Anyways... On to yesterday! How -did- it go yesterday? I went great. It was a fantastic experience and I feel like I learned a lot. There were several moments where Debbie the trainer said/did something that made my brain go, "Oh! That's why Jae and Rae do X . Okay..." In spite of having done Zumba for three and a half years, there was still lots to absorb and take in, so in my opinion, this was very worthwhile and time well spent.
I left my house a little before 6:30am with the idea that I would arrive at Michigan State University at around 7:30am. I'd forgotten how much I hate highway driving in the dark... I made it on time and with no problems though. Navigating MSU in the dark is something I haven't had to do in a very long time so I wound up circling the area once before finding the correct building and the correct entrance to the parking ramp. The parking ramp was open that early in the morning so I didn't have to pay to get in and by the time I left for the day it was open so I didn't have to pay get out either. Bonus!
I very calmly gave the woman with the computer my name, she handed me a waiver (which I filled out and gave back) and a green bag. She told me that inside the green bag was an instructor's manual and a box with a CD and some DVD's that went over the basics. She also told me that inside the manual was a form to fill out to join ZIN. I was pretty sure I was going to join before I got there so I just filled it out and gave it back to her right away. Incidentally, sometime around 2:30pm, I checked my email on my phone during a break and there was an email in my inbox saying "Welcome to ZIN"; she works fast I guess. So, after calmly handling the paperwork, I calmly made my way along the table to have a (calm) little look-see at the Zumbawear. It's wholesale, so I am actually paying the trainer, but I don't have to pay for shipping so, all in all, a good deal. There on the table was the black/white version of the latest football shirt. I've been watching that one a while, it's long sleeved so I was thinking it might be a nice every-day kind of shirt.
Me: Do you have the orange and grey version?
Check-in lady: No, sorry. No orange.
Me: Aaw. Okay then.
I did check out the other shirts, pants, and accessories too, but with the exception of some socks, everything else was either something I already owned (or a version of it) or something I wasn't really interested in. I have a lot of socks though so I left those and called it good with my two shirts.
It wasn't even 8am yet so I decided to stake out a spot in the room along the wall where I could set down my stuff and kind of camp out for the day. Debbie the trainer had her iPod going on the room's sound system and as I sat there changing my shoes, the song Zumba Mami came on. That song is actually where the inspiration for the name of my blog comes from. My shoulders started reflexively moving in circles even though my hands were busying tying shoes and any nervousness fled and I knew at that moment that it was going to be a really good day. I couldn't resist a little Facebook update to all my people about it. The room started filling up, and I think there were roughly 49 women in the room...and one man. Brave guy. Heh.
|Check-in and shopping|
I had never taken a master class before this. I found it really interesting the way Debbie taught the class. She'd get the group started on a specific step, then she'd stop and walk up and down in front of the class and at the appropriate moments in the song, she'd pick up the next step and get us all going on that one and then resume her walking up and down. A few times, she walked in and out of the rows and joined us. In between songs, she had us rotate rows so that no one got the same one spot the entire time (something she continued to do all day long). It was a lot of fun. So much so, that I was half way through the class when I realized that I hadn't wrapped my ankle before getting started. Oopsie! Well it was too late at that point. But I was surprised to find that by the time we were done, my ankle wasn't hurting me at all. I'm pretty sure a lot of that had to do with the floor. It was excellent, providing just enough traction so my shoes could grip, but just enough smoothness so that I could twist and slide.
|I'm not sure whose coat that is, but the silver ribbon attached to the black pants is me.|
She also went over the basic aspects of merengue and then we all got up and practiced some merengue. The rest of the day went a lot like that. We'd have breaks (one of which was lunch), followed by a break-down of a dance style, followed by some time to practice that style. After merengue came salsa, cumbia, and reggaeton.
Before we finished dancing for the day, Debbie had us do a "mini class", two songs from each style. She had volunteers come to the front to take turns directing the group for just one step of the song. So there were four volunteers up front at a given time each taking turns with their assigned step. Taking a turn was not mandatory, and I was shocked to hear, for a very brief moment, an annoying little voice in my head telling me to just stand in the back. I decided to ignore that voice. I volunteered for one of the salsa songs and wound up being assigned the salsa step that happened to be -the one- that I had actually never done before yesterday. Figures...but it worked it out alright. I could do it, I was just a little stiff at it. My turn only lasted 10 seconds at a time and I went three times so really, I was only leading the group for about 30 seconds total.
|My certificate from Zumba|
The picture above and to the left is of my new key chain charm. I bought it back in August with my birthday money and I've been saving it for this day. The certificate is my reward from Zumba, and the charm is my reward from me.
***Side note: Isn't the beaded key chain pretty? Our older son made that for me at school last Mother's Day. Proud Zumbamommy moment!***
So that was my day, and it was a very good day. Walking out of there knowing that I was licensed and legally able to teach Zumba (for money) was a pretty surreal thing; I'm part of the club now. In some ways, I feel exactly the same and in other ways, I feel completely different. Zumba has taught me a great deal about myself over the last three and a half years and I realize, based on my experience yesterday, that I have a lot more to learn. It would have been easy to fall back into my old habit of hiding in the back row. So very easy and almost without realizing it. The fact that that is even true, tells me something about myself - that the timid back row dancer from a few years ago is still lurking around in there somewhere. But the fact that I didn't let it happen tells me something too - that I'm braver than I used to be and considerably more confident. The voice of strength drowns out the voice of fear these days.
Best advice: Let the voice of strength be louder than the voice of fear, and see how you like that version of yourself.