- I met some awesome Zumba instructors while leading out at Zumba on the Hill this past summer. “Zumba on the Hill” is kind of like “Yoga on the Hill” — a free Zumba class on Sundays at Parliament Hill. At Zumba on the Hill, I met another instructor, who I realized is also a Seventh-day Adventist, and I met a Movati Group Fitness Supervisor who I ended auditioning before for my position at Movati.
- Speaking of Movati, the first time I walked into a Movati location, I was like, “I need to find a way to work here.” That dream has officially become a reality! I teach Zumba on Thursday nights from 7:30 to 8:30 at Movati Athletic Trainyards.
- I took the class over from another instructor who had injured herself. For the first class I had 16 participants — people who didn’t know that their beloved instructor wouldn’t be coming back. Attendance dipped after that first class — during my second week I had only five participants. I went home a little discouraged. How do I boost attendance in my Zumba class? I wasn’t the other instructor; I could only be myself. But I wondered if it was enough… Sometimes I wonder why I do this. While being a Zumba instructor helps pay some bills, I obviously don’t do it for the money, and so far, I have been investing more than I have received. I work a full-time job and then have to bus to these far corners of Ottawa and literally “bring the party” — I have to be the party. I have to summon energy which, sometimes, I’m not sure that I have.
- So the next week I arrived — my third class — I didn’t expect anyone to be there. I literally expected two people. So imagine my surprise when I had 13 participants and other members kept flowing in!!! I finished that class with 16 participants. A couple of participants thanked me profusely and asked if this was the only class that I taught and said that I was “really good” and that they had “a lot of fun.” This past Friday, I subbed a Zumba class for another instructor and saw a girl from my class the day prior and her friend. She dragged her friend out to Zumba because she found out that I would be teaching that day. Her friend told me that she didn’t regret coming. They said that I would be seeing them in my classes from now on. It was just the encouragement I needed. 🙂
- One Sabbath, I was fishing around on Facebook, and I was adding up other fitness instructors at Movati Trainyards. I stumbled across the profile of one in particular, and I found that she had worked at an SDA Language institute. She was an Adventist! I added her, only to find out that she and I knew Adventists in common in Ottawa — in fact, I had been to her church multiple times but just had never seen her. Two weeks later, organizational changes were announced at Movati and the same lady who I befriended on Facebook was named Group Fitnesss Supervisor at Movati Trainyards. That’s right — my boss is a Seventh-day Adventist. How uncanny is that? I won’t ever have to explain why I can’t work on Sabbaths. 🙂
- My Aqua Zumba class is still going strong. We’re a small but mighty group, but I already have registrants for next session, so it looks like Aqua Zumba at Carlingwood YMCA will continue.
- I’ll be headlining the following event with my friend Duanse Bellot. It’s a fundraiser for breast cancer. Link me for tickets!
Next goals: Teaching vacation. I desperately need a vacation — like I need to go away and leave Ottawa — and I’m trying to fit one into my budget. So, after seeking some referrals from other instructors, I have applied to NRG2Go and Fit Bodies Inc. to teach Zumba and/or Aqua Zumba in Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas or Jamaica in exchange for an all inclusive seven-night stay for me and a guest. I haven’t heard back from them yet… They both require that their instructors not only are fit but look fit, and they both ask for full body photos… This criteria makes me uncomfortable — fitness comes in all shapes and sizes, even if someone doesn’t fit the convention “look” of fitness. We’ll see if I make the cut. Stay tooned!