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Year-Round Aqua Zumba

Posted on February 7, 2019 by under Zumba.    

When I completed Aqua Zumba instructor training at the LA Zumba Instructor Conference five years ago, I didn’t start teaching it right away. I was somewhat reluctant to jump in. I guess I was the same way with teaching Zumba (I just wanted to get discounts on Zumba wear and go to ZINCON) and all the other formats. I complete all the trainings with no intention of teaching. I just like to collect the licenses. What can I say? The buttons look good on my ZIN profile page.

Anyway, I got my license to teach AZ in January 2014 and I didn’t teach it for months. Later in the year, I started shadowing Alexa at Andover YMCA. I taught some AZ songs in her class that summer but I don’t think I actually got my own AZ class until the following summer.

My early years of teaching AZ were just okay. I taught it because there was a time slot available on the schedule but, honestly, I really didn’t enjoy it as much as teaching regular Zumba. Probably partly because I had to teach it in 100+ degree weather, outside, in the middle of summer. It was so dreadful.

I taught it on Thursday nights at 7:00 pm and on Saturday mornings from June to September. The Thursday night classes used to wear me out so much because of the heat. I preferred the Saturday morning classes. In the beginning we started at 8:30 am (now we start at 8:45 am), which wasn’t the best earlier in the year because the water would still be kind of cold. It was great for me though, because it was as hot.

The teaching conditions weren’t the best but the students seemed to really love it so we plugged on. I did have to get rid of the Thursday night AZ class eventually. Not because I was a wuss who hated teaching in the heat (I was perfectly fine suffering for the sake of the students) but because I started working on a project that required me to practically live in Topeka. I couldn’t, in good conscience, take up a prime class time slot and have to sub it out week after week. So, for the last three years, I’ve only been teaching AZ once a week on Saturday mornings, and only during the summer months.

As convenient as that is (I don’t have to worry about times when I had to be out of town for work), it posed its own challenges. Since I’m not teaching AZ the rest of the year, it felt like I was starting over every year. Each year, I would tell myself that I’d work on my AZ songs a month before my first AZ class for the year. I would inevitably procrastinate (because life happens and you get busy with stuff) and then I’d be frantically working on my songs a week before. Sometimes it would be a couple of days or the day before. Anyway, that feeling of panic and lack of adequate preparation wasn’t fun.

It took a few years but I finally wised up. I figured the solution to my problem was to teach AZ year-round. Then I wouldn’t end up forgetting my songs and have to frantically try to recall them the following year before summer session. Amazingly enough, that’s actually improved my attitude towards AZ. I’m enjoying it so much, I’d venture to say I even prefer teaching it to Zumba at times.

When my AZ classes ended at the Andover YMCA, I started teaching it at VASA Fitness (a new gym that opened in Wichita in July) — on the exact same day and time. The only difference is I actually have to drive in between classes, whereas before both my 8:45 am AZ and 10:30 am Zumba classes were at the same location. I have 45 minutes in between the two classes so having to drive from VASA to Andover isn’t really an issue. I have more than enough time to get to class (and even stop at Scooter’s if I need to). I’m absolutely loving the back to back classes. I’m glad that I get to continue this cadence in fall and winter.

Since I’ve been enjoying the back to back classes on Saturdays, I’d been trying to figure out how to replicate this on Sundays. As luck would have it (or perhaps it’s the Secret — also known as the Law of Attraction — at work), an opportunity presented itself at North YMCA. I started teaching AZ there at 12:30 pm on Sundays at the beginning of this year. It’s perfect because it precedes my 2:00 pm Zumba class on Sundays at the Andover YMCA.

I feel like I now have the perfect teaching schedule on the weekends. The only thing that could make it even better is if my back to back classes were at the same place. In the meantime, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to teach these classes to a bunch of lovely people who fill my heart with joy.

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Here’s a picture of my new friends at VASA.

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Here’s the lovely North YMCA group.

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I’m enjoying teaching AZ so much that I will even sub it on occasion. Here’s a picture from when I had to sub for Hideki at Northwest YMCA a couple of weeks ago. He and Amy were in Thailand. He always subs my classes when I’m at ZINCON so I figured I owed him. The roads were ridiculous that night because of the snowstorm. I actually asked Brian to drive me. Anyway, these two ladies came to class despite the horrible weather and we had a great time working out. They gave me some positive feedback that totally warmed my heart and made the 45-minute drive to the gym and 45-minute drive home so worth it.

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I’m finding teaching AZ rewarding in so many ways. Besides the positive vibes I get from the class, I actually get tangible (and yummy) rewards from time to time. This very nice man gave me a chocolate bar on Super Bowl Sunday. It was such a nice and thoughtful (and sweet, pun intended) surprise!

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I am loving every minute of my AZ classes and I’m so happy that I’m able to teach it year-round now. I hope I can keep it up.

If you’ve never tried AZ before, I encourage you to join us. It’s such an amazing workout and I promise you will have blast. Here’s where you can catch me:

  • VASA Fitness8:45 am, every Saturday (non-members can get a free trial pass here to join the fun)
  • North YMCA12:30 pm, every Sunday (there’s a $10 drop in fee for non-members but it’s good for the entire day for all Greater Wichita YMCA locations — just keep your receipt and show it when you visit another branch)

See you at the pool!

Related Posts

  • Aqua Zumba at Andover YMCA on July 13, 2014
  • We Made It To Labor Day on September 2, 2019
  • Fourth of July Aqua Zumba Class on July 24, 2018
  • Zumba, Zumba and Even More Zumba on July 16, 2019
  • Oh, Happy Day on November 5, 2019

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