2013 and classes are well and truly underway.
The first class of the year was a really tough one for everybody involved. Luckily I managed to squeeze a few classes in between the festivities.
Once again, my morning step classes were jam-packed. It was brilliant to see so many people taking the bull by the horns and showing up.
One fantastic individual said: “I haven’t stepped in 15 years but by golly I’m going to give it my best shot,” and they did.
The first class of the year I taught was on January 3 and I have to say my morning Zumba ladies are the most wonderful clients. They love to dance and listen to the music so bright and early they all pitched up. I started to get nervous as I had been rehearsing new routines all through Christmas and now when the chips were down I wasn’t sure how much of it I would remember.
Zumba is a funny class to teach for the exercise to music-qualified instructor. Everything we learned in college and on training courses doesn’t apply to Zumba as the dances are not phrased like your normal exercise class. In your exercise to music qualification you spend a lot of time breaking your movements down to fit 32-count choreography: eight beats a bar, four bars. However, Zumba requires the instructor to listen to each individual piece of music and choreograph around it: beats in the bar changing whenever they want, beats per minute changing from dance to dance and styles changing often within the same track of music. So you have to learn each dance as a seperate piece of choreography and that means a lot of stuff in your head when you stand up to teach.
Three years into teaching Zumba I still get nervous when I have to do a new dance. I’m not sure why.
Well, I started the class and was doing the warm-up track and I was lucky enough to find a track I love. As a Zumba gold instructor I receive extra music and choreography from the wonderful Zumba folks and when ‘Ain’t That a Kick in the Head’ arrived I knew it was a really classy, fun number that my zumbettes would enjoy hearing and dancing to.
So the music starts and the zumbettes are all smiling and the instrumental at the beginning kicks in and I remember the first eight beats and then bam! I’ve got nothing! Can’t remember a thing.
Now, as all good instructors know, when this happens you can do one of two things. You can stop everything, explain what’s happened and ask for a minute to gather your thoughts then try again or you can wing it. I decided to wing it.
The only advantage to forgetting your Zumba steps on the first airing of a new song is this: nobody in the class knew I was now making it up. It’s new for them too so the old professional in me just kept side-stepping and kicking and every now and then I would remember a bit and do some jazz hands and before you knew it the track was over and we were all clapping each other. Sometimes you gotta razzle-dazzle em!
Luckily, I’m a few classes into the new year now and I can safely say that I now have fully committed the new songs to memory.
The moral of the story is this: your instructor is the same as you, the only difference is they stand at the front and push play on the sound system.
I really hope you enjoy the fantastic fitness supplement in this week’s edition. We are all very proud of it here at the Herald.