Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting to the BORP Fitness Center

So, you're interested in the FREE ZUMBA class and you've registered online by following these instructions.  You've looked for directions online, but you are still a little unsure about how to actually get to the class.

In showing up to finalize things at the BORP Fitness Center yesterday afternoon, I realized that it might be a little difficult to find.  So, below is a virtual tour showing you how to get to the studio if it is your first time.

Coming from BART
Get off BART at the Ashby Station.
After you've passed the stanchions, look up and slightly left.
Follow the signs through those glass doors.
Turn right through the doors and get on an elevator.
Go to the first floor (it is starred).
Turn left out of the elevator and walk beyond the desk.
This is where the Zumba magic will happen!
Coming North on Adeline
You'll be driving beside the BART station on Adeline.
You'll encounter this sign. Aim for BART Parking, NOT ERC!
You'll drive past the main entrance, but you'll see it on your right.
Turn right past this sign to go to Free BART Parking.  
Follow the path back to the parking lot.
Find a spot, park, and aim for this door.
Walk inside and head down the hallway, then turn left.
This is where the Zumba magic will happen! (You just came down that hall on the left.)

Coming South on Adeline
You'll be driving beside the BART station on Adeline.
You'll encounter this sign. Follow the arrow for Free BART Parking.
Follow the path back to the parking lot.
Find a spot, park, and aim for this door.
Walk inside and head down the hallway, then turn left.
This is where the Zumba magic will happen! (You just came down that hall on the left.)

I hope these help photos make finding the class easier, and I'm very excited to dance with you,

Monday, June 20, 2011


The first Zumba class I'll be teaching at the Ed Roberts Campus on Thursday, June 23rd is ABSOLUTELY FREE TO EVERYONE!!!

The Ed Roberts Campus is a new facility in what used to be entirely an Ashby BART parking lot.  Now, what's left of the lot surrounds the building, and BORP is one of the programs housed within that provides services for physically disabled children and adults throughout the Bay Area.  The BORP Fitness Center wants to bring in able-bodied members of the community to get to know the building, which is why they are offering classes that cater more toward general fitness, with little-to-no emphasis on adaptive recreation (though anybody that shows up is invited to join in on the fun).  50% of the proceeds from each class go towards this amazing, non-profit organization!  The address is below, and it links to a google map view of the property.

3075 Adeline St, Suite 150 
Berkeley, CA 94703

I'm worried that the class is going to fill up, and I want to give my friends and family (and blog readers) first dibs at a spot in the class.  Following are detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to register online.  In order to start, CLICK HERE.

This is the first screen. You should see my class near the bottom. Click 'Sign Up Now'.
Your first time, you'll need to fill out the bottom section and click 'Next'. If you're returning, input your username/pass.
This is all the info you must provide your first time. Remember your username/pass for future classes!
You may have to go back to the beginning, or it may take you straight to this page, but your name should be at the top-right (censored here).  When you get to the signup page, 'Register as Unpaid'! After your first time, classes are $11 each, but your first class at BORP is free!
This is your confirmation/schedule screen.  Only one class will be listed, but you can go add future ones!

Now, don't register unless you can show up.  I expect the class to sell out, and it would be unfair for you to hold a FREE reservation if other people are available to attend.  Feel free to forward this information on to all who are interested, and I'm excited to see you on Thursday.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions/problems by going to my Bio & Contacts tab!

Happy Dancing,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Real Classes

An instructor in Concord, CA, needed a sub for her Zumba class while she recovered from a pinched nerve.  Two people that I had originally met at B1 training posted that they were subbing, and I asked for details so I could come to the class.  They offered for me to teach a song or two, and I gladly accepted.  (This is a perfect example showing how important networking becomes immediately, so make friends when you go to that instructor training!)

The class was amazing.  It turned into a mini-Master's class, except the 'masters' were new instructors that had never taught in front of a full class before.  By the end, 4 of us fresh instructors had a chance to teach songs, but most of them were taught by Amelia, the wife of the couple I had met at the instructor course.

These were the 4 new instructors that taught!  Amelia's up front.
None of the pictures that my darling girlfriend took on her phone turned out spectacularly.  I'll take all the blame, though, since I didn't give the dancers a second to stand still.  All they could do was:

& Jump!
& Cross!
& Slide!

I led two songs, and the feedback from the class afterward couldn't have been better.  It was a really enthusiastic crowd in the largest dance space I've had the privilege to use since I started Zumba.

It was so fun that I went back this week.  This time, the regular instructor was on vacation, which is probably going to help her heal faster (instead of trying to dance too soon).  Anyway, I taught 2 more songs!  I planned on doing 2 different songs from the week before, but I had requests for one of the previous songs.  That's right.  People are already requesting favorite songs!  I can't describe how good that makes me feel.  The crowd this week was just as enthusiastic afterward.

I'm so pumped for my first hour-long class, for the opportunity to show you all of my moves!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aquazumba w/ Yeni

On Saturday morning, I went to my first Aquazumba class.  I really want to get exposure to all of the different types of Zumba, except for Zumbatomic.  I can already tell that Zumbatomic just isn't for me.  I believe that I'd be amazing at Zumba Gold, and I think I should get into Zumba Toning, but Aquazumba was the first class I found outside of the realm that I am already familiar with.  It was the first day that it was being taught by an instructor that I had already taken 'Land' Zumba from, Yeni.
Meet Yeni!  (Click here to go to her website.)
Funny story.  I met Yeni at a Zumba class, where she was dancing along instead of teaching.  It was the first time I had ever seen her, so I made some comment about how great she was (specifically at salsa).  Her response, "Yeah, I teach Zumba here."  It was awkward, but it left an impression.  The talented, unforgettable Yeni.  Her 'Land' Zumba choreography can be a little more complex than the average beginner class, but that makes it way more fun the second or third time you see it, and you're able to do it all!  Her dancing talent is obvious in every move she makes.

It was Yeni's first Aquazumba class (which fit well with my first time taking Aquazumba).  She recognized me as soon as I showed up to the pool, so I felt very VIP.  My overall feelings about Aquazumba: I didn't love it.  It wasn't the instructor or choreography or music, Yeni was great!  She was very conscious about using buoyancy in your favor to avoid injuries, and it made me realize how ideal this class would be if I had any sort of sports injury.  The amount of intensity and overall fitness the instructor has to exude from the deck while the class is flopping around in the water is unbelievable, and I'm positive that I couldn't do it at my current fitness level.  (Luckily, Yeni is in great shape [rockin' the abs] and spent the hour jumping around as if gravity didn't fully effect her either, even though she wasn't in the water.)

I just found myself continuously frustrated that I wasn't able to dance on beat.  It's just too difficult to move fast enough.  I wish I was better at figuring out how to best move my limbs to make snappy, in-sync motions in the water, but I just don't know if that is even possible.  As someone who likes to add the little flourishes to make my dancing look that much fancier, I struggled with not being able to move my feet quickly or shimmy to my heart's content.  I also found some of the moves to fight me to the point of stagnation.  Trying to move to the right while pushing water to the right is great resistance training, I'm sure, but it is frustrating to work hard and not go anywhere.

I'm sure I'll go back in a month or so, since I don't have a free Saturday to spare until after the 4th of July, but I don't see myself going regularly.  It's just too much money; money that I'd rather spend on 'Land' Zumba!

Nevertheless, Thanks for the experience, Yeni!  Keep up the good work!  I recommend everyone to try Aquazumba at least once, and I think some of you may enjoy it more than I've led you to believe here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zumba Instructor Gear

I did my first Zumba shopping as an official instructor.  I figured that if I'm going to start playing the part, I might as well look it.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the clothing.  I'm not someone who is usually inspired by online clothes shopping.

I'm getting excited for them to get here (they should be here on Friday).  I'm a little nervous about sizes.  Like most guys, I didn't measure myself and just guessed.  I hope they don't run small!  Anyway, I thought I'd let you see what I bought!

The first shirt I bought represents my affinity toward bright colors:
I've always enjoyed tank tops, but I don't think my clavicle scar is very appetizing to show my class, so I went with a Maize/Blue cutoff for my second purchase:
Finally, I snagged a ruby shirt because it also had the Maize/Blue theme going.  I also think that I have the body shape of a rugby player, so why not embrace it:
I'm also considering buying these shirts, but I need to start earning back some of my Zumba investment before I'll buy anything else:
Pants?  Who wears pants?
Just kidding.  I prefer to wear shorts when I'm Zumba-ing, and none of the shorts were quite the style that I like.  However, I'm really, really considering buying a pair of Disco Sport Shorts from Betabrand.  I could definitely rock a pair of those (and they're local)!

What do you think?

Monday, June 6, 2011

5k Challenge

Yesterday, I raced the Lake Chabot Trail Challenge Half Marathon & 5K (just the 5k, though).  This was my second 5k in the past few months.

My goal was to finish in under 30 minutes.  I didn't.  I finished in 31:55, which is 30 seconds slower than my 5k at the end of March.  Then, I woke up this morning and weighed myself.  I gained an anomalous amount of weight in the past week, even though I Zumba'd almost every day, and ran a 5k race.

At least I had a great outfit (and look at those calves)!

So, I'm changing my strategy a little.  I'm going to start running more.  I'm going to look for another 5k coming up in the next month or two, and I'm going to race it in under 30 minutes.  I'm going to do this by getting in more running miles per week.  I've looked at this running program many times, and I've even started it once or twice.  Since the goal of this blog is to motivate me to change my life, it is a perfect opportunity for me to take it seriously and try to improve my 5k time.  I know the program is designed for people just starting off, but let's be honest, I am just barely surviving these 5k's.

In the past, one day of rain or an unplanned event always knocked me off of my schedule, and I immediately quit.  Well, No More!

Silver lining to yesterday's 5k: if there was a 26-30 age division (as opposed to 20-29) for males, I totally would have won my division.  Same goes (I'm assuming) if they had weight divisions.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Today, I had my first interview.  I've been prepping my hour-long choreography every day since last Friday when I found out.  I was asked to give a full demo, and I was told that I would be interviewed afterward.

Here's how it went:

I woke up ridiculously early.  An hour earlier than usual, which sets the alarm to 4:45 am!  I took my Australian Shepherd to doggy day care so I didn't have to worry about him until after my interview.  I had cooked my breakfast and lunch the night before, so I snagged them out of the fridge on the way out.

I got to work when it opened (an hour earlier than usual).  My days are flexible as long as I put in 8 hours before 5pm.  I have to drive 40-minutes one-way (and almost an hour from doggy-day care).  It was a really busy day at work, but at least that helped the time go by.

At 3:30pm I rushed to my car and drove home.  I immediately hopped in the shower (my curls are outta control), ran around getting dressed and packing everything.  I had extra clothes, about 10 different forms of my hour playlist, notes, pen/paper, water, towel, a sweatband?, ballroom shoes, jazz slippers, who knows what else.  Everything else was on my body and I rushed out.

Traffic was awful.  I was stuck at the I-580/80 interchange where traffic combines coming off of the Bay Bridge forever.  Though I had done everything in my power to get there on time, I pulled up to the studio 4 minutes after my interview started.  Then, there was no parking.  I drove around the parking lot next door hoping to snag a spot, and I finally gave up and parked in the back parking lot of a neighboring apartment building.  Sorry... gotta run!

I walked in and met the manager, and she was totally laid back, which was a relief.  She immediately looked at the schedule and realized she had scheduled my demo on top of a yoga class.  Crap.  The only room that was open... was the childcare / play room:
Not the actual room, but very, very close.
Then the manager drops bomb #2.  She has been dealing with a sports injury.  Today she was finally told to stay off it.  So, there will be no demo.

[I think I'm kinda funny looking.  I had to be convinced by one of my instructors that people would even have interest in taking classes from a chubby instructor.  However, I'm slowly getting over it.  I think my dancing speaks for itself.  Here, though, my dancing, and all of my practicing, will go unseen.  *Must* Keep *Smiling*]

She asked me a few questions, but didn't really write anything down.  The expansion that they are going to have Zumba classes in isn't even done yet.  She said that they would call people that make the second round and bring them in for a real demo in the new studio.  Then I left.

Overall impression?  Underwhelming...?  I worked really hard for nothing.  I'm happy I did it, because I'm ready to give demos all over the place.  However, I had really amped myself up thinking that this was going to be the place where I started, and from which I would gain tons of experience and a small following of devoted dancers.  So far, we're not much further along in the process.

Life will continuously throw obstacles at you.  Roll with the punches, and keep pursuing your goals.  I will.

Determined to be a Zumba Instructor,