Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best Compliment Yet

I got my license to teach Zumba in May of 2011.  I made a few friends at the training, 2 of which were a married couple (since he was the only other guy at the training).  At the time we lived about 45 minutes away from each other, but we hoped that we'd be able to meet up again at some point in the future.  Before I knew it (like 2 weeks later) they had contacted me saying that they were subbing for their regular Zumba class and wanted to know if I could come do a song or two.  I had been working on choreography and jumped at the chance to teach in front of a real class.  I drove out to their regular studio in Concord, CA, and we had what we called a "mini master class".

4 brand new instructors after our first class, June 8th, 2011.

Since then I've taught over a hundred classes from California to Kentucky.  I've had classes with 1 person in them, and I've had classes with 150 people in them.  It doesn't matter how many classes I teach, my first will always stick out in my memory.  It was scary, but it was fun, and I think it went well.  Skip ahead 18 months, and this little gem was left on the wall of my Facebook page:

"Hi Rob! You were a guest instructor at the first Zumba Fitness class I ever took. It was at Dance Connection in Concord, CA in Summer 2011. Your energy and fun choreography were very memorable and inspired me to keep taking Zumba classes. Now, I'm an instructor, too, and just taught a sweat-flying, fist pumping class this morning and remembered that first class and wanted to let you know the effect you had! If you're ever back in the Bay Area I would love to host and collaborate with you! You're awesome! :)" ~Kathryn D.-H.

The first class that I partially taught turned out to be Kathryn's first Zumba class, which started her on the journey to become a Zumba Instructor herself.  Not only did this almost make me cry, but it also pointed out an interesting parallel.  I'm a Zumba Instructor today because of a sub that I had at a yoga studio in Oakland while an instructor was out for maternity leave.

I had been taking her classes for a few weeks when she decided to have a Cinco de Mayo Zumba party.  Afterward, while munching on some guacamole, she told me that I should consider becoming an instructor.  I laughed it off, but then she made it clear that she was serious.  In fact, I remember exactly what she said.  "You sparkle.  You are so high energy.  I'd take your class".  She said she was considering opening her own studio soon.  She handed me her card, told me to get my license, and told me to call her afterward.

The instructor that convinced me to become one:  the inspiration.

That instructor eventually got me a job teaching at Club One in San Francisco.  Actually, before I moved to Kentucky, I taught at almost every branch of Club One in San Francisco and Oakland.  From there, I got a job teaching at BORP, and I had plenty of opportunities subbing throughout the Bay Area.  As far as Zumba is concerned, a sub changed my life.

I'm not taking full responsibility for Kathryn becoming an instructor, but words can't describe how proud I am to be even the slightest bit of inspiration in helping her achieve her fitness goals.  I keep a page full of testimonials, more as motivation for myself than to brag (though it could use updating), but it's going to be hard to find a testimonial that means more to me than Kathryn's has.

Thank you all for the support over the years, and I assure you that you all inspire me way more than I could ever return.

Happy Dancing,

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