizations need our help. I put a link to the organization that hosts or benefits from the event. I recommend reaching out to someone this year if you would like to help.

Although 2016 was a very busy year, we still managed to squeeze in some fun times with friends: murder mystery party at the Larneng’s, private dinner prepared by Chef Jason (also at the Larnengs), CRC picnic, painting at Pinot’s Palette, Tom’s housewarming party, Holly and Meader’s wedding, Pokemon Party Bus, going to a bunch of Christmas parties, and NYE at Hideki’s which I have yet to even blog about. (I’ll be posting it next so check back.)

Nickira and I got to do a bunch of fun activities as well like watching Willy Wonka at the Orpheum, Fall Fest at City Arts, and Winter Mania at the Wichita Art Museum. We got to spend lots of time with grandma, which we will be able to do even more now that we’ve moved her to Victoria Falls.

This year was also a banner year for us in terms of attending music theatre performances. We only missed one MTW show and even got to see Wicked for the first time. I know it’s unrelated but we also got introduced to a new band that we just love: Jared & the Mill.

Last but not least, I finally made 40 Under 40 and have the commemorative plaques to prove it. LOL. Whew! What a year it has been!

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Onelife KC

Posted on October 1, 2016 by under Life, Zumba.    

I found an amazing gym across from the office (next to the grocery store) a couple of weeks ago. Here are some pictures that I took during a brief tour.





I was a bit worried about finding a suitable gym with group exercise classes. We get really spoiled here in Wichita because we have the best YMCA facilities in the entire nation. Our YMCA facilities are ten times better than most health clubs. And we have fantastic workout classes.

I went and checked out Onelife on a Monday so I could get a tour and also check out the Zumba class. The class was just okay. Definitely not like the ones we have here in Wichita. We are so spoiled because we have the best of everything here.

The facility itself was fabulous, though. I loved the modern look and feel and all the equipment looked brand new. I’m not sure how long the gym has been operational but, from the looks of it, they haven’t been open a long time because everything still looks shiny and new. Either that or they take really immaculate care of their facility. The Zumba class might not have sold me (I’ve never been a fan of the 45-minute Zumba class and that’s what they have on Mondays) but the gym itself and the friendly staff blew me away. Plus, the proximity to the office (across the street) was just icing on the cake.

Of course, I couldn’t justify paying $45-55 a month for a gym membership that I could only use three days a week (if that). I think if there was an hour-long Zumba class everyday that I could hit, then it would probably be worthwhile. At $5 per class, three times a week, four weeks a month that comes out to $60 so I could rationalize it. It wouldn’t be worth it without the classes because the Marriott downtown has pretty well-equipped gym. I could always just work out there if I just need treadmills and weights and such.

However, I’m the kind of person who finds opportunity where there are challenges and obstacles. So guess what I did the very next day. I worked on my Zumba resume before bed. We had a work dinner that night and I actually didn’t get back to the hotel until almost ten o’clock. Then I worked on my resume for a couple of hours while Brian and I video chatted.

Brian was like, “It’s almost midnight, baby. Go to bed.” But I couldn’t go to bed until my resume and cover letter were just right.

Screen Shot 2016-10-01 at 3.57.23 PMZumba Resume Back

This is the product of my effort. I figured if I get a Zumba gig out of this, great. I’ll actually get to do the kind of workout I want to do, which isn’t currently available to me on the days I need it. If not, no big deal. I’m a big girl and can handle rejection.

It sounds like there’s not a great demand for Zumba right now at their gym but I’ve always had an “if you build it, they will come” mentality about things. I’m convinced the demand isn’t there for the type of Zumba class that isn’t currently offered which doesn’t have “party-like” atmosphere like the ones offered here in Wichita. The music selection is quite different as well so the experience is totally different. It’s had to convey that it words though so I’m trying to set up a demo class so group exercise director there can experience the difference. It’s a lot like the sunsets in the Flint Hills. Words cannot describe it. It just has to be experienced.

So anyway, this is probably not the most brilliant idea I’ve had in a while (because, you know, I’m full of brilliant ideas – LOL) but sometimes you just have to follow your gut. Wish me luck!

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Labor Day Weekend 2016

Posted on September 9, 2016 by under Life, Zumba.    

Here’s a recap of our short but Zumba-filled holiday weekend.


On Friday night Missy got everyone together for Zumba with Jenny at East YMCA at 6:45 PM followed by dinner and drinks at Carlos O’Kelly’s. I would have missed all of the messages had I not taken a day of vacation. I’m glad I was home to I could join the fun. The craziest part is that, after she rounded everyone up, there were more instructors in the class the regular students.


After teaching my Zumba class on Saturday morning, we ferociously prepared for Jay and Becca’s visit. It’s such a privilege to host them for dinner because they’re busy travelers and we rarely ever see them anymore.


It was a productive evening.

Sunday was “Labor Day Fun Day” at the Larnengs’. Brian and I arrived at the party late because I had to teach my Sunday afternoon Zumba class first and then we still had to take care of the dogs. I’m glad we went though because we had a blast.

It had been a while since Brian and I played poker. We were both really rusty but had fun, nonetheless.

On the plus side, I’m glad we didn’t end up doing well because we would have been up late playing poker. And we couldn’t have that because we had an early morning commitment, volunteering for the Labor Run.

Brian actually did not want to volunteer this year because we didn’t receive any kind of communication and had no idea what was going on. But I’m glad we did anyway because it’s for a great cause. And, the volunteer shirts were nice. 🙂


It was a little bit chaotic. I’m not sure that any of the volunteers knew what they were supposed to do. No one had assigned jobs ahead of time. Heck, I had five different jobs in 10 minutes.

I’m thinking I might listen to Brian and refrain from volunteering for the Labor Run next year. We’ve given them our holiday weekend the last few years. We hadn’t been able to go out of town because we’ve had to be at the park first thing in the morning. I’m thinking it’s time to start enjoying our Labor Day weekend again. By not committing to the Labor Run, maybe we can actually go out of town for a change, which is something we haven’t done in forever — at least since we started volunteering for the event.


After the Labor Run, I managed to squeeze in a Zumba class led by Melissa and Todd at South YMCA, which was awesome.


I have been pretty lazy about my workouts lately so getting Zumba in four days in a row (Friday with Jenny at East, teaching my own classes on Saturday and Sunday in Andover, and then with Missy and Todd on Monday at South) was fantastic. It really got me thinking about how much I love to take Zumba classes and maybe I should put a schedule together so that, whenever I’m in town and have some free time, I can easily find a Zumba class. I used to keep a map of all of the Zumba classes in the Wichita area but I haven’t updated it in years. It’s probably time to dust it off and work on it again.

In the meantime, here’s the helpful Zumba schedule I put together:

Fall 2016 - Evening.jpg

These are all of the weekday evening classes, ideal for people like me who work their butts off during the day.

Fall 2016

These are all of the Zumba classes for the full week.

Fall 2016 - Weekend

These are all the classes on the weekends (Friday included).

Don’t fret if the writing is too tiny. You can click on these pictures and then you can zoom in. Also, I will post links to the printable PDF versions so you can stick them on your fridge or board at home or in the office. I hope you guys find these helpful. I know they will help me a ton. Until next time!

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