Highlights, lowlights, and bright lights of Zumba Instructor Convention

Convention seems like a faint memory now and before it’s muddled with laundry, carpool and other nonsense I want to write my favorite things down. Even my not so favorite things as they are always here to help me grow and become stronger.

Working with my sister Emily and cousin Heather is always the favorite part of convention. There is nothing like family. We didn’t always grow up being best friends or even “friends” at all…but Zumba has bridged any gap that was there. I don’t know that many sisters and cousins get to share something so grand together and come so close at this stage of life. I know I am very blessed and lucky to share this with them. They are strong, beautiful women who I admire so much.

When we go to Zumba convention it is a bizarre bit of role reversal b/c while they are both amazing Zumba instructors, it’s a time where they really put their freedom on hold. You enter that convention center and it’s my work, my time frame, my schedule, my sessions, my turf and they get somewhat pushed aside…not intentionally but you can see how the roles get foggy when in real life these women outshine me any day. It’s me looking to them and not the other way around.

Having friends there at convention makes work play!!! There are many places we could spend a weekend together. But there is nothing like good clean fun—well not clean, we are sweaty disgusting sleep deprived messes but we aren’t the party crew scene. We like to get in comfies after a day of attending classes and being inspired by the best presenters in the world and we veg out. (I can’t move my body at night…zumba zombie is what I become…so they take pity on me and stay with me and skip out on the concerts and parties and we make our own fun…they are the best)

We rehash the day and everyone’s favorite moments and then as the night lingers on the silliness increases and we become like young school girls again. Even though we are all moms (aside from Albert ;)) and of a variety of ages we laugh and laugh and laugh about nothing and everything and do stupid, ridiculous things into the wee hours of the morning that I’m sure our kids and husbands would surely be embarrassed about.

I love my work. I don’t think there is a person in the world who loves what they do more than ME!! Maybe Jimmy Fallon…man I’d love his job and he seems to really really love it too. But…aside from Mr Fallon there isn’t anyone. I challenge you to find someone. 😀 This year was amazing b/c I was able to have 2 Dancin thru the Decades sessions, 2 Crazy Country sessions, 2 master classes and a Connecting With Others session with Steve Boedt.  Sounds exhausting right??? It was. I’ll get to that part later…

I love instructing. I love sharing the stage with friends. In the master class I was in the warm up with Emily and Albert along side me. I had this “THIS IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD!!” moment as we all danced and lead the sea of hundreds of Zumba instructors. It was awesome. I have worked with them soo much and we felt really in-synch and it was just a magical moment where you are feeling it in your soul…the lights, the stage, the people, the smiles. the sweat… They know my body language so much, they know my cues, they know what I’m doing before I even do it. In a situation like that I feel completely taken care of…I am not in charge of it all myself…we are in this together. If I were to have fallen and broken my leg (not in the good luck manner)…they could have taken over and done incredibly.

There are moments in this job of feeling completely alone…lonely…overwhelmed… Moments like the one I described carry me through for a long time.

Connecting class with Steve:
This was the first time we have done this session. We came up with the concept, did a lot of research, power point, drills, master class…and we were unsure of just how it was going to play out…BUT it was a highlight of my whole weekend. The session wasn’t your typical session at convention. This session was about how to connect with people…not while instructing or teaching (we have an excellent training with Zumba called Pro Skills which really dives into this concept WHILE teaching) This session was about connecting with people as a whole. The benefits of connecting with others and the boundaries we set on ourselves which keep us from truly connecting on a meaningful and purposeful level. I loved the different emotions that were displayed in the class.

There was a lot of things that I put into the session drills and discussion that I felt were a special tribute to my dad, for connecting with others was not only his profession and passion it was what gave him purpose. He was the perfect example to me of this. He did it entirely, beautifully, and just mentioning him in the beginning of the session had me immediately in tears. I’m okay with that though…I cry. So do you. So does everyone. 😀 I might cry more than others but that’s due to my terrible relationship with Mr. Sandman. 😉

Working with Steve was a real treat. I admire him in so many ways. He knows how I feel about him. He is one of the most spectacular people I have ever met. He is a brother to me and any time with him is time well spent. 😀

In the beginning of our session Beto came in and did some of the master class with us. It was one of the craziest surreal feelings…I felt I stepped outside of my body for just a moment and tried to really take in the grandiose scene of me, dancing with Steve, on stage with the creator of Zumba. WOWZA!

It was not too long ago that I was attending convention for the first time August of 2010. I stood front row in the fitness concert, awe struck, watching the man I had watched on DVDs for so long…I would even say studied him to learn how to teach, how to move, how to not be so…white mom from Utah. The guru, the ultimate, the one and only Beto…and here I was being visited by him in my session, not only as my “boss” but as my friend to show his support for us, for me, for our session, for our journey and for what we do for him in his company in spreading this passion forward. I am still pinching myself. It was a really really cool moment…well…it was like 25 minutes of moves and music Steve and I didn’t know. Adrenalin, music and a smile…that’s all you need. Haha. But the emotion of it was AMAZING!!!!

OKAY!!! other highlights!
Filming Flavors song for the Mega Mix that comes out with songs from convention.

Photo shoot with friends who work at the home office that I don’t see nearly enough whom I quite adore…and all the hair and makeup relaxation that happened going into the photoshoot. That was really nice.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at the closing session. The chill and thrill of dumping ice cold water over your head with Gina Grant and the three A’s: Alberto Aghion, Alberto Perlman and Beto (Alberto) Perez.  It was WAY colder than  expected. I mean, I expected ice cold but you can’t prepare for the unknown. No one in their right minds is familiar with that sensation. I love the creative ways of getting people involved in doing good outside of their comfort zone.

Meeting wonderful people and getting to know them as well as reconnecting with those I only ee at convention. There are so many people who I meet who change me…enrich my life, make a difference. They may give a compliment, their energy in the class, smile, give a hug, tell me a story, share something with me. I had people who brought me Diet Mt. Dews and bananas, cough drops, gum, Tim Tams, treats, thoughtful gifts, something from their country…there are so many amazing people I have met that I’m forever grateful to have met.

To be continued…

2 Comments on “Highlights, lowlights, and bright lights of Zumba Instructor Convention

  1. The Zumba world is blessed to have you in it Kass! You made my first convention special! You, your sister, and your cousin are all amazing! Love your blog and thanks for sharing and spreading the Zumba love! ��


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