Sunday, May 27, 2012

So much joy...

So this is a thing that ACTUALLY happened....

Matt, Sarah, Gina, Me, Tanya, MaryAnna
Friday I took a vacation day and prepped for going to Virginia for the Gina & Tanya Rock the Stage tour.  A 90 minute master class with two of the most amazing Zumba instructors possible. It was truly an AMAZING experience.

Let's rewind and take a look at the silliness of the day.  In the early afternoon I picked up Matt and we met Sarah and MaryAnna at the Cracker Barrel to head on to Richmond.  We listened to too many show tunes on the car ride and generally laughed our tails off.  We checked in to the hotel, got changed, and headed out to find food before the class.

We MAY have scared the waiter at TGI Friday.

MaryAnna likes to color.
Sarah's a helper!

Matt looks on, disapprovingly.
All between the lines and everything!
 After a very silly meal, we went on to the master class location.

So happy!
The energy in the place was out of this world.  I mean, what do you expect when you get a room full of Zumba fanatics in one place? What happens when you then play the Electric Slide? Or the Wobble?

Wobblin' during the pre-party.
Of course, we had to contend with Sarah's booty taking up all the room.  She and Nyeema apparently can't converse unless their booties are popped.

Too much booty.
We, of course, had to take the necessary self taken group photo.

Three headed Zumba monster!
Matt, getting silly!

Then it was time to rock.  And rock we did... 90 minutes of utterly amazing music, dancing and fun.

From the second they got on stage they OWNED the crowd.

Tanya looks at the crowd intently, looking for folks to drag up on stage.

The energy was just off the charts and they are twice as beautiful in person.  I hardly thought that was possible.  Look at that hair!!

Really?  How perfect do they look.  They make it all look effortless.

After the class was over we were psyched to hear they would be doing photos with folks afterwards.  I was on cloud 9 from getting to dance with them... but getting to meet them?  Shut the front door!

We waited in line, chatted with folks and I got to meet the awesome ZJ from Colorado - Dorie.  She's so awesome and I'm sad I missed the Jam session with her.  Sarah was teasing me about meeting my Zumba soulmate.

My Zumba dream?  To be a Jammer and get to share my choreography with other ZINs.  That's a long way away.

PLUS Dorie is a New Yorker, a Brooklyn girl!!, teaches Hustle and is a Chalene Johnson fan.  I was drawn to her immediately. She gave off such good energy and was a joy to talk to. Yeah... I totally have a new girl crush.

Then things got REAL. We got to take pictures with Tanya and Gina and talk to them for just a moment.  I said something to Tanya thanking her for helping to bring Zumba to us and that because of them I'd lost 180 pounds.  She shook my hand, congratulated me and said "...remember YOU did it."  I was a bit choked up.

Then Sarah comes up to me teary eyed.  Gina and Tanya had both called her beautiful.  Sarah hugged me and said something along the lines of "I look and feel this way because of the gift they've given us with Zumba.  Think about all the people we're helping to reach those goals.  All those women we're helping to feel good about themselves no matter what."  Yeah, we had a crying moment in the parking lot.

It was so much more than we expected the night to be.  I would honestly have paid three times what we did for that experience. 

Every time we go to a big Zumba event like this I am moved by the sheer love and community that has been built around Zumba.  People are kind, considerate, loving and sharing.

With the anxiety problems I deal with on a daily basis I have to psyche myself up for these types of things but I am always pleasantly surprised at the end of the day.  It's very rare that anyone makes me feel like the odd man out and I know most of that fear is in my head.  I'm always scared that people are going to think that I'm the fat friend along with the instructor.

I've had one or two people say catty things to me like "You do know this is for Instructors only, right?" before a Jam session. Those moments are so few and far between that it's getting easier to talk myself in to going to stuff like this. 

It's getting easier... some day I won't even think twice!


  1. I don't even like Zumba, but your enthusiasm makes me want to try it :)

  2. I got all teary again just reading this!!! It was amazing!


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