Sunday, May 15, 2016

Where've I been? Where am I going?

Hello, blogiverse! A lot of bloggers feel guilty when they take a long break. I've gone back and forth between immense guilt and feeling like it's ok, since I haven't had anything terribly interesting to say in a while! As you know
from my last post, fitness is still a passion but not something that I have as much time for these days. And, I'm trying to be OK with that. So, I'm probably going to take a short break from The Z Beat but come back this summer with new stuff. How does that sound? And, will you still be here when I get back? I hope so!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

No Excuses or Balanced Approach?

Motherhood is awesome and all-encompassing... so much so that I'm finding it super difficult to make time for exercise. I miss working out - it's something I really love to do. But, between a full time job (one that's meaningful to me, where I expend a good amount of energy), house cleaning, grocery shopping, attempting to maintain a handful of relationships, and mommying, I find myself needing to prioritize and some things just don't get done [[as a dust bunny rolls by... note to self: vacuum soon]].

I do still workout, but more often it's a power walk with the baby in the stroller instead of kickboxing class or a HIIT session. Just this morning I got up early and was 3 minutes into my workout when she woke up (unexpectedly early) so I had to abandon my plan and feed her (nursing with a sports bra on is practically a workout in itself, but that's another story).

I can't help but think about the No Excuses mom... ya know... her:

I don't think putting others down is an acceptable form of motivation, so this kind of makes me crazy. But I get it... there's a camp of believers that say you can make time for anything if you want it enough. They'd tell me to find time to exercise and that if I really wanted to I'd make it happen.

So... I'm curious to hear your opinion: If you really want to exercise, can you ALWAYS find time for it? Or, do you allow yourself to prioritize other things without feeling guilty to maintain a sense of balance/sanity?

P.S. This was my view while writing this post. #ForeverMultitasking

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Latest on ZLife

Hello! In case you've missed it, I've been blogging away over at ZLife. I'll be back here with new content soon, but check these articles out in the meantime!

10 Best Dance Movies of All Time

Confessions from a Zumba enthusiast

Fitness-related spring cleaning tips

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Zumba Time All the Time

This post is by Dana, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

Let's just say you can take the girl out of the Zumba class but you can't take the Zumba class out of the girl! Here are just two examples of what I mean.

Table for Two: The evening starts off innocently enough. I promise myself that I am NOT going to talk about Zumba because the people that I am with are not Zumba enthusiasts. I get it all out of my system by listening to Zumba music while getting ready to go out and dancing around the house. On the way to pick up my friends I blare my favorite merengue and scream the words out the window at the top of my lungs. I think I have gotten it ALL out of my system.

My friends get in the car and say “How are you?”….”Good” I respond with the local top 40 station softly playing in the background. I think we made it about 30 minutes before the topic of Zumba comes up. They ask how classes are going “Good Good” I say as I brush the entire topic under the table as I truly try to move on with the discussion; and then it happens at dinner. I hear a song that I MUST HAVE FOR CLASS. So I break out my phone, stand up and I hold my arm up in the air like I am saluting the ceiling in the middle of appetizers. I honestly don’t care if people are looking, or what they are thinking because I am Shazam-ing my next favorite song and all I can think about is choreography.  

(Video Credit: ZIN Rob Powell)

The Night Out: After dinner it is decided among the group that everyone wants to go dancing. Hmmmm you think to yourself, dancing. “Well, I really can’t dance you blurt out”, and then it comes. The blank stare, the awkward moment of silence and the screaming “WHAT!!!?? You dance a zillion times a week”. But really have you ever tried going to a club and dancing? I don’t mean doing your best Zumba routine on the middle of the dance floor as your friends join in and follow you on queue. I mean actually dancing. I have found that is so hard making that transition from doing a Zumba routine or choreographing a new routine with Zumba steps to actually just letting loose and dancing. It is especially difficult when “your” Zumba songs comes on. I mean it is like a magnetic force trying to hold you back as you break out in a routine in the middle of the dance floor.

But before you know it you do a few small steps, make a few hand gestures like you are doing the routine, you inch your way out on the dance floor, then you get a little bolder and make bigger moves and by the end of the song you and your peeps are full fledge Zumba-ing on the dancefloor. The outcome? #Zumbahigh and yes you can dance, and it feels great! However, I am going to venture to say that while Zumba does encompass dancing, *most* cases you can’t substitute dancing for Zumba when you are in a club. Put that caveat in your back pocket and go for the let’s-get-the-party-started theme and get on that dance floor, start your best cumbia, bachata or merengue, and I guarantee before you know it people will be shimmying and shaking with you. Does this look familiar?

# Zumbatime #Anytime

Saturday, March 19, 2016

10 Reasons Why We Screw Up in Class

We all have moments that belong on the Zumba instructor blooper reel. But why? I've narrowed it down to one of these 10 reasons. AmIright?

1. Suddenly remembering an item for your To Do list: Groceries! Carpool pick-up! Finishing your taxes! It's SO hard to put those things out of your head, no matter how hard you try. If I miss a step, I've likely just remembered I forgot to put my laundry in the dryer.

2. So-and-so is talking... again: Look, I'm not a tyrant or anything but when people consistently talk while you're trying to remember what comes next it can be totally distracting. It's only natural to wonder if you're being complained about (it probably has nothing to do with you, but you can't help but think about it...).

3. Wardrobe malfunction: Was that my bra strap snapping undone? Could my undies be any bunchier? Whatever it is, you know what I mean - anything having to do with your clothes when you're in front of a room full of students is an instant distraction.

4. Someone just walked out the door: Everything from, "Is he OK?" to "What the heck, why don't you like my class?" runs through your head.

5. Someone just walked in the door: Hello, Leslie Late-pants. Thanks for drawing everyone's attention away from my new cumbia!

6. Thinking about food: Mmmm, burritos.

7. Thinking about booze: MMMM, margaritas!

8. Suddenly remembering an item for your To Do list, again: You start repeating "laundry, laundry, laundry" to yourself until you have no idea what you're supposed to do next.

9. Feeling exhausted: Sometimes your choreo is so killer you kick your own butt. All that energy spent wondering if you can make it through another song really takes away from actually remembering your moves.

10. Feeling blissful: Every once in a while, it hits you - I love being an instructor! "Look at all of these smiling faces. This is great! Everybody loves m--shoot, what comes next?"

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How to be prepared for (almost) anything!

This post is by Dana, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

There are a variety of lessons I have learned over the past couple of years as a fitness instructor. Some lessons have been invaluable and some have been funny… as a result of a complete mishap. What I have learned on a fundamental level is to be prepared for the expected AND the unexpected.

Extra Shoes: I am sure you will encounter that day when you are late and running around like a chicken with your head cut off and you realize most likely too late that you either forgot your workout shoes, or you brought two left shoes instead of a full pair. I learned the hard way that keeping an extra pair of shoes in my car (even if they are an old pair) will help resolve that disaster. Old and worn out shoes are better than no shoes! The bonus, one day one of my students came straight from a yoga class and forgot her shoes and I let her borrow my spare pair, win-win for both of us!

Stereo Wires: It is so hard to keep track of all of the different fitness clubs and their rules and procedures on music hook-ups. Don’t be caught in a class with the wrong wires! Keep an extra set of wires (all types) in your gym bag. That way you will be prepared for any type of stereo system.  If your iPhone or iPod happens to break or go dead I would highly recommend ALWAYS having a back-up CD in your car with your favorite playlist stored on it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I have been in class when the music situation has not been favorable and I can promise you the quality of your class will suffer. One class I knew how awful the stereo system was acting prior to the actual class and I rolled in a portable sound system to ensure that we would be able to party to audible tunes!

Undergarments: The day you forget your sports bra is not a happy day. The day you are teaching, wear a sports bra under your clothes or put an extra one in your purse, your car or gym bag. Not having adequate clothing or having an outfit that is uncomfortable will inevitably make you feel awkward during class. In addition to having an extra pair of threads with you, I would recommend knowing your style and size in the active wear department in Target in case you have to make a pit stop before class.

Stay Hydrated: We all have those days when you don’t have time to eat enough before class. We also have those days where you forget to grab an extra bottle water, and when you get to the gym; the café is closed for maintenance! Don’t be stuck without something to drink. It’s not a good idea to keep filled plastic water bottles in your car, but you can always keep an empty bottle or water cup that you can at least fill up at the water fountain.

We hope these little “lessons learned” helps you avert a mishap during one of your fitness classes. Share your funny oops with us and your helpful hints. You never know when someone else will experience the same thing! #happyfitnessinstructor #shoes #music #sportsbra #water

Monday, March 7, 2016

ZINspiration Monday with Mae

We're back with a ZINspiration Monday story! If you have a story you'd like to share, please email me at It's a great way to inspire others!

Here is Mae's story.

In September 2006 I began a journey into hell when I was struck with a rare neurological disorder termed "the suicide disease." I went from an outgoing, high energy special ed teacher to an isolated depressed shell of a woman who feared the outdoors, wind, touch, and anything else that would trigger the next lightning bolt of pain. After trying all sorts of medications for pain I gained 40 pounds!

My hubby finally said he was going to get me a membership to a local gym and wanted me to try getting out to try some classes there. I went a few times but found that I was buckled in pain from the wind created by the fans at the gym. I got up the courage to ask the instructor if she could make sure the fans were not facing me during the class and tried one more time. I LOVED IT. In the winter my hubby drove me to class as the shocks I went into from going outside prevented me from driving.

I pushed myself to go at least 3 times a week and fell in love with the dance classes. I made friends and the instructor would even invite me on stage weekly to dance with her. In early 2008 she brought a new style to the club, something called Zumba, and I was hooked. The combination of Zumba and healthy eating helped me shed the 40 pounds and I soon became very involved, even helping to organize a Zumbathon for the gym.

In 2012 I knew I was ready for MORE. I had a brain surgery that was unsuccessful, but through it all I kept my goal in sight. I became licensed  to teach in March of 2012 and asked the woman who supported me since I joined the gym to be my mentor. Because I wasn't going to work at the gym she said she couldn't. I found another girl who had her own studio and asked her to be my mentor. She said, "Yes!" Mylene Facchini took me under her wing and kicked my butt. She taught me how to cue, timing and technique, and all the rhythms. She took me around to all the places she worked and had me teach a few numbers weekly. Eventually she had me teach her whole class and videotaped me. She walked me through where I was making mistakes and praised me on my strong points. She introduced me to ZES's, ZJ's and other instructors. I was like her shadow and I was loving it. She understood me and supported me even though I had a neurological disorder.

I now own my own private studio where my class is run by donation (if you can pay you do, if not you don't) with partial proceeds going to the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association after each 10 week session. Even though I have really, really bad days with my disorder, I feel successful and I feel as if I am inspiring others! Lifetime Athletic hired me last July to be on their fitness instructor team in Ajax, Ontario. I teach AQUA ZUMBA twice a week and Zumba TONING as well. The class helps relieve the pain for a brief period of time and the ladies lift my spirits. Thanks to Mylene, who is a Jammer now, and Sharon Gilbank who also helped me along the way, I feel that I am a great instructor with passion and spirit. I wish that everyone could have her to mentor them, she truly is amazing and no words can express the love I feel for her and the gift she has given me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When Sharing Isn’t Caring Anymore

This post is from Melissa, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook groups, forums and blogs that deal with fitness or fitness instructors. Something happened in many of the Zumba-related ones last week and it got me thinking about how the power of social media can be used in both good and bad ways. It also got me to thinking that conversations can get ugly, fast.

Without rehashing a situation that has since been resolved, the issue was about this year’s ZIN convention; to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of ZIN, the home office would allow non-licensed family, friends and others to attend the convention for an additional cost.

A seemingly good idea to some was met a lot of anger. For the record, I didn’t like the idea, but that isn’t what this column is about. My background is as a journalist and social media manager so I tend to look at a post’s bigger picture rather than just the topic at hand.

Since we’re talking about health and fitness, and in this case our favorite form of exercise and stress relief, I think we have to be extra sensitive online. I’m certainly not trying to police what other people say, but I’d like to offer some friendly and gentle advice on ways to better utilize forums when a sensitive topic comes up.

1 – Read (and re-read) the ENTIRE initial post to make sure you are clear on what is being asked or presented. A lot of times, people who are commenting on an initial post haven’t really read the whole post or even bothered to click on a link before registering a response. This can create rash judgements and misunderstandings and threads can get out of hand quickly.

2 – Be respectful to what others are saying, even if you disagree. Calling each other names or insulting someone because they don’t feel like you do or think differently is cyber bullying!

3 – Stay on topic. Too many posts rehash old arguments or turn into one-on-one battles and that solves nothing.

4 – Agree to disagree and walk away friends. This is probably the hardest thing to do. We all have our opinions and sometimes we won’t persuade others to our side but that doesn’t mean we’re right or wrong.

5 – Remember that all caps indicates yelling so when a post is typed that way, the reader automatically gets defensive.

6 – Be professional in everything you post, even in a closed group. I am not saying to be dishonest if you are truly upset but try to use the rule that if you wouldn’t address your students or colleagues that way, then maybe you shouldn’t post that way either. Remember, anyone can copy and paste and send to whomever they want.

7 – Try not to dismiss anyone’s comment by patronizing them. Saying things like “aren’t we all just supposed to share love?” can be frustrating and make others feel like they’re not being heard.

I welcome your thoughts and until next time, be healthy!

Monday, February 29, 2016

5 Ways to LEAP to Health and Fitness

It's Leap Day! Sometimes I wonder how the idea for what to do with those 6 extra hours per year came about... must have been a very creative astronomer! (Edited: I got too curious and looked it up: Julius Caesar's astronomer, Sosigenes, gets credit for the idea.)

Here are five ways to use this special day to make progress toward your health and fitness goals.

#1 Try a new group exercise class! Leap Day doesn't come around very often, make it a great day by trying something new. Need ideas? Here are reviews of piloxing, doonya, clubbercise, and bokwa!

#2 Take a class with a new instructor! Not quite ready for a new format? Change things up with a different teacher to get different choreography and moves.

#3 Go the extra mile! Push yourself to do 10 extra squats or stay on the treadmill for a few more minutes.

#4 Treat yourself! Use the extra day to get a pedicure, take a bath, or have some quiet time.

#5 Get some ZZZs! What better way to use extra time than to catch up on much needed sleep?

Happy Leap Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine from The Z Beat!

Happy Love Day! It's super fun to see all of the Valentine's-themed master classes, jams, and fundraisers posted on Facebook. Hope you're all having a great time today!

I wrote you a little poem.


Roses are red,
It's Valentine's Day,
Let's celebrate,
With a giveaway!

(Yes, that's a sideways photo. New mom status = lower standards when you can't get something to work. Sorry!)

Here's your chance to win an adorable Zumba drawstring bag, a hot pink, flowy ladies' Z-wear shirt (size Marvelous, but will fit Spicys and Lovelys too), and a bottle of Love Fury perfume. Perfect way to treat yourself!

To enter: Share a link to The Z Beat on your Facebook page (to this post or another one you like!) and TAG ME in the post (find me on Facebook here). Don't forget to tag me so I can enter you!!

One entry per person, and the giveaway closes at 11:59pm on Friday, February 19th. Good luck!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Stuff on my Mind: Health and Fitness as a New Mom

I've been focused on eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, and being an athlete and fitness instructor for many years. But, I must say, being a new mom puts all of these things in a very different context! Here are a few thoughts.

Resting: I had never been to a hospital as a patient before (I know, lucky me!) and never had a major illness, broken bone, or anything else. So, I was actually surprised by the amount of recovery time I needed after having a baby. Not because anything out of the ordinary happened, but because I'm so used to being super active and pushing myself... ya know, when you're running a half marathon you have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone in those last few miles. It might be tough, you might have to ignore some aches and pains. But, this was different. I had to force myself to put my feet up, take it slow, let other people help. It was so hard! Not to mention, now I feel like I'm making up for lost time, which leads me to my next thought...

What are you supposed to make of things
like this? Does the world expect my
flubby belly to get flat again? How soon?

Getting back into shape: Ayiyiyi. I felt great throughout pregnancy - kept jogging for the first six months and taught Zumba up until 7 months-ish. I took group ex classes up until a week before I was due, and was walking on the treadmill the day I went into labor.

After taking 2 or 3 weeks to recover after labor, I found working out tougher than I expected! I was trying to start slow (again, not my style but the thought of injuring myself scared me straight)... but I had no choice but to start slow because everything was harder than it used to be. I began walking slowly on the treadmill. At 4 1/2 weeks post partum, I ran my first mile - it was sloooow but felt like a big milestone.

Eating/weight loss: Despite staying active and eating mostly healthy food during pregnancy, I gained a whole lotta weight. I didn't have high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or anything else to worry about. But, now I have a real project ahead of me, as I'd like to lose most if not all of what I gained. This is another place where it's hard to know how hard to push yourself... on one hand, people say not to rush it and that nursing will melt the extra weight off. On the other hand, it feels like that could be an excuse to eat whatever you want and maintain lousy habits. And, how long do you go like that until you decide it's time to reign it in?

Making a plan: I have to do what's right for me, which at the moment is tracking what I eat while allowing myself extra calories to ensure I can continue to nurse my baby. I'm trying to exercise three days a week, and I can't believe how challenging it is to make time for just that (very jealous of people in warmer climates... taking the baby for walks isn't an option in NY in February!). I don't have any strict goals or deadlines, because I don't need that kind of pressure. And, I'm going to do all of this while enjoying my little girl and putting her first.

To those of you who've had a baby, did you have a post partum plan for getting back to yourself? How'd it go?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You need these health and fitness infographics!

I love a good infographic, and the ones that I just found on are especially helpful. Print 'em out or send them to your friends and students! For even more, visit Greatist.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Personal Story: What Doesn’t Kill You…

This post is from Melissa, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

We all have moments in life when the reality of a situation overwhelms you. This recently happened to me on my second attempt to finish the Disney Half Marathon in January.

When I ran my first half last January, I attempted it simply because I set a goal for myself to do it before my 44th birthday and to prove to myself that if I could do something I didn’t necessary like for 13.1 miles, I could never tell myself I couldn’t do anything again.

While I didn’t finish the race because I couldn’t keep up with the pacing requirement and was picked up after 5 miles, I still felt pretty good about it and a few months later, decided I wanted to actually try to FINISH this year so I signed up again.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I hopped a plane to Orlando to give it another go. Once again, life got in the way of my training and I didn’t exactly prepare as best I should but I still felt good about it, that is until I woke up with a sore throat the day before the race. It progressed into something more as the day wore on and when I went to sleep Friday night, let’s just say I wasn’t feeling all that great. My fiancé kept telling me NOT to participate but I made him a deal that I would not run if I woke up feeling poorly.

When the alarm went off at 2:30 a.m., I felt pretty good. Still a bit congested but my throat felt better so I decided I would give it a go. I boarded the bus at 4 a.m. and made sure I used the restrooms before getting to the starting gate so I wouldn’t have to stop and lose time like I did last year. I started off great and  was on pace when I hit the 3-mile mark. It was after that when the problems began.

About a half mile into the fourth mile, medical personnel began talking to me because I started wheezing and having a hard time getting air in. Everything hurt but I was not going to quit. They kept telling me it would be OK, that I would still get my medal but I told them the words “I quit” or “I’m done” would never escape my lips and that they would have to physically stop me. Four and a half miles in, that’s exactly what they did.

On the medical bus, I met a wonderful man named Seneca from Tennessee and he heard my story as I told it to another woman who suffered leg cramps and he chimed in to share his experiences and to give me encouragement not to stop after hearing this was my last half marathon.

Looking back, I realized I was overmatched and there was truly no way I could’ve finished that day. I was disappointed and when I got back to my hotel, I had a good cry, took a warm shower and went to breakfast with my brother. It helped but I still felt a void, until I checked my Facebook feed. I had an overwhelming response to the video I posted after the race where I let everyone know I didn’t finish. I truly was speechless.

What I learned, once again, is that it doesn’t matter to others that you finish, it simply matters that you start. I never realized how much people actually cared about my fitness adventures but now I do. I’m sure your clients and students feel the same about you so when things seem overwhelming or frustrating, remember that you are an inspiration to others no matter what. The fact that you have courage to teach, train and share your experiences to help folks get fit is the gift you give, not to mention the health benefit they gain.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Choreo Round Up!

Every once in a while, I ask readers to submit their original choreo. Last week I got AWESOME submissions and I'm so excited to share them with you. These routines are fun, simple, and sure to get students sweating, strengthening, and smiling.

(If the videos don't appear below in your browser, just click the links!)

Floor on Fire by Machel Montano and Pitbull, submitted by Patria McCoy

Ginza by J Balvin, submitted by Monica Herrrera

Te Gusta, performed flash mob style and submitted by Sandra Acosta

Here are two great Zumba Step routines (and two songs I love!) from Emma Moore:

Konsey from ZIN 57

Watch Out For This by Major Lazer

Monday, January 18, 2016

Resolution (Reality) Check

This post is by Dana, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

Losing weight and getting fit are among the top New Year Resolutions year after year. They are also the most broken resolutions. According to Statistic Brain, less than 50% of people who make resolutions actually keep them past the six-month mark.  75% of the surveyed respondents maintained their resolutions past one week, 71% achieved success past two weeks, 64% past one month and 46% past the six month mark. We are almost two weeks into the New Year and the gyms are still packed. People are excited about their new plans and people are still feeling successful. Here are some helpful tips to keep up the momentum to keep those resolutions and achieve desired results.

Don’t give up too easily

Giving up too easily and making excuses go hand in hand. Not to mention the fact that the mind is a powerful thing. If you miss a class, move on and plan to get to the next one. A small pitfall doesn’t mean that your plan won’t work for you and your schedule. Perhaps it just needs to be adjusted. Or perhaps it is a perfectly fine plan, it’s just that one class didn’t work out within your schedule. Don’t assume work is going to be busy forever.  You are in charge of what happens next even if there is a pitfall in your plan. Don’t let your brain bully your body into giving up too easily.

Time management

DO NOT add 5am morning classes to your proposed workout schedule if you typically need a bulldozer to drag you out of bed. If you simply aren’t a morning person DON’T mentally or verbally commit to morning classes. Plan another time in your day that your workout will fit in more comfortably so you are more apt to making it work.  

Unrealistic resolutions

Planning to attend a Zumba and spin class every day, bench-pressing 100 pounds and losing 35 pounds in a week is just flat out unrealistic. You know your body and you know your limit better than anyone. Make your goals small and obtainable and reasonable. In fact, try setting goals in tiers so you can work up to a sustainable plan that works for you. You will ultimately want to pick something that becomes part of your lifestyle.

Create a Plan That Works for You

Not having a plan is just as destructive as over planning. Depending on your personality type, you may just need a few basic documented steps to work towards, or you may need every single step mapped out with target dates that you can benchmark against. The most important thing to remember here is much like everything else in life, plans change, so be mindful of the possibility for change and adapt accordingly.

Believe in Yourself           

You are your #1 ADVOCATE! You are your BEST cheerleader! Your happiness and success starts from within YOU. DO NOT ever stop believing in yourself. Believe that you can succeed with any plan, path or resolution that you set forth. Know that your self-worth and success isn’t dependent on attaining those goals. Believe that even if you don’t achieve your goals during “take 1”, know that you will get there. #believe #achieve #succeed

Believe In Yourself Photo Credit:

Don’t Give Up Photo Credit:

Time Management Photo Credit:

Unrealistic Resolution Photo Credit:       

Make a Plan Photo Credit:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What motivates you?

I can't tell you what got me thinking about this... maybe it's having taken a break from teaching over the last few weeks that got me reflecting about my role as a group fitness instructor. But, I've been thinking about the differentthings that motivate people to teach group exercise classes. This kind of reflecting is helping me figure out what kind of instructor I am and what kind I might want to be, so I thought I would share.

Motivation #1: You enjoy exercising and teaching.
This one seems the most obvious - it's great to find a job (be it full-time or part-time) that you actually enjoy. This is probably the easiest motivation to identify because you actively experience the pleasure of teaching on a regular basis. As long as your students are also enjoying themselves, it's all good.

Motivation #2: You want to stay in shape.
Ain't nothing wrong with this one, and we all know teaching group exercise classes can be a great workout (especially when you have to give 150% to get any sort of movement out of your students!). This is a critical motivation to recognize if it applies to you, as it can easily cause you to become complacent in your teaching or miss cues from your students about whether they're getting what they should from your class (in terms of a good workout as well as emotional support).

Motivation #3: You want to inspire others to stay in shape.
A noble motivation for sure, if this sounds like you you're likely giving out regular praise and motivation during your class. Something to keep in mind: while most students appreciate being pushed to be their best, some students do not want to be singled out in class, even if it's for something positive. It's important to be mindful of the words you use and assumptions you might make about why everyone is in your class.

Motivation #4: You want a flexible career.
I know many instructors who may have gotten started for one of the reasons above, but stick with teaching because it affords them flexibility to be home with their kids or to pursue other interests on a non-traditional work schedule. I've also seen several of these folks burn out because they take on too many classes to make ends meet. If flexibility is what you're after, you have to be sure you've done your cost/benefit analysis and continue to check in with yourself to make sure your schedule isn't more trouble than it's worth.

Which motivation keeps you in the studio? What pitfalls do you have to look out for?

Friday, January 1, 2016

A little break

Just a heads up that The Z Beat is taking a little break (some of us may have a baby during our time off). We'll be back with new articles in mid-January. Thanks for reading in 2015. Wishing you a very happy new year!