Friday, May 8, 2015

Five Classes, Five NYC Boroughs: All in one day!

Have you ever thought about doing something... different? On April 20th, a group of ZINs led the "5 Boro Tour" - all five NYC boroughs, and five classes, all in one day! If you've never been to NYC, let me assure you that it's a BIG city - this is no small accomplishment. Here is Tony Santiago's story about it, and it may inspire your next big idea for a fitness challenge!

On April 20th, me (Tony) and fellow instructors Lisa Plaza and Alexandra Colon set out on a journey to do something that, to my knowledge, has never been done before in New York City. It was an event that we called the “ZFactor 5 Boro Tour”.

The purpose was simple: to take 5 Zumba classes in each New York City borough all in one day. It was open to anyone who wanted to participate and challenge themselves to the task. However, getting around to the classes along with exercising all day was anything BUT simple. Logistically we had to figure out how to get around to all of these classes in a timely manner along with coordinating with instructors who were able to accommodate us. 
We started by driving to Staten Island in the bad rainy weather and headed to Island Martial Arts. Instructors Donna, Kat, Ronelle and JoJo, Master Pete (the owner) along with every student in the class gave us a huge welcome! Along with doing the instructors’ choreo, Alex, Lisa and I were able to do our own choreo to Zumba High. 

After that, we (along with a student we met, Mariela) headed to Brooklyn’s La Nueva Salsa de Hoy Studio in Sunset Park where we danced with “ZR Borrstyle”. In that facility, we were treated like family. The atmosphere was warm and close knit. We did our Zumba High routine (again!) and the class loved it! Special thanks to Diana Torres for arranging this.

The next stop was Queens. With the heavy rains, New York City traffic goes even slower than usual. However we did make it to Eagle Taekwondo Academy where Diana had a special class for us. We were all up in the “instructors row” with her for her high energy routines.  Special thanks to Pedro Vaca because he was pulling major strings to make sure we got to his establishment and making this happen!

We did take a lunch break after Queens (we needed to refuel somehow, lol), so we drove to Manhattan and found a Mexican place. Manhattan was a much different vibe. In this case, we went to an office where Josephine was leading a class of fellow co-workers. What made this class special was one instructor, Jacqueline, a ZIN but hasn’t lead anything before. We all encouraged her to do something just as long as she had fun. The look on her face after her routine was priceless! You couldn’t help but feel very happy and proud of her.

The last stop was the Bronx at a place called the Bronx House. It was a packed class there with Veronica. She brought the three of us on stage to participate alongside her for a routine.

To say that this was a challenge is an understatement. It certainly took a lot of will power, mind over matter and determination to get all of this done. However, in each case, the delight of the students and the instructors in each location reminded us why we do Zumba  in the first place. It’s beyond the workout…it’s the fun, the joy, the pride, and feeling of accomplishment.  That was what we got out of the 5 Boro tour.

We are establishing this as an annual tradition on the Monday of the third week in April. We certainly invite ANYONE (instructors and students) to join us. Whether you do one class or go to all five, it’s about the Zumba love.

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