Saturday, November 22, 2014

Antonio's First Class

Today, Antonio Quezada from Indiana shares an essay he wrote for school. His assignment: Write about something that makes you happy. His detailed, in-the-moment account of teaching his first Zumba class is priceless.


“That land you ache for, the land that he gives, the land that makes you sigh if you don’t see it often,” sang Gloria Estefan. The lyrics of Gloria Estafan’s song that I can relate to for the very first time since the day I became an instructor. September 6, 2012, was the first time I taught Zumba, and on that day, my life changed forever. I developed an unique connection with the music, the energy, and the participants.

    Months after I got licensed as an instructor, I received a call to do a demo in a gym near my house. I was very nervous during this demo.  In fact, I was able to feel my bones in my knees shaking; I could really hear the tic tock of them touching each other. As soon as I pressed play, words could not describe the feeling that came rushing over me; it was like the type of adrenaline when you ride the rollercoaster at the fair. The music transported me to my hometown, and the rhythm and the beat reminded me of when I used to play drums. The experience was so surreal that I could taste it, as if I was eating a delicious carrot cake that my great grandmother used to bake.  The music brought out feelings that I never felt before while teaching Zumba.

Antonio with ZES Richard Gormley
    During the class, the smile of the people brought to the environment was indescribable and the energy was astonishing. I can actually recall the moment when I pressed play for the first time. A certain type of force came to me that transformed me as some type of super hero. The rush of the music took over me, but their inspiration was a force that allowed me to continue being passionate for what I do no matter of the difficulty of the day.

    Not only was there a connection with the music but also I felt the connection with the people that came to my class for the first time. At the end of the class, the students and I stood talking as if we knew each other for a very long time; I could not imagine the personal stories that they told. Their stories were so incredibly vivid that there were moments where I cried with them and moments that I laughed as well. Their stories were extremely emotional, and they inspired me to continue teaching. At that moment my participants became my personal inspiration to continue teaching Zumba.

    After the day of September 6, 2012, was over, I knew my life was not going to be the same. I can still remember like it was yesterday, sensing the silence of the room as I was stepping into the class for the first time. The feeling of the participants’ the roaring energy that came to my class was amazing. The connection that we had at the moment during the class was powerful. The only way to get a real sense of its power is if you experience Zumba for yourself someday.  

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