Monday, December 8, 2014

ZINspiration Mondays with Lydia

Did everyone see the Zumba home office (ZHO) post about ZINspiration stories? I'm not sure if we started the ZINspiration movement here on The Z Beat, but it's definitely catching on! Please don't forget to contact me if you have an inspirational story to share. :)

Today I'm sharing Lydia's story. She is from Chicago, passionate about Zumba, and became a licensed instructor to bring the party to her students. Lydia also has a unique way of using her senses to teach. Here's her story.


I received my B1 license last October and was trained in Zumba Gold in July 2014. I was inspired to become a Zumba instructor after attending classes for about 2 years. I was really hooked... I love music and dancing and I always thought of myself as a choreographer. 

So, I decided that Zumba is my true passion and I decided to get my Zumba license. However, there is something that makes teaching Zumba a bit harder for me. I am totally blind in one eye and visually impaired in the other eye. I have difficulties judging distance, and my peripheral vision is pretty bad.

My workaround when teaching Zumba is to use my ears, which compensate for my eyes. This is the way I have maneuvered through my entire life, since I was born this way, and it's especially important when teaching Zumba. It can be difficult, but I learned to overcome most obstacles with my disability that I have as a person who's visually impaired. I am able to manage because I love music and dancing and taking and teaching Zumba classes makes me feel like I do not have a disability at all.

I just started teaching, and so far I only have one person in my class! But, I practice every single day and I have over an hour worth of routines. I watch choreography over and over and added some of my own routines. I found my true passion and I intend to be the best instructor I can.

My advice to other instructors is to be patient, compassionate and understanding with people with disabilities and to give people with disabilities an opportunity to prove that they can do this job. I know I can. I will love my job for the rest of my life because it doesn't feel like work. It's like going to a party for one whole hour and I love the fact that I'm helping other people as well.

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