Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Who Got You Into Zumba? (Part III)

Here's the final installment of your awesome stories.

(And, one last plug for The Z Beat's tee shirt fundraiser! Please consider placing your order - only a couple of days left! If we don't hit 50 orders, we won't get our shirts. Thanks for supporting The Z Beat!!)

Diane: My sister dragged me to my first Zumba class about 6 years ago. There were only 2 classes in our area. The instructor was not very friendly or helpful and her music and routines were more about hip hop and dancing. She was even quoted saying dance was the most important thing in Zumba. There was a clique of women and if you didn't belong, you were ignored. So, a year and a half ago my sister and I became licensed instructors. We work for our City's Parks and Rec Program. Our class has had over 70 students some months; we are having a ball and have made new friends. Their friendship and stories about their accomplishments keep us going!

Alison: I took my first Zumba class about 3 years ago. My weight was out of control and I was really depressed. My sister told me to come to a Zumba class she was taking. Well about 10 minutes into class I almost gave up, but I didn't want to be the girl who walked out of a class. I stayed and did my best to keep up. Each class after that got easier and easier... I found myself looking for more and more Zumba classes. I just couldn't get enough! I am a very shy person and I was always in the back, but one night in class my instructor pulled me up to do a song with her! I don't think I was ever so nervous in my life! My instructor boosted my confidence in a tremendous way and I no longer stood in the back of the class. I can't thank my instructor, Sarah enough! Because of her I went to my B1 training this past May.

Tammy: I was really out of shape so decided to join the YMCA. I took my first Zumba class there and fell in love! I lost 15 pounds but then hurt my back… had to stop going to Zumba, put on 30 pounds and had to have surgery. I was told by my doctor that I had to strengthen my core and lose more weight or I'd have to have a disk fusion the next time. That was enough to scare me, so I went to Game Stop and bought Zumba Fitness Rush for the Kinect in June 2012. I did it every single day, sometimes twice, and dropped 65 pounds in 5 months!! I went from a size 18 to a size 4. For Mother's Day, my husband and children signed me up for the B1 training in June of 2013, and the rest is history. I hated exercise, but ZUMBA was so much fun that I didn't mind. Now I'm studying for my AFAA group fitness certification and exercise regularly (not just Zumba). I teach several classes and look and feel better at 39 than I did throughout my 20s!!!

Jules: Saw commercials about it, I knew I needed to work out but didn't care for it at all, even though I LOVED dancing. I went to my first Zumba class and LOVED it, and a year later I got my license.

Mollie: I had been seeing the infomercials and hearing about Zumba classes but there were very few in my area until a terrific Zumba instructor opened a studio in the next small town. She had taught around the area, but when she offered a free class in something called Zumba Gold, my friend and I decided to give it a try. I was 62 and had searched for years for an exercise program I would stick with.  Guess what! One 30 minute free lesson and I was a convert! I took Zumba B1 about four months later and Zumba Gold about 3 months after that and teach 3 times weekly to a wonderful variety of students! The memory work alone will keep my brain active and the physical activity is wonderful for me and I have fun doing it! How great is that?!

Maryann: The commercials for the DVD. I was teaching a dance fitness class called Cardio Party and ordered for ideas and then it was Tanya B...her love of the program was contagious in B1.

Mel: I was stationed in Ft. Benning, GA with my husband who is in the military. My friend Claudia asked me to join her in the gym for a Zumba class.. I didn’t know what it was! I was so frustrated because I did not know the steps but I kept going for 2 years. On Christmas of 2013 I had a light package under the tree with a confirmation for an instructor training from my husband. :-)

Stevie: My trainer [got me started] because I would always dance to the workout music. She told me our local YMCA has Zumba and I should try it.  So I went. I was so far in the back of the room, I was almost in the lobby, but I loved the music, I was having fun and So I just kept going to as many classes as they had, making friends and becoming part of the Zumba family along the way. Almost 5 years later, I'm in the front row of every class, I'm a ZIN, lost over 50 pounds, and I've even had the privilege of dancing with Beto. But more than that, however, is the moniker I now have:  Zumba Mama and that means the world to me!

Mindy: My amazing cousin, Ida from Smithtown, NY reeled me in to the amazing Z-Life. She began teaching in 2007 when not too many knew what Zumba was (lol!). We grew up dancing from a very young age. We shared the stage in many, many recitals. I was ready to go back to the grind of a corporate career. I was pursuing the “perfect” job LOL. Little did I know that after my cousins indefatigable persistence (because she knows me better than anyone). all I had to do was take 3 Zumba classes and that desire to re-enter the corporate world was squelched forever!!!!! In April of 2008 I did B1 with the amazing Tanya Beardsley. One month later, my cousin and met the amazing, Ali Ramirez, in a ZG Training. Today, thanks to my Zumba mama I found that “perfect” job – on the dance floor – and never looked back!! Ponce de Leon didn’t find the Fountain of Youth --- Beto Perez did!!

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