We’ve had back-to-back fun Zumba events in the community of late. First, there was the Zumba Love Party at East YMCA; then Step Up & Dance at West YMCA; then Member Madness at North YMCA; there was also a Blacklight Z-Party at South YMCA; and finally we had “Shake Your Shamrocks” at Andover YMCA.
Our event in Andover was so named because we decided to hold it on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.
As someone who cannot resist a good Zumbathon®, I attended many of these but I was only involved in organizing the member appreciation event at my home branch Andover YMCA. There are actually five of us Zumba® instructors who teach Zumba® classes in Andover — Tiffany on Monday mornings, Charis on Monday nights, Mandy on Tuesday nights, Hannah on Thursday nights, and me on the weekends — but only four of us were available that Friday. Tiffany could not take the time off her regular job so she sat this one out. She participated in the one at South YMCA though, so she had already done one of these events.
Charis, Hannah, Mandy, and I decided to teach six songs each. Mandy put together a killer playlist. Charis and I volunteered to take care of the decorations. Charis got streamers and these dangly star things. I had some balloons set aside for the Dance For Kids’ Sake Zumbathon® event that I was organizing so I decided to dig out all of the green balloons from that bunch and use it for this event.
Initially, we weren’t sure if we should have the event in the studio or the gym so we reserved both. Jackie was there that night to set up the sound system in the gym just in case we needed the larger space. Since she was around and she’s much taller than Charis and me, we asked for her help with taping up the streamers at the top of the mirror. You can kind of see the decorations in the picture below.
I think it turned out pretty well. I was a little bit worried because I popped three of the balloons in transit but we had more than enough to make the studio look festive.
We were able to stay in the studio because, in addition to it being St. Patty’s Day, all three of our local college teams (KU, K-State, and Wichita State) had basketball games that evening. We still had a pretty good turnout (about 55 people) but not enough that we had to overflow to the gym.
It actually wasn’t too crowded in the studio. We had plenty of room for everyone. And, it turned out better, as far as I’m concerned, because the studio has a better sound system and mirrors. Dancing is way more fun with mirrors!
Here’s a better picture of our group. Those who stayed for the photo at the end, anyway. Some people don’t do photos.
Here are some action shots we took during the Zumbathon®.
This is Mandy in the green shirt in the foreground.
Mandy did a fabulous job of mirroring. That’s when you face the class and do a mirror image of the moves. She did this a few times throughout which, I think, is super helpful. The recommended way is always to face the class because it allows you to connect with the students better. We can get by without doing it because we have mirrors. However, one of my goals for 2017 is to teach facing the class more.
Christina came late but she made it!
This is Alicia and her daughter Kariana.
They have become regulars on weekends. I love having them in my class.
This is my friend Andrea behind me. She is also a licensed Zumba® instructor. She started teaching classes at Derby Rec this month.
Of course, I had to get a selfie that shows off our fabulous decorations that Charis, Jackie, and I worked hard to put up. We were going for festive yet tasteful and understated and I think we achieved it.
I love that we had this fabulous photo backdrop. I wish more people would have taken advantage of it. Here are some.
I had to demonstrate how it’s done. LOL.
Here we have another mother-daughter duo, Sonia and Carolina.
I love these two for going all out. I think they are regulars from Downtown YMCA.
They’re party of Missy’s crew.
We had a few Andover YMCA faces but we had great representation of Zumba® lovers from all over the city, which is actually what I liked best about the event. Missy brought in a ton of people. While we hosted the party to show our appreciation from our members, it was great that we got to share it with all members not just those who are based in Andover.
The event was actually free to non-members as well so it was a great opportunity to check out the Zumba® classes offered at the Y, Andover in particular. And, besides the event being free, our group exercise coordinator Kristen gave us bottles of water and t-shirts for everyone. I think everyone who attended the event got one and we still had some left over. She really hooked us up.
I know that St. Patty’s Day won’t fall on a Friday next year but this event turned out so well that I hope we do it again next year. It was fabulous! I wish you all could have been there to dance with us.