Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let's be real: Some days I just don't wanna.

Can I be real? Thanks. Here goes. I mean, I love Zumba. I teach twice a week, go to special events, and I'm going on a teaching vacation. I founded a freakin' Zumba-themed blog, for crying out loud!


Some days, I don't want to teach. Some days, I just don't want to be burdened with setting an alarm, making my playlist, or worrying about everyone's feelings (why are there so many feelings?!). Some days, I just want to go running by myself, or take someone else's class so I can really get lost in it. Some days, I don't want to be the center of attention at the gym.

The first time I felt this way I felt TERRIBLE. How could I think these things? There are so many people who want to teach, and I'm so lucky to have two classes. And, to reiterate, I love Zumba. What was I talking about?

Then I realized... we all burn out occasionally, even from the things we love the most. I've never actually wanted to stop teaching, but I do need a break once in a while. This year, I had gone 6 months teaching two classes a week (in addition to finishing grad school and working my full time job) and only requested a sub once. Any responsibility can become burdensome, and I really need a break to recharge my Zumba batteries every once in a while.

Here are some strategies I came up with to prevent or treat burnout.

 - Get a sub: It's hard to leave your class, and we all know there are students who groan at the first site of a sub. But, in reality, you'll be a better, more energized teacher if you take a break when you need to.

- Switch up your playlist: I love that my students are attached to certain songs in my repertoire. But I've realized that I'm most excited about heading to class when I have something new to offer... even an old song that you retired for a while can breathe new life into a class.

- Jams and master classes: There's nothing like being among other instructors to inspire you. Jams give you plenty of new material to work on all at once, which can be challenging and fun. If you've never been to one, here's what you can expect.

- Try a new specialty: This is a bit of a commitment, but if you're really struggling, it may be time for toning sticks, a step, or a chair. You'll have a chance to recreate your choreo and do something you've never done before.

- Treat yourself: You might just need a new headband, shirt, or book - nothing big or expensive, but just a little something to get you excited to teach. You can also give yourself a manicure or watch brainless TV (hello, Teen Mom 2!) for a while as a free but fun treat for all the time you spend thinking about others.

What do you do when you get overwhelmed or bored to reignite the Zumba love?


  1. Great post and you're right... all of us get burned out from time to time. The last thing that reignited my fire was Convention. Being surrounded by so many people who just love Zumba, it's impossible not to catch that fever! I also enjoy mentoring new ZIN members, and seeing them grow into fabulous instructors! Their youth and enthusiasm is also contagious!

  2. I agree with Rob 100%. Being able to attend ZINCon 2015 was just the thing I needed to get my spark back. I am STILL "Zumba High" from it, and it's been 6 weeks!