Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to Basics: My B1 Experience

My experience getting my B1 certification was pretty awesome.  For non-instructors and aspiring instructors: B1 is what you need to get started as a Zumba instructor.  You start with a master class, then you learn the four core rhythms: salsa, merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton.  If you make it through the day, you get certified - no test or qualifying dance-off or anything.  Zumba figures that the real test is when you audition for gyms... there is enough competition out there that the best Zumba instructors will get jobs and others will keep practicing!

Being that I'm not an extrovert, I was a little overwhelmed when I got to the training.  EVERYone was wearing Zumbawear - did I miss a memo? But, the master class started and I felt at home.  Marcie Gill was an amazing instructor.  I mean, amazing.  She is super fit and a great dancer, but somehow unintimidating and very approachable.  As a bonus, she travels with Beto's personal DJ, DJ Francis, who also happens to be her boo.  If you are considering going to one of her trainings or master classes, do it!

It's funny being in a master class with a bunch of instructors... everyone is definitely there to have fun but there is a little sense of competition.  I noticed my cumbia was a little hippier and my destroza a little squattier in the master class than usual.  When I taught my first class, I thought about Marcie's energy and tried to recreate the feeling in the room during the training.  Every class should feel like a party, no? 

One hint for the not-yet-certified: You do NOT have to sign up for the Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN) on the day of your B1 training.  They will sell you hard, and most people will give in.  Stay strong.  You have up to a year to sign up for ZIN - and you'll need to sign up within that year to maintain your certification unless you go to another B1 training.  Take a few months to get your choreo and playlist in order.  I think the best time to sign up is when you start teaching.  The ZIN benefits are totally worth it for active instructors... and getting a CD from the home office every month is super fun!

What was your B1 experience like? Did anything surprising happen? Leave a comment!

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