Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zumba Convention 2012 Wrap-Up Part 2

Yesterday we talked about Wednesday and Thursday.  Today let's wrap up Ceonvention starting with the joy that was Friday.

Friday morning Sarah and I hit up the Outlet store before going to class and I was floored.  The deals!  Next year I will absolutely leave more room in my bag for more clothes.  And I will take orders from my students! So much awesome to share. The first session of the day was Flamenco Fever. 

This class only served to remind me that I have less upper body strength than most toddlers.  For serious! Holding the arm positions my arms and upper back were SCREAMING at the end of the session.  I loved it!  I also got dragged out in to a circle dance to dance with the session leader Siudy.  So very cool!  I loved learning about the different ways to use my arms and hands as as extension of my arms and how to hold myself in proper form to do the Flamenco properly.  I loved it.

After that was the session to end all sessions... the ZIN Master Class with BETO! I got to take most of an hour worth of Zumba with the man, the myth, the legend, the creator of Zumba - Beto.   It was so much fun and I was flying by the time we were done.  It was one of those things that words don't do it justice.  The energy was high, everyone was full of joy and the new songs are BANGING! I know I will wind up using all of the songs when that ZIN DVD comes out.  I loved the mixes, I loved the moves and I can't wait to share it with my classes.

After that there was more shopping and investigating and looking around and some choreography practice and then back to the hotel to get ready for the big Fitness Concert.  Which we wound up skipping.  Because we were tired and not really up for all the loud.  Veronica, Jenn, Sarah and I went out to Uno's for dinner and then back to the hotel to hang out and just relax.  I did a load of laundry and stayed up late just chatting with the other ladies in the room. 

Saturday was the busy day.  The morning started off with a master class with Heidi Torres called Miami Party.  It was INTENSE.  I was so drenched in sweat by the end of the class that I thought my clothes were melting off of me.  Heidi is an absolute firecracker.  The playlist was so hot and the moves were even hotter.  I want all of my classes to have that joyful feeling.  So amazing. 

After that Sarah and I were scheduled for Columbian Connection but we wound up skipping it to take a breather and prepare for recording our routine for the Choreo contest.  I also just needed some space.  During the Miami Party class some fellow instructors were being not so nice to me.  Their shock and amazement that the "big girl can move" really grated on me and I felt marginalized and so little.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot.  That's a whole other post though... that's coming....

So I took a break, collected myself, put my big girl panties on and met up with the team for the choreo contest. 

We ROCKED recording the choreo video.  I am so completely honored by getting to dance with the incredible group of ladies in the Hard Knox Crew.  Shanie, Paulette, Gabby, Kay, Jenn, Liz, Crystal, Sarah and I had a great time working together and I think we had a fun, innovate and STRONG routine that I think the Home Office will enjoy.  Fingers crossed! I'm also really glad to be able to call these ladies my friends now.  They're all so kind and open and fun.  I couldn't have asked for a better crew. 

After that Sarah and I headed off to Hip to Strip with Ann Saldi.  This session was EXACTLY what I needed after the morning I had.  It was all about empowerment, confidence and loving your own body.  The routines were HOT HOT HOT and I felt so sexy doing them.  Ann is such an amazing instructor and I love her attitude, energy and the over all message that "Dancing naughty is good for the body."  She was bold, unashamed of her sensuality and rocked even the tiniest little move in such a way that she OWNED that room from the floor to the ceiling to every tiny crevice.  Yeah... I've got a new Zumba crush.  Ann joins the ranks of Dorie Wexler (the ZIN from CO), Loretta Bates, Pam Socorro and the other new additions Marcie Gill and Priscila Sartori!

After the way people treated me during Miami party, Ann's class was a breath of fresh air and the students in the class were amazing and I totally felt the Zumba love in that class. 

When we were done there we went home and then out to dinner to O'Charleys for the theme party - Dancing through the Decades.  I went in the black slacks, black tank and wavy hair like Madonna in the Vogue video.  The blazer jacket was too hot to wear.  The party wasn't as fun as I expected.  It was too crowded to do too much dancing but we had a good time for the hour or so we stayed.  Then Sarah, Jenn and I went to Friendly's and had ice cream. 

It was a trip down memory lane.  I hadn't been to a Friendly's in forever! Such yummy ice cream!!! :)

Sunday was the last day of convention and Sarah and I started out with the ever awesome Loretta Bates and (new crush) Marcie Gill in Reggaeton Rebellion.  The master class was incredible, the information was provided in a fun and interesting way and the choreography we learned was super hot! This was, by far, the best organized session of convention for me.  The material was presented in a way that really helped me understand the roots and culture behind  reggaeton and it was exciting at the same time. 

We had lunch at the convention center and I had a slight allergic reaction... I think the chicken stir fry was stirred or served with the spoon the shrimp stir fry was because I ate 2 or 3 bites and my mouth and throat started to feel funny.  Popped my emergency benedryl and I felt fine shortly there after but ACK that could have been bad!!

Last session of convention?  Brazilian Carnival.  We learned the moves for 5 rhythms - forro, Brazilian funk, axe, capoeira and samba.  And that was BEFORE the master class!!! My legs were jelly and I got about 4 songs in to the master class before realizing that I couldn't do any more if I intended on walking back to the car.  I got validation that my Samba was good from one of the instructors in the session during the Samba line mini workshop.  WOOHOO.  Next year I will take this session again and it won't be my last session of convention.  I want to be able to use the Brazilian moves without worrying that I'm going to pass out.

To wrap convention up Sarah, Jenn and I went out to dinner.  We wanted to steak and because places we were interested in were either closed or out of price range we went to Outback and had a delicious meal where we laughed and joked.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel and hit the pool.  We swam a bit, treaded water and then had to relocate to another pool because it was too crowded.  When we moved we found a pool with a mostly open hot tub.  It felt SOOOOOOO good!  My muscles really appreciated the bubbles and the heat.

I wasn't ready to come home on Monday but I also really wanted to be back with my men and back in my bed.  I also missed my students.  Getting to teach Monday night and tonight was a trip.  I have introduced 2 of the Reggaeton Rebellion songs, 2 from Hip to Strip and a Brazilian line dance I did at the Party in Pink and the Miami Party class this week and I'm loving sharing the excitement of convention with my crew. 

More to come about lessons learned and overall impressions of convention and a big old pic post tomorrow!!

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