Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Your Choreography, Your Creations.
When Your Choreography is Being Used by Others by Zumba®️ Fitness Instructor: Megan Hernandez

I think it is safe to say that all Zumba®️ instructors love to dance. They love to get up, shake off their day and let themselves move freely. They possess this effervescence about them that can bring a whole room of tired and over worked women and men into an entire new space of enjoyment. It is still mind boggling to think how many different ways we can move our bodies that is ethereal and motivating.  

Scrolling through ZIN™Facebook groups I have come across a trend in conversations--Choreography. One of the hot choreography topics is constantly about people using other people's choreography and using it as their own. Choreography that could have taken hours to create, if not days. Take for instance something you are so proud of creating and is being taught in someone else's class! So it is understandable why this topic keeps coming up. There is a sense of pride and honor that comes from all of that work and determination in creating choreography. Especially when the choreography wows your class like you knew it would! 

It is not a bad thing to take it personally that someone has stolen your masterpiece, that is probably the normal reaction. What if the "offenders" idolize your work and just want to pass on your talent? What if they are overwhelmed with creating their first class and know the songs YOU do and take it as a couple less songs they have to learn to get their own class going? On the contrary, some instructors think it would be flattering to have their choreography used by others. And, on one hand it kind of is, but what if that's not what you want? There are ways to protect your creativity by using copyright. 

For those of you that are feeling slighted and maybe even bitter, start by taking a few deep breaths and asking yourself a few questions. Really get to the bottom of why you are upset. 
  • Is it that the person is using it in a class where you have students in common? 
  • Has the person presented it on some form of digital media and taken credit for it? 
  • Do you feel like you should have been asked permission?
When you figure out the reason that you are upset, take another deep breath. 
The best approach may be to talk to the instructor and just let them know how you feel about it. This is especially the case with a new instructor. Everything is so overwhelming when new instructors start out on their Zumba®️ journey it might not even occur to them that the choreography they are using was created by YOU and NOT by Zumba®️ Fitness. It may not even occur to them that they would even need to ask to use choreography, or they simply maybe just don't know who to ask. It is a great idea to give the benefit of doubt to the instructor. Just having a conversation could help alleviate hard feelings. 

There are ways to protect your choreography if you feel that someone may benefit from it financially. You can upload your medium and use the Copyright symbol©️ with your name and the year of copyright next to it and then file it with your U.S. Copyright Office. Note that copyrighting your choreography will not prohibit others from performing the dance under the fair use principle. Fair use allows for limited personal and educational use, so that people may perform your dance in their own homes and in other arenas covered by limited personal and educational use. However, if you copyright your choreography, others cannot sell the dance or claim it as their own creation. I will leave you with this final thought. 

Remember why you became a Zumba®️ Fitness instructor...
Continue to put forward the best version of you to the world in front of you. Shine bright and make the world brighter for those around you.

Monday, February 18, 2019

ZUMBA® Covention AKA ZINCON® is Right Around the CornerA Convention Experience with Zumba® Fitness Instructor Mirna Arroyo.

ZINCON®!!! So excited! My first time was in 2013 after teaching Zumba® for four years. Honestly, I never felt I needed to go as I thought "I already knew how to dance - I am Puertorrican and grew up dancing to Latin rhythms". 

One of my fellow gym instructors said it was a religious experience. I was curious but lacked a Zumba® bestie to go with. I decided to convince my husband to go to the 2013 ZINCON® in Los Angeles so he could also visit his family. Great idea!! The Theme Concert was with Pitbull – O.M.G. but I still I felt that I was missing that religious experience. Fast forward to 2016. 

Now I had an AMAZING Zumba® bestie; There we went! 

My thoughts...
  • First, so many bags and outfits!! Of course, you can always bring an empty suitcase to fill up at the ZIN® Wear Store!! 
  • Hotels. Must book early!!! After all, Orlando is the largest ZINCON® with 6000+ attendees!! And having a comfy
    and easily accessible place to crash or even change outfits (here we go again) between classes is a must. Actually, I would go to my room after each class and snack, shower, and change clothes to include my sneakers (must save those valuable feet that let us Zumba
    ® day in and day out!)
My experience...
  • Now, to the overwhelming feeling you get when you see the 6000+ people jumping, screaming, hugging – many type "A's" going at it…Have I found my ‘religious experience’? 
  • What about the star sightings - from seeing Beto walking to his room at night to getting a nice pic/selfie with the star ZINCON® instructors!! Oh, wait, booking a pre-or post-conference party might yield more sightings!! I went to Mango’s and there they were – Armando performing, a very pregnant Heidi, and Beto singing and dancing!!! 
The party....
  • Non stop party. The concert. My religious experience took me through the after-concert craziness up the escalator with the peeps singing, screaming, and taking maddening selfies!! 
  • Then there was the ‘parade of flags’ – the after-concert informal gathering of hundreds of ZIN® instructors from around the world displaying their flags and singing songs from their countries…and then IT HAPPENED – I found MY TRIBE. A bunch of Boricuas singing songs from our childhood, dancing like our ancestors – electrifying moves at the sound of drums, chants, and rhythmical hand-clapping. I could not resist but join in but not before just lounging down on a bench and take it all in, while videoing all of course. 
What will be YOURS??!!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Things That go Through Your Mind When you Have a Zumba® Crush at a Zumba® Class....💖😍💖

Written By: Zumba® Fitness Instructor: Lizz Larrauri

Let’s face it. We have ALL been there.  One day you decide to go to a fitness class and suddenly you start feeling motivated more than ever to attend that particular class. Endorphins kick in, you feel overly happy, you feel physically fit AND you find yourself with a crush in your Zumba® class....with your instructor.
  • The instructor is soooooooo nice to me.
  • I don’t know why, but I feel like we had this immediate connection.
  • I feel like tonight's playlist was created JUST for me. 
  • That warm up had me on fire! 
  • The instructor could not take their eyes off ME when that song was playing. 
  • I need to arrive earlier next time to save MY spot right right next to the instructor.
  • Nobody dances like my favorite Zumba® instructor (aka my Zumba® crush).
  • OMG my instructor is better than Beto (Just joking)!
  • I wonder if my instructor noticed I cut my hair?
  • Did I shaved my armpits today? 
  • Hips don’t lie.
  • Is my instructor Latin?
  • Wow my instructor can move!
  • OMG "Amigos con Derecho". Nailed it! That is our song.
  • Ugh new people, this is MY spot! I am the instructor's favorite!
  • I hope my makeup doesn’t “run”.
  • Yeah baby!! Shake it … that move was for me. 
  • OMG That Romeo Santos song was just added. WE have the same taste in music (of course).
  • This is my FAVORITE cool down song! How did the instructor know? We are SOULMATES.
  • Let’s take a selfie, or two.
  • OMG my Zumba instructor liked all my social media posts. I am in love!
*This is article is just for fun! We all know that Zumba® love is genuine AND real and our Zumba® families literally are amazing!! Any similarities with real life is just a coincidence.*  

Remember to find a Zumba® class near you by going to www.zumba.com
💖Until next time
Find Lizz on Facebook!
Connect with Lizz on Instagram

Monday, February 11, 2019

Dusting Off This #oldiebutgoodie: The Three Phases of Teaching Zumba® Classes. Can You Relate?

Phase 1: The “I can’t wait to strip off my work clothes and start dancing” phase...
  • I know once the music starts that whatever was bothering me from earlier in the day will be gone… “POOF”!
  • I am 100% certain that the smiling faces from my Zumba® class will instantly make me smile and happy straight to the core.
  • I am positive that when I start to “sparkle” (AKA sweat), I will actually feel the day dripping off of me.
  • I am instantly in my comfort zone, and I know that I along with everyone else can forget about reality for the next hour.
  • I am excited to know that everyone there is probably there for the same exact reasons as me!

Phase 2: The “phew, class just ended” phase....
  • I now have enough energy to power wash the side of my house, fly home or run a marathon.
  • My clothes will be dripping, soaking, ring-them-out wet to the point people will inevitably stare at me on my way out of the gym.
  • I will happily bounce up the steps and dash through the door as a brand new person!
  • I know I can tackle anything else that comes my way for at least the next 5 hours.
  • And as I reflect on my day at work, with the kiddo and from class, I somehow only remember the positive aspects of my day because I burned off the crazy in class!

Phase 3: The “day after” phase....
  • I wonder which one of the songs made my legs so sore as I go back down the steps and out the door to work.
  • I already start to think about the next playlist and figure out which songs I want to rotate in and swap out.
  • I try to stop humming my favorite ZIN™ song of the day, but I can’t help myself.
  • I plug in my earbuds and listen to songs on repeat all day long. 
  • And… back to phase 1! I can’t wait to get changed, and start all over again. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Using Social Media to Advertise Your Fitness Event with Zumba™ Fitness Instructor Jason McLaurin

Refresh refresh refresh! Depending on where you live the social media outlets might be flooded with Zumba™ activities; Master classes, Zumbathons™, Jam Sessions etc. With SO many activities saturating the social media market, it can be a lot to take in as a potential participant, so as a host you must set yourself apart

So how do you set yourself apart from the sea of event marketing? Read on....
Keep things simple. If it’s a smaller event or special class then you can keep things simple. If you’re charging, renting space and expecting 50+ participants then simply re-posting the same image or copying another style might be helpful but will not make you different.
The Promotion Period. A “promotion  period” is a time where you will begin the advertising to maximize results. Take into account your attendance goals, holidays and most importantly other events during that time. You may start with a simple “save the date” post then a few weeks later have a “hard push” period leading to a simple “reminder/ countdown” period leading to the big day.

Coordinate Your Marketing Efforts. Be careful on how far out you advertise so you don’t fatigue the public or undercut other activities. There are exceptions of course as some large Zumbathons™ that average 200-300 participants publish save the dates almost  one year in advance because of its complexity to coordinate.

Diversify Your Imagery. Don’t simply use one image the entirety of your promotion period. Look for  video and photo editing software/ apps  to give yourself a unique look. Decide what “theme” you are trying to portray  and keep the messaging consistent throughout the promotion period. Never use an image of another instructor or event you were  not associated with. If you are going for a large scale event, pay for image services so your pics and videos are free from ads.

Publishing Rules. Be very clear about any age restrictions and pricing. Keep in mind rules on Zumba™ advertising: https://www.zumba.com/en-US/trademark

Know Your Limitations. Do your best and be honest about your ability to market. New instructors might need to work harder to attract participants and established instructors might need to branch out beyond their normal circle of participants. If working with another ZIN™ be clear who is in charge of the marketing, who is the point of contact, how fees will be paid and make sure messaging is consistent.

These are a few of the many factors to keep in mind. The  hard part to factor in is TIME. Planning, creating and carefully timing the release of marketing at peak hours will take a lot of time. Simply refreshing or re-posting one flyer is easier but may not be as effective and you won't maximize your results. Try to have fun while hosting events! It is a business for some but remember many of  the participants look at special events as a fun break from reality. Make it worth their while and deliver the experience you are selling. If you are selling VIP tickets, make sure the experience is distinct. If you are doing a charity event, focus on the issue and ensure transparency in the money raised. One bad experience can make it hard for future events if the participants feel taken advantage of or shortchanged.

Good luck and take the responsibility seriously when you are advertising to your local Zumba™ community. 

Facebook: Facebook.com/muevelodmv
 Instagram: Mcjazzjay

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Announcing TheZBeat's Choreography Call! 

Do you love Zumba™ as much as we do? We thought so! In the month of February (well always really, but most certainly in February), we want to spread the Zumba™ Love💖. 

What: We want your original choreography to your favorite ZIN™ song. Any ZIN song from any volume. It doesn't matter it if is an oldie but goodie or a new release.

Who: Any active ZIN member can participate.

Where: Send us your favorite original choreography via email, or send it through Facebook (Find TheZBeat online and friend us).

When: We will be accepting videos through Monday February 18th.

Why: Because we love you, and want to share your Zumba Love with the fitness community. 

The Z Beat team will pick a handful of amazingness🌟 to share (Top 5 most creative, awesome and original videos). The videos don't need to be fancy, just capture the essence of your Zumba™ flavor. The hand selected videos will be featured in an upcoming Zumba Choreography article on The Z Beat on Thursday February 21st. 

Good luck!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tips and Tricks on Finding Inspiration For Your Zumba® Class

Teaching a group fitness class encompasses an enormous amount of time researching music, creating and learning choreography, setting up set lists, practicing and teaching. {Hit repeat}, and do it all again. Over and over again. Sometimes multiple times a day and most certainly several times a week. It is not uncommon to hit a plateau. You know that feeling when you want to introduce new choreography but find yourself short on time and maybe even lacking inspiration. There are many ways to reignite your Zumba® engine.  

1. Take a break. YES! Take a few classes off occasionally to rest your body and your mind. When you return to classes, I promise the spark will follow.
Zumba.com ZIN JAM Sessions

2. Attend another ZIN's class. This is an insta-boost. Not only will you love the energy, but experiencing someone else's vibe can really help you discover something new that would also work for your unique self. (No, I don't mean use their choreography, but maybe you can discover a new move or a new song).

3. Attend a ZIN™ JAM Session. Find a local session by logging into your zumba.com account, head over to ZIN Jams (under training and education) and find a local session. In these classes you will focus on a particular type of class (Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, etc), and you will leave class with fresh and new choreography to take directly to your classes! 

ZIN Play
4. ZIN Play. Take advantage of the choreography Zumba® Home Office sends you. You can locate the choreography organized by ZINVolume or MegaMix. You can peruse 1-1 and Live Videos. Learn them as they are or take bits and pieces of what you like and add your own flavor.

5. YouTube. Go to Youtube.com and type in almost any song under the sun to find a zillion variations of choreography that you can mix and match and make your own. Don't forget to save the links that you love so you can easily find them again. 

6. Co-Teach With Local Peeps. Ask a fellow ZINto come to your class and co-teach with you (as long as your gym allows it). I guarantee, the energy in the room will shoot through the roof. Not only will it be beneficial for you, but fun for your class. Don't be shy. Reach out to someone who is not in your inner Zumba circle. You would be surprised at the great connections that can be made when you reach out. 

7. Bring Back the Oldies. Your class will LOVE dancing to the oldies, and hearing the tunes will bring back nostalgic memories of where you were when you first heard the ZIN classic. You can even switch up your set list and have half old and half new. 

8. Be Creative. Have a themed class. Dress in a certain color. Take pics. Use Facebook live. Bring participants up to dance with you. Come early and practice. Stay after and show new routines. Do a battle song. Teach in different locations in the room. There are SO MANY WAYS you can spice up your class. Bring something unexpected and make each class memorable. 

9. Take if Offline. Ask participants to send you THEIR favorite songs. Create choreography for "their song". You will make people very happy and chances are you will discover new tunes you didn't know about.

10. Make a List. Make a list of all the reasons you started teaching Zumba®. Make a list of all of the things you have accomplished so far. Make a list of all of the things you want to accomplish and share your passion with others. Zumba® Fitness is truly about community. You will always find inspiration by looking within and reaching out to others.