Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wil'd to Dance

The first Zumba class that I ever took was in Los Angeles at a dance studio that was a mere 1.7 miles away from my apartment in Palms.  It was the urging of my girlfriend that convinced me to look up Zumba on one of those late-night infomercials, which convinced me to go try a live class.

I was really, really lucky.  The instructor at this studio was the perfect combination that I needed to get addicted to Zumba.  Here are some reasons why I fell in love so quickly:

1) The instructor was (if you haven't already snuck a look at the picture below) a guy.  It immediately feels less awkward when you walk into a room full of defensive girls and there's a guy at the helm, even if he is the only other guy in the room.  I don't know if it's true, but I feel like girls always assume guys are there to look at their butts and hit on them.  It may be true, but I'm not there to do that.  I'm there to dance.

2) This particular Zumba class had a very strong hip-hop influence.  Hip-hop is one style of dance that I don't have much background in.  However, I love to dance, and hip-hop moves are the only things you can get away with at clubs.  (It's not like I'm going to grab my girlfriend and start Viennese Waltzing around a packed floor pulsating to house music.)  He even threw in a current, popular song every once in a while.  I'm forever addicted to Katie Perry's 'California Gurls' because of this class.  Much of my Reggaeton for the next few years will be dominated by his choreography.

3) The instructor, whose name was Wil, had a great website, The Wil to Dance.  It let me learn a lot more about him and understand what his point of view was, from a dancing perspective.

4) The whole premise of Zumba matched me perfectly, and Wil recognized that.  He invited me back regularly, and he would sporadically work his way through the crowd to dance in front of me.  He regularly urged me to not hide in the back corner of class, and he made sure to point out when I had really good days. I make it sound like he did all of these things for just me, but I feel like he had a way of making the whole room feel like they were getting a personal Zumba class.  I strive to do the same for my students!
Click on Wil to go to his website!
I'm still pretty new to the Zumba scene (been going a year), but I've been to many classes throughout California, which were taught by handfuls of different instructors.  I think Wil might be one of the best Zumba instructors in the country.  He is one of my biggest inspirations, and I owe a lot of my passion for Zumba to him.  I can think of a few instructors that I've had that would have turned me off to Zumba immediately.  Luckily, Wil was there to invite me into the fitness movement that is going to help change my life for the better!

Thank you, Wil!

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