Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

After our long road trip to Orlando, FL, we were ready for our first full day of Zumba Convention 2015. The day was full of sessions, visits to the Let It Move You Stage, and a trip to the Zumbawear Store. Be sure to scroll to the end to watch my blog to see video clips and get a mini tour of the store.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

I did a super colorful theme for planner this week. The planner was fun to look at, but the days were so busy, I didn’t have much time to really use my planner. I’ll probably leave it at home next time, but it did look good in the vlog at least.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

Here’s what I had for breakfast almost every day. Eats: oatmeal, hard boiled egg, and fruit. Oh and of course – coffee! I love that the Hilton has really nice oatmeal. I think it’s steel cut. I do wish they had more hot / savory food options. Breakfast is normally served in the Executive lounge, which is a little on the small side. After four years of dealing with a little madness, I’m glad to see the Hilton stepped up their game and moved us down to David’s. There was a lot more space. More importantly, the staff seemed much more happy and relaxed, and the food dishes stayed full. It always made me sad to see the staff so stressed out when they were doing their best. Anywho, there’s a tour of this on the vlog, too. Make sure you watch it to see.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

Game On!

This (above photo) is one of my favorite sights of ZinCon – the view riding the escalator to the Hyatt. The Hyatt is what I consider the heart of ZinCon, and it seems to be where most of the action is. Since we usually stay at the Hilton, this feels like my first look at ZinCon itself. I love seeing all the people moving about, the vendor booths stretched down the hall, and all the massive photos covering the windows and walls of the hotel. When I see this, I know ZinCon has really started for me.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

There are always a couple fun things to do around the vendor booths. This year, they had a few photo booths with props.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

Let It Move You Stage

Last year was the first year they had a public stage area. I was glad to see that they had a much larger stage this year. It must have been popular last year. This was a great way to get previews of sessions you’d like to know more about or learn new choreo. If you have breaks in between sessions, you can hang out here. There seemed to be something happening on the stage almost every time I passed by. You’re given a book with the full schedule at registration, which is really nice. My favorite preview and biggest surprise was Asian Invasion. I happened to catch three songs, and I absolutely loved all three, from the music to the choreo. I’m hoping to do this session next year.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

I’m not sure what’s more colorful – the ZinCon attendee outfits or the carpet.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

12:30 – 2:30pm: Crazy Country

My first session was Crazy Country with Kass Martin. Having fallen in love with her teaching style last year, I signed up for a couple of her sessions this year. This was the first of three. I’m not really a big country fan, but Kass was so fun, I really enjoyed the music and session overall. My favorites were Cupid’s Got a Shotgun and We Own the Night. The latter was so beautiful. I’d love to do a cool down to it (which is how Kass used it).

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

Afternoon Workout-Friendly Snack

I knew I needed to do lunch in between sessions, so I brought this snack/meal that I found at Target since it’s shelf stable. This actually worked really well since my break was fairly short. I find heavy snacks (instead of a regular lunch) often work well in between sessions so you get some nutrition and energy without being too bogged down.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

4:00 – 6:00pm: The Power of Connecting and Changing Lives

My second Kass session was one she co-led with Steve Boedt called, “The Power of Connecting and Changing Lives.” I did one of my favorite-ever conference presentations, Be the Inspiration, with Steve at a previous convention. I love his presentation style and energy. They are two of the best at engaging and energizing their classes. I was hoping they’d share their tips for engaging class while teaching, but this was more about interpersonal skills, which is also useful. Perhaps they can do the former as a separate session one day? Anywho, the session was really interesting and got way more deep than I expected it to…in a good way. We partnered up and answered some difficult questions, did a cross-the-line game, and danced to four songs while feeling the emotion of the song. I had a good time and even made a new friend during the session.  

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

Workout-Friendly Mocktail

My new friend and I decided to hang out a little more after the session ended at one of the bars hidden around the Hyatt. I was delighted to see they had an interesting mocktail menu. I wish every restaurant had a mocktail menu. My only gripe on this was how pricey my mocktail was. It was the same price as a cocktail (at least one in most bars). I think it was $8 before tip? But hey, you got free almonds (and some other crunchy and delicious snack).

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

I got the Antioxidant Thyme, which was made with POM pomegranate/blueberry juice, fresh lime juice, muddled blueberries, and fresh thyme. It may have been expensive, but it was really good and hit the spot. Especially since I had a master class fast-approaching, a mocktail was a better choice for me over a cocktail. Plus, it felt like a healthy treat.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

{My new friend, Joy, and me}

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

7:30 – 9:00pm: Erick Santana’s Master Class

I think everyone had the choice from many talented instructors to do a master class to end Day 1 of ZinCon 2015. I decided to do a class with Erick Santana. He’s not only one of the original Zumba master trainers (he got certified in 2004!), he’s very talented, does fun choreo, and has amazing energy. He’s very passionate about teaching Zumba, and it shows in his class. I’ve done a master class with him before and remembered really enjoying it, so I thought it would be fun to dance with him again…and it was!

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 1 (Sessions, Zumbawear Store, Let It Move You Stage VLOG)

If you have the chance to dance with him, watch his amazing range of motion, ability to put all of his passion into his teaching, and how he makes complicated choreography look easy. He’s a pro!

***

Ready to see more? Check out this vlog I made to share short video clips from my sessions, the Let It Move You Stage, and the Zumbawear store. I also shared my thoughts on some of the sessions. I wish I had said something about every session, but this was my first time vlogging, and I forgot! Good thing I still have this blog to write out what I meant to record.

Please be sure to give my video a thumbs up if you liked it and subscribe if you haven’t already. If you know someone who’s interested in going to ZinCon, send them the video. I tried to capture the experience with my vlog to help inform and encourage potential attendees to come to ZinCon.

More Zumba Convention 2015 fun:

Thanks for stopping by!

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

In August, I had the pleasure of attending my fifth Zumba Convention in Orlando, FL. ZinCon (the event’s shortened nickname) is one of the highlights of my year every year, and I love sharing the experience with you guys. I love it so much, that I decided to try something new this year, and I actually made a vlog (video blog). I’ve never made a vlog before, so hopefully it’s decent. Also, I thought blogging was weird, but vlogging takes things to a whole new level. Lol! Scroll to the end of the post to check out the video.

First up, I wanted to share what I’m calling “Day 0″, which is about the day before Zumba Convention (road trip and prep).

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

While I may have been more than excited about heading down to Orlando, FL for ZinCon, Bailey was less enthused. It’s always hard to leave my little guy, but I knew there was a fun adventure ahead.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

My friend Angie and I decided to road trip it. It’s a long trip that I usually break up with a stop at the beach, but that didn’t work out this year. By the time I called the hotel, the only rooms they had available were super expensive. So, we decided to go straight to Orlando and get settled in before the first day of the conference. We hit the road fairly early – around 10am.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

Our total trip was about 8 hours without stops, but of course, we wanted to eat and caffeine up. We stopped at a cute little Cuban restaurant in Savannah called Rancho Alegre. Angie actually pit-stopped here last year when she and another girl did a road trip for the 2014 convention. She liked it so much, we decided to check it out for this year’s trip.

There were some cool-looking painted walls around the parking area, so I snapped a couple photos. I could spend a long time taking pictures of all the scenery in Savannah, but though we didn’t want to rush, we didn’t want to take too long of a break. I have a thing for these old-school wall signs. I think they’re so beautiful.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

We had the maracuya (passion fruit juice) to drink. The Cuban bread was really good, and we received a basket of it to start the meal.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

For my entree, I had the ropa vieja, which always makes me think of my friend Serena’s wedding. I have great memories of this dish, and Rancho Alegre didn’t disappoint. From the bread to the main event, everything was quite tasty. My favorites were probably the beans or plantains. And you guys know how I feel about bread (yum!).

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

We hit a rough storm near Jacksonville that added at least an hour to our trip. It was quite the downer, but we tried to stay positive with some car dancing and good music. The delays added to the long trip and made me appreciate the usual beach stop even more.

Zumba Convention 2015: Day 0 (Road Trip and Prep)

Things cleared up as we approached Orlando – thank goodness! I actually saw a beautiful sunset, which I captured in the vlog. We stopped at Whole Foods to grab a quick dinner and get groceries to keep in the room for lunches and snacks. By the time we got to the hotel, we were pretty exhausted and ready for sleep. We may have been tired, but we were still really pumped about ZinCon starting up the next day…if that makes sense.

You can check out this vlog to see more about our trip, lunch, groceries and watch us eat rambutans for the first time. Have you ever tried them? They’re a very unusual and enjoyable fruit. Random, but that’s what we did.

Please give the video a thumbs up if you liked it and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. Both of those things really help me out.

Thanks for stopping by!

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