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Crossing Items Off the Bucket List

Posted on August 25, 2013 by under Things to Do, Travel, Zumba.    

Zumba Instructor Convention — CHECK!


As many of you know, I teach Zumba fitness classes in what little spare time I have. It’s actually really funny how that came about. I got licensed to teach Zumba (and joined the Zumba Instructor Network) for one reason only. I had heard about the Zumba Instructor Convention in Orlando, Florida from several Zumba instructors and wanted to experience it first hand. Only instructors are eligible to attend so, naturally, I got licensed. LOL.

When I went through Basic 1 training last year I honestly had no intention of teaching. I’m teaching now (because I have to cover my monthly ZIN fee somehow) and I actually enjoy it. I actually prefer teaching a class than taking a class these days. I realized that, when I take other people’s Zumba classes, there are inevitably a couple of songs that I really don’t like and can’t get into. When I’m the instructor, I’m in control of the music, so I only do the songs that I like to do (keeping the Zumba formula in mind, of course).

I officially became a ZIN member in April 2012. However, at that point, convention registration had already been open for a couple of months and all of the workshops and training sessions were full. It didn’t make sense for me to go. So I vowed that I would attend the convention in 2013. Let’s cross that off the bucket list, shall we?

There are no words to describe the amazing experience that is the Zumba Instructor Convention. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it. There are hundreds of training sessions, workshops, and master classes to choose from. I can see why instructors go year after year. Anyone who is someone in the Zumba world is at the convention so it’s a great opportunity to catch all of your Zumba idols in one place. Besides that, I also got to meet some really cool people from all around the world. There were even some instructors who traveled all the way from the Philippines to attend. That’s how huge this event is. Here are some of my favorite pictures.

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Keoni Manuel (above left) is a ZIN member who owns his own dance fitness studio in Hawaii. He presented Hawaiian Dreams with Zumba Education Specialist (ZES) Madalene Aponte (below).

Jessica and Tony Witt (above right) are a both Zumba Education Specialists and Zumba International Presenters who are based in the Overland Park/Kansas City area. Tony and Jessica are two of the 13 original Zumba Education Specialists who were hand-picked by Beto Perez, the man who originated Zumba. Jessica is co-creator of the Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. (formerly Zumbatomic). They own Amore Dance in Overland Park.

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Madalene Aponte (above left) is the ZES for Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. She owns Madalene’z Dancefit Studio in Pearl City, Hawaii. She taught my Zumba Toning training at the convention. She is amazing. Seriously. I only took Zumba Toning because the Aqua Zumba training sessions were already full, but I’m actually excited about Zumba Toning now.

The nerdy looking guy on the right is Zumba Fitness CEO Alberto Perlman. While Beto is the face of Zumba, Mr. Perlman is the brains. Being nerdy myself, I had to get a photo with the CEO. LOL.


This photo of me with Zumba celebrity Gina Grant and Jessica Witt, co-creators of Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. (formerly Zumbatomic), taken right before our training.


Lindsey Taylor (another Zumba superstar), Gina, and Jessica presented my Zumba Kids + Kids Jr. training. What a treat! We had three all stars all in one place. We also had several other Zumba Education Specialists assist because we easily had four hundred participants in the class.

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Lindsey looks freakin’ amazing for someone who just had a baby. That’s really what makes her a perfect fit for the Zumbini and Zumba Kids programs. On the right is a picture of me with ZES all star Tony, Jessica’s other half. They are truly a Zumba power couple.

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On the left is a photo of me with Zumba International Presenter Heidy Torres. Huge thanks to Brian for spotting her for me so I could get a photo.

On the right is Zumba legend Jani Roberts. She is the brains behind Zumba Toning and presented the Zumba Warrior learning capsule at the 2013 Zumba Instructor Convention. I didn’t take the Zumba Warrior session but heard lots of great things about the workshop. Many of us are hoping that Zumba Warrior becomes a full-fledged Zumba program like Aqua Zumba, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold, etc.


You all know these pretty ladies already. They’re the Kansas crew. Starting left from the top: Pat, Andra, Christina, Jeri, and me. We were well-represented at convention.


Speaking of well-represented, so was the Philippines.

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Here are pictures of some of the cool instructors I met at convention…

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Trish (left) is a Vietnamese Zumba instructor based in Auburn, Washington. She not only looks Filipino, but she’s had the opportunity to teach Zumba in the Philippines. Michael (right) fulfilled his dream of performing a Zumba routine alongside Beto. He will be featured in Zumba’s first anti-bullying video which was filmed right there during the kick off session at convention.

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Natalia (left) and Iris (right) are both Florida locals who came to convention together.

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Carolyn (left) is a Filipino teacher in Maryland. Hali (right) owns Come On Get Happy cardio dance and fitness studio in Cocoa Beach, Florida.


I met so many cool people. I can’t post all of their photos here.

Brian with Gina Grant

Out of all of the photos, this is my favorite by far. Brian got a photo with Gina even before I did. Of course, he wasn’t cooped up in training all day the entire time. I think next year I may give him a list of Zumba celebrities and send him on a little photo scavenger hunt. LOL.

Related Stories

  • Pictures from Zumba Kids Training on September 1, 2013
  • My First Zumba Fitness-Concert on August 27, 2013
  • Zumba Toning Training with Madalene on August 28, 2013
  • ZINCON 2014: First Impressions on August 20, 2014
  • More #ZINCON on August 16, 2018

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