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Archive for "Zumba"

Hyatt Regency Orlando – Our Home Away From Home

Posted on August 7, 2017 by under Travel, Zumba.    

When I received this email from the Hyatt Regency Orlando a few days before our trip, I knew we were in good hands. I didn’t have status this year because I hadn’t been working in Topeka and earning any World of Hyatt points but somehow I still got assigned one of the exclusive floors when I checked in on my Hyatt app.

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Brian is super spoiled and partial to the corner rooms so, naturally, he asks for one during check in. She manages to find one for us and — surprise of all surprises — it’s the exact same room that we stayed in last year.

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When we walked in, the room (and the amazing pool view) felt oddly familiar. I actually looked up our hotel bill from last year to be sure.

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It was indeed the very same room.

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Last year we got it because I was a Platinum rewards member. We actually got a few extras last year (like the complimentary access to the Regency Club Lounge where you get free food and booze all day long) that we didn’t get this year because I no longer had my status. I think we got the same corner room completely by accident. However, now that we’ve had it twice Brian is convinced that we should specifically ask for it again next year. Of course, I’m pretty sure that the minute that we specifically ask for our favorite room, we won’t get it. That’s how it usually works, anyway. So now my mission for the next year is to stay at only Hyatt properties as much as possible so I can rack up some points and earn my status back.

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I didn’t have status and the Regency Club Lounge which is $75 a day extra was completely sold out so we didn’t have access to the free breakfast, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks this year. However, they did give me this 20% OFF card which came in super handy because it gave us discounts to all of the restaurants at the hotel including the onsite Starbucks. We used the heck out of that card!

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Oh, I forgot to mention that we brought Snowman with us. It’s this dancing snowman that’s been going on trips with various work people for years. Snowman has his own album and everything.

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I think Snowman enjoyed the magnificent views from our room just as much as we did.

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One of the best parts of our favorite room is the magnificent sunsets. Brian and I actually got to enjoy it one night. We turned our chairs around to face the wall and just sat there drinking wine as the sun slowly disappeared into the horizon. Unfortunately, that was the only night I got to watch the sunset because I was super busy the rest of convention.

I’m not sure if Brian sat there and watched more sunsets during the rest of our stay. He certainly had enough time to do so. Since he was just hanging out and not actually attending convention, his schedule was much more leisurely than mine and consisted mainly of drinking beers and lounging poolside.

Anyway, we just love staying at Hyatt Regency Orlando. They always take such good care of you — with or without status. I hope our luck holds out and we get the same room again next year!

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Zumba at Relay for Life

Posted on August 5, 2017 by under Community, Zumba.    

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A few months ago, a friend of mine who was on the Relay for Life organizing committee this year reached out to me and asked if I would volunteer to teach a Zumba class on July 14 at 11 PM. I love volunteering for things so I told her of course I’d do it but I did want to clarify the time because I thought it was a typo at first. It turns out, she really meant it.

The Relay for Life event goes from 7 PM to 7 AM and they planned various activities every hour to keep participants awake and fully engaged throughout the 12 hours. She needed something for the 11 PM time slot. The instructor who volunteered last year had moved away and so she decided to ask me this year.

Though the time made me pause, of course, I agreed to do it. I live for this kind of volunteer work. It’s so fun!

Anyway, when she asked me back in January, we hadn’t finalized the summer schedule yet so I agreed not realizing that I would be teaching an 8:45 AM Aqua Zumba class the next day. I was a little bit worried but I had faith that I’d be able to handle it. I think the excitement of dancing from Friday into Saturday outweighed my apprehension. I hadn’t danced that late into the evening/next morning in years! Plus, this is my first ever 11 PM Zumba class.

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Dancing alone is never any fun so I decide right off the bat to recruit some people to help me. I had five amazing Zumba instructor friends who answered the call. More people wanted to help actually, but we only had a one-hour time slot so we couldn’t have too many instructors. I took the first five to confirm. Huge thanks to Andrea, Nick, Melissa, and Charis for helping me!

All of our friends who agreed to stay up and dance with us that night deserve recognition too. I mean, I realize they were sacrificing sleep time to help. The party wouldn’t have been any fun without people to dance with.

Here are few pictures from that evening…

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This is one of my favorite Zumba people, Melissa. She is just so vibrant and full of life, and she’s always willing to help me out with my Zumba volunteer events.

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I’m glad we brought a few Zumba addicts with us because only a few of the Relay for Life people participated and most of them didn’t stick around for the full hour. I’m sure they were trying to conserve their energy for the long haul. After all, they had 7 more long hours to go and we were only there for the Zumba bit.

Brian is always really supportive and around for all of these events but I decided to give him a break from having to drive me around all over the place that evening. I managed to hitch a ride with Andrea to Melissa’s 6:45 PM Zumba class at East YMCA and then I hitched a ride with Melissa to Carlos O’Kelly’s (our usual post Friday night Zumba hangout specially right now because they’re doing that summer drink tour) and then I tagged along with her to her house and Bishop Carroll High School where the Relay for Life event was going on. Her house is just around the corner, less than 10 minutes from the school.

That was actually one of the craziest 24-hour periods of Zumba I’ve had (not counting ZINCON). Basically, I took Melissa’s Friday night class, then the Relay for Life Zumba at 11 PM, then I taught my two classes (Aqua Zumba at 8:45 AM and Zumba at 10:30 AM) at Andover YMCA the next day on about five hours of sleep (if that). That’s four Zumba classes in 16 hours. It was nuts!

And, Andrea did it all with me!

Anyway, I considered it my warmup for ZINCON, which is a grueling schedule of four straight days of 24/7 Zumba. It’s so fun though! I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I may have time to blog about it tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are the posts from last year:

Day 4 of ZINCON 2016

Day 3 of ZINCON 2016

Day 2 of ZINCON 2016

Day 1 of ZINCON 2016

Kicking Off ZINCON 2016

Then these are from 2014 (we skipped 2015 because we used 2015 ZINCON budget for the 2016 Zumba cruise instead):

ZINCON 2014: Highlights

ZINCON 2014: First Impressions

The very last Zumba Instructor Conference in LA in 2014:

2014 Zumba Instructor Conference — Day 3

2014 Zumba Instructor Conference — Day 2

2014 Zumba Instructor Conference — Day 1

My very first ZINCON in 2013:

Crossing Items Off the Bucket List

The Peabody Orlando

The Peabody Orlando Pool at Night

Pictures from Zumba Kids Training

Zumba Toning Training with Madalene

Salsa & Merengue Mash Up with Wally

My First Zumba Fitness-Concert

Zumba Wear Fashion Show and Live Concert

Pictures from the ZIN Soiree

Mastering the Warm Up and Cool Down

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Fun Zumba Pics

Posted on June 12, 2017 by under Zumba.    

I think these were taken one night after Charis’ class.

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I love my Zumba time and my Zumba family. And, now that I’m in Wichita more, I’m actually getting to sub classes. Last Monday I had the opportunity to fill in for Charis and tonight I filled in for Francie.

I’m actually teaching three classes at the Andover YMCA this summer. I have an Aqua Zumba class on Saturday mornings from 8:45 am to 9:45 am and Zumba classes on Saturday at 10:30 am and Sunday at 2:00 pm. I hope you guys can join us sometime. We love meeting new people and making new friends!

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Cinco de Mayo Zumba in the Square

Posted on May 25, 2017 by under Events, Things to Do, Zumba.    

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Here are some pictures from the first Zumba in the Square event of the year which, coincidentally, fell on Cinco de Mayo. I ended up being in charge of this one because Pat, our fearless Zumba in the Square leader who normally organizes these events, just happened to have a schedule conflict that night. Lucky for me, I had the help of several amazing instructors.

Amy, Andrea, Charis, Johnna, Missy, Nick, and Todd all taught some songs. A picture of our kick ass Zumbathon® playlist is on the left.

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It was such a blast leading songs for a fun-loving group!

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We had a great turnout!

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Afterward a bunch of us went to Carlos O’Kelly’s to continue our Cinco de Mayo celebration. We had to wait a little bit before they could seat our group because there were 30 of us. It was a great time, though!

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I ended up making some new friends.

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Anyway, I was so delirious from the Zumbathon® that I completely spaced and left my water bottle at Old Town Square. We were almost home before I realized my folly. It’s a very special water bottle. It was one of the S’well bottles we’d gotten from Brian’s parents for Christmas. I was really upset that I left it.

Brian knew that I was really upset about leaving my water bottle so we agreed to go back and look for it. As luck would have it, the bottle was still there on the grass where I had left it. I got really lucky!

Although, I did tell Brian that if my water bottle was no longer there when we returned I wouldn’t be too upset because that would mean that some homeless person has taken it and they probably need it more than me. I’m really glad that I got my S’well bottle back, though.

We got home really late after making a trip back to downtown and then driving back home. It was a long, exhausting day but totally worth it. We had such a great time! If you missed the event, fear not. We’ve got another Zumba in the Square event coming up in a couple of weeks. The next one is scheduled for June 16.

I won’t be able to lead any songs at that event because we are celebrating with family that day. We’re having a cookout at our house to celebrate Brian’s birthday (June 13), grandma’s birthday (June 19), and Father’s Day. I hope you can make it to the next Zumba in the Square event though because it’s fabulous and not to be missed! It’s one of my favorite summer activities!

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My First Official Zumbathon®

Posted on April 10, 2017 by under Community, Zumba.    

I organized my first official zumbathon® last month but I couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of my fundraising team and some very awesome friends. It was a lot of work but it was also very rewarding.

When Faith and I first talked about hosting a zumbathon® to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters, I wasn’t sure how it would do. I put some feelers out to my Zumba® instructor friends and was completely overwhelmed with the positive response. Everyone wanted to help. We ended up with nine instructors teaching at the event. It was awesome!

I wanted the event to be a success so I was aiming for a huge turnout. I wanted to draw everyone to the event, not just my Zumba® fanatic friends so we agreed to have a huge raffle. I asked every single local business I could think of and, after all was said and done, we had 24 amazing raffle packages.

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6 - Ashley Mundy 50 LLR GC

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9 - Bree Dawson LLR Leggings and GC

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RF24 - Shanes Greathouse of Vintage

As an added bonus, we got 15 of these portable power chargers donated from work.

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Since we didn’t have enough for everyone, the first 15 people to spend $20 in raffle tickets received one.

Wild at Heart Gift

We also partnered with one of the local boutiques who generously gave every single zumbathon® guest $10 to spend at the store.

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I bought 24 mason jars and 24 wooden easel stands and we used the hard, plastic document holders that Brian already had in storage, which we didn’t have 24 of but I didn’t think we would need all of the mason jars and stands. I had no idea we would end up running out of the hard, plastic document covers. We used all of the mason jars I had and all of the wooden easel stands and just used plastic sheet protectors for the other raffle item descriptions. It was a good problem to have.

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Here’s what the raffle description sheet looked like assembled.

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poster

Lots of effort and planning went into the event. Above is the first poster I made, which had to be redone according to Zumba® requirements. The updated poster is on the right. These are the key things to remember for a zumbathon® to be approved by Home Office:

·   The event title needs to be clearly listed on the flyer.

·   Any flyer for a Zumba® Fitness event must list the full name of the licensed Zumba® instructor or their instructor ID.

Zumba® has major beef with unlicensed instructors also known as “party crashers” riding the coattails of the Zumba® brand to promote their events so they’re very strict about seeing the full instructor names on the flyers. This way unlicensed instructors can’t use the brand. The same expectation goes for classes. You cannot call it a “Zumba®” class unless the instructor is licensed.

·   Finally, any time Zumba® and Zumba® Fitness logos appear on a flyer, the following disclaimer must be added: Zumba® and the Zumba® Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.

Home Office doesn’t play. I had to make all of these changes before my zumbathon® could be approved and listed on the Zumba.com web site.

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Because I’m a nerd, Brian and I went to scope out the gym a few weeks ahead of time. I took lots of pictures to help me plan decorations and other logistics.

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Here’s the mock up of my decoration plan:

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The main difference is that, even though I bought 50 feet of gold fringe, we didn’t have enough to cover that wall as planned. There’s a part where something sticks out from the wall and we had to fringe around it. I really should have brought a tape measure and measured everything out instead of just eyeballing it.

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We also ended up with so many raffle items that we had to take three long conference room tables and place them along the gold fringe wall to display the items and the jars. With the raffle along the gold fringe wall, we ended up moving our two coolers filled with water bottles next to the raffle ticket sales table. We stuck to the blueprint except for those two minor changes.

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I bought all of this gold fringe and they still weren’t enough. I’ve made a mental note to buy 75-80 feet of gold fringe for the next event.

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Here’s a picture of the front entrance of our Wichita service building… On the day of the event, I tied several colorful balloons at the bottom and the top of the three handrails. We also wrapped the tree that’s by the entrance of the parking lot with multiple colorful balloons to make it easier for people to find our event venue.

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These are the matching shirts that I got for the instructors. The shirts came in aqua blue (Christina, Amy, and Todd), neon green (Missy, Andrea, and me), and black (Stephanie, Pat, and Charis). Brian got an honorary shirt for being such a good helper and I threw the extra blue and green shirts in the raffle.

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The Friday afternoon before the event, Mike helped me bring a bunch of stuff over from the office to the gym. Brian and I were supposed to take my little sister to the Wichita State vs. Texas Tech baseball game that night but she canceled on me last minute because her aunt, uncle, and cousins were in town. We figured that we would stay home and blow up balloons instead (so we wouldn’t have to stay up all night doing so after the game).

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After we finished blowing up the balloons, Brian had the brilliant idea to make a trip to the gym to drop off some supplies so we wouldn’t have to make two trips the next day. He had the right idea. We barely had enough room for what was left.

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We definitely would have had to make two trips had we not had the foresight to transport some things the night before.

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I randomly bought this “Let It Move You” free-standing banner last year because I thought it was awesome and I finally found use for it.

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The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone noticed it. LOL. Now I can’t wait to have another Zumba® event so I can bust it out.

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These are my fabulous teammates Alicia and Alex all set to sell raffle tickets.

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The instructors who came to help us setup got to preview the awesome raffle items before anyone else. I have to say, the gold fringe wall turned out pretty darn cool.

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The custom banner I had made turned out awesome as well.

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Eleanor came to party with us but then had to leave early. However, Francie was around to claim her prize when we drew her name in the raffle.

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Lucky duck!

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Here’s a fun picture of me and Alex.

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Here’s me and Andrea in our matching shirts.

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Here’s me and Amy.

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This is me taking a selfie with one of our strategically-placed playlist printouts. Here’s the full playlist, in case you were wondering…

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Here’s a group shot of the Zumba® crew who came out early to help set up.

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Here’s Brian being matchy-matchy with Charis, Pat, and Stephanie.

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I love this photo of me and Christina. Since we finished decorating ahead of schedule, we had some time to goof around a bit before the doors opened.

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The gold fringe wall was a huge hit!

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We also had fun with the two photo wall backdrops.

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The photo booth props that Faith loaned us worked out great as well.

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We had a disco ball at one goal and a makeshift Christmas-light chandelier at the other. We didn’t really have a specific plan for the lights because they weren’t part of my mock up but Amy brought them and by golly we were going to use them. LOL. It actually turned out pretty cool.

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The event was super fun and I thought it ran pretty smoothly. I’ve made a few notes about how we can further improve the event if we hold it again next year. In the meantime, we’ve got lots of time to think and plan.

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