Friday, January 9, 2015

Getting to Know Zumba Jammers: Marysol Burgos

Marysol is a rhythm Jammer from upstate New York. She loves sharing her Puerto Rican culture through salsa and Zumba.

The Z Beat: When did you get your B1 license? Other specialty licenses?

I got my B1 license with Tanya Beardsley in October 2010. It was a spontaneous decision and a whirlwind experience that totally took me by surprise. Zumba was still new to me but I was super curious about it and wanted more. After my training, I could not even imagine teaching and was petrified about learning an entire hour of routines! I practiced and practiced and once I got going I was addicted! I continued to obtain specialty licenses in Gold, Toning, Kids & Kids Jr., and Aqua. 
The Z Beat: Do you teach Zumba full time? If not, what else do you do?

I work a full time job in management at an energy company by day. So far I've worked at two different energy companies doing environmental work since getting my Environmental Science degree in 2009.
The Z Beat: What got you into Zumba? How has Zumba impacted your life?
I was always into dance and grew up dancing but was not much of a "fitness buff". Towards the end of my college years I started going to the gym and was drawn to the dance fitness classes because I didn't like feeling like I was working out! The Zumba Fitness classes had music and moves I was familiar with since I grew up listening to Latin music and dancing salsa, merengue, reggaeton, etc.—so it was super approachable. Once I became an instructor, fitness sneakily crept into my life and suddenly it wasn't so scary anymore. I felt empowered and ready to take on the big fitness monster! Zumba Fitness truly gave me a creative outlet to express myself through dance, motivate others to move and enjoy their work out, and get my own butt moving. I finally saw how fitness could be fun, and the effects on my body, soul, and mind were more than the proof I needed. The door was open to join the fitness world and I wanted in!  My passion for fitness grew immensely, and I have since pursued various licenses and certifications in other formats. I like to call Zumba Fitness my “gateway drug” to finding my passion in teaching dance & fitness.
The Z Beat: When did you become a Jammer? What’s the best part of being a Jammer?

I remember it well! I was on vacation with my husband for our anniversary in the summer of 2013 when I got the email that I was selected to attend ZJ training. I jumped up and down like a lunatic by the pool and didn't care how crazy I looked! Salsa is a rhythm close to my heart, so I was ecstatic to be able to share my own salsa choreography with other instructors—it’s an amazing feeling. The best part of being a ZJ to me is helping other instructors be as successful as possible. I know ZINs are crazy busy doing a million other jobs/tasks, and I get to make their lives a little easier! The fact that I have a platform where I can help other instructors take the guesswork out of breaking down a song into parts, implement cues for them to teach it to their students right away, and offer modifications and progressions so that they can customize the routine to their liking, is PRICELESS.
The Z Beat: What do you think is the hardest part about being a Zumba instructor?
One of the biggest reality checks when becoming an instructor is how much work and time it takes OUTSIDE of the actual class. Great time management skills need to be in every Zumba Instructor’s toolbox! Continuing education and staying current in the industry, learning or creating new choreography, marketing, connecting with students, setting up events, finding and editing music...these things take time and can be hard but make our classes successful, fun, and worth every second!
The Z Beat: What else should we know about you?

Both of my parents are Puerto Rican and live there for about half of the year (snowbirds!). I love to visit them whenever I can. My husband and I live upstate in Binghamton NY but are both originally from Queens NY and still go down to visit often. We’ve been together for a long time but got married and moved upstate in 2012. Last year, we adopted a Pomeranian-Chihuahua puppy and we love how active and adventurous she is—she’s always in the lead when we go hiking or running! I also love to cook and find new recipes. Two years ago I transitioned to a more plant-based diet and cut out all meat except fish, so I focus a lot on finding great recipes and learning about food so I don’t feel limited in my options.
The Z Beat: When and where are your upcoming Jams?
My next jam is scheduled for January 25th in Vestal NY (Binghamton area) and I'll be in Horseheads NY (Elmira area) on February 21. Then I'm planning to jam downstate in March and later this year! You can find a list of my jams here

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