Totally 80s Dance Fitness Party

Any 80′s fans out there? Last month, I hosted one of my favorite theme classes to date. I wanted to post that I recently hosted an 80s-themed Zumba class. But, seeing as how most classic 80s songs are pop, and Zumba classes should be at least 70% Latin, that wouldn’t be accurate. We only had one Latin song on the playlist, and that was a samba remix of Take On Me. So yes, I co-hosted an 80s themed night of dance fitness with my friend Ashley – two back-to-back classes. And we had SO much fun at our Totally 80s Dance Fitness Party!

Totally 80s Dance Fitness Party

I started class with the above outfit. I wanted to go with a Madonna lacy skirt look, but I couldn’t find the ruffle skirt I wanted to wear, so I opted for leggings and leg warmers and an off-the-shoulder shirt instead. My hair wasn’t exactly done in an 80s style, but I had reason behind it…

Totally 80s Dance Fitness Party

{Cool down outfit for the Totally 80s Dance Fitness Party – don’t worry, there are shorts under there!}

…I did a costume change! I realized late the night before class that a) I had a dress, necklace, and hair style that semi-resembled Madonna’s from her Like a Prayer video and b) I already had a cool down choreographed to the song. It was too perfect…and silly. But, I figured if I could make my class laugh a little, it was worth it. I was fortunate enough to have some guest instructors attend the class, so they were able to lead the song right before the cool down so I could run out quickly and change.

Madonna - Like a Prayer Outfit

{Madonna snapshot from her Like a Prayer video – photo found via Google images}

{Like a Prayer music video in case you want to watch}

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Here’s my full playlist from the Totally 80s Dance Fitness Party:

  1. Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles*
  2. Hey Mickey – Toni Basil
  3. Bad – Michael Jackson
  4. Take on Me (Batucada / Samba) – ZIN Volume 43
  5. Motownphilly – Boyz II Men
  6. Whoomp! There It Is – Tag Team
  7. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince*
  8. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leopard
  9. Two of Hearts – Stacey Q*
  10. Jump – Kris Kross
  11. Wanna Be Startin’ Something – Michael Jackson
  12. Maniac (BOF Flashdance) – Michael Sembello*
  13. Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  14. Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing Soundtrack)
  15. Like a Prayer – Madonna

We didn’t have enough 80s songs to make a full playlist, so we used a couple 90s songs, too. And we had four new songs (see *) on the playlist with three that I choreographed. I wrapped up a couple just before class, so they were finished in the nick of time. Phew! I had a couple others that were almost done, but I guess I’ll have to save those for next time! Till then, I’ve been using Maniac and Let’s Go Crazy quite a bit in my other classes. Of the new songs, I think Maniac is especially fun. I took a lot of inspiration from the Maniac music video, so it’s like a dance fitness version of that. Wheeee!

Ashley did some fantastic new toning choreo to some of my favorite 80s songs in the second class (like I Think We’re Alone Now!), which made the tough workouts strangely and happily enjoyable. Gotta love that!

The Totally 80s Dance Fitness party was a blast! I had so much dancing with class and the guest instructors. The energy in the room was so high and lively. I definitely want to do another one of these one day!

Have you done a fun dance fitness theme class recently?

Zumba Convention 2014 Schedule is LIVE!

To my fellow Zumba instructors, the schedule for Zumba Convention Orlando 2014 is LIVE!

Zumba Convention 2014 Schedule

They’re doing things a little differently this year. Firstly, the schedule is up, but registration doesn’t open until April 16th. So, you have time to research the sessions you want to attend.

Zumba Convention 2014 Schedule

Next, they’ve made several changes to the schedule:

  • They’ve changed the schedule structure. There are different numbers of sessions on each day. I like how there’s only one session on Sunday now – this will make travel and hotel check out so much easier!
  • They’ve introduced new sessions, but they’ve taken away a couple of the ones I’ve enjoyed in the past. Of the new sessions, I’m curious about many, including LatinTronika, A Tribute to the King/Queen of Pop (not sure who the queen is – Madonna?), Pop Madness, and Arabian Nights. I was sad to see Be the Inspiration by Steve Boedt gone, and I’d heard good things about the fusion class last year and was hoping to attend that one this year. Perhaps it’s on the schedule but under a different name? I’ll have to wait till the descriptions of each session are available.
  • I’m excited to see so many Latin Pop sessions – that’s definitely my favorite as far as the session closest to my teaching style and songs I tend to favor. I think there was only one Latin Pop session per convention for the last two years. Go Lindsey!
  • They’ve added more Jam and other non-flavor sessions.
  • They’ve added more master classes, including a set that happens later at night (roughly 7-8-ish).

I’m also tempted to do an instructor training on one of the days, if I can pull myself away from the sessions (which I really enjoy, so that will be difficult). The cool thing about convention is that you can do trainings with a ZES that you couldn’t’ as easily reach from your hometown. As much as you may like a particular ZES, it can be difficult to find the time and money to travel to do a training with them, especially if they’re very far from you.

Anywho, I love Zumba Convention! It’s my can’t-miss conference of the year because it’s so much fun, and I always learn so much to improve my classes. This will be my fourth year attending! Can’t wait!

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You can read about some of my past Zumba Convention experiences here:

I blogged multiple posts from each convention, but I’ve linked one above for each year that should be able to get you to the rest. Use the Next/Previous links at the end of each post to get to the others. I think I posted the most detailed descriptions of the class in last year’s posts.

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Who else is going to Zumba Convention this year?!?

New Years Zumba Glow Party

My Halloween Zumba Glow Party was so much fun, almost all of my class participants excitedly asked me to throw another one. Of course, I was more than happy to do so!

I’d been wanting to throw a blacklight party for (literally) years, and it was great to see my idea was a winner. On the day after Halloween, I hit up the local holiday shops in search of black light deals. I bought 5 from the shops (50% off) and ordered one online (thank you, Amazon prime!). I’m seeing many glow parties in my future. I didn’t invest in all these lights for nothing!

Here are some photos from the January 2014 event:

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I have to thank my wonderful class assistant team and some volunteers for coming early to help me set-up. These types of parties are not easy! Though, they are worth it.

With my experience from the first party and a new light configuration, I think we were able to get the room extra glowing! We also added a fabulous “ZUMBA” feature on one wall, and this is just the beginning. I’m hoping to build on my resources bit by bit each year. I already have ideas for ways to spice up my next party! Speaking of which, people asked me to do the next one around Halloween again! Looks like the next party is tentatively scheduled for October.

Oh, and one of my favorite things about a glow party is how dark the room is. I love telling my class, “If you’ve ever wanted to dance like no one’s watching, then now is your opportunity. Because pretty much…no one can actually see you in these lights!” I think it makes people work extra hard. Woohoo! Fun and effective! Glow on!

Zumba Glow Party {October 2013}

Last week, I finally got to do something at my Zumba class that I’ve always wanted to do – a glow party!

I’m planning to do a how-to post (and maybe video!) with some tips and tricks since I didn’t find a lot of info out there when I was researching how to set up mine, and I’d love to help out some fellow fitness instructors if I can. But, for now, here are some photos from my party…

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{Group shot}

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{Class in action}

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{Photo from my friend Chloe}

I busted out the wings I bought for my Zumba Convention costume. Turns out, those things glow under a black light, too! I didn’t wear them for the whole class. I waited till we were doing a song where the class faces each wall, and they weren’t looking to pop them on. And then I kept them on for one song – Let Me Think About It.

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{Class enjoying the glow party}

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{What I saw from the stage – I took this photo from the front-side of the room}

The glow party was super fun, and I’ve already had requests from most of the people in attendance to do another soon! Woohoo!

On Friday, I called all the Halloween shops in town in search of backlights. I decided to hit up the one that had the most in stock – 5 18-inch black lights – and I bought them all at half off. I’m also going to test one out that I ordered from Amazon, and I’ll be sure to include my recommendation on which I think are the best.

If you’re thinking of doing a glow party for your class, now is the time to stock up! Most Halloween shops put them 50% off after Halloween!

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In other Zumba news, I’ve been trying to work up the courage to record some of my choreography to share with you guys. I’ve been working on a lot of fun songs lately!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Zumba Convention 2013 {Day 4} – Hip to Strip and Latin Pop

Sunday brought the last day of Zumba Convention 2013. It was time to start packing up and thinking about what we had to do back in real life. Well, almost…

Check out my other Zumba Convention 2013 – Orlando, FL posts here:

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{One of my favorite quotes – get the whole thing here}

But, we had a few more hours of fun to enjoy first…

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My first session of Day 4 was Hip to Strip where the tagline is, “Dancing naughty is good for the body.” Well then! I knew something fun was ahead when presenter Ann Saldi kicked things off with that one liner! Ann was a wonderful presenter – funny, engaging, and great at instructing. She had a certain spunk that was simply contagious and put the whole room at ease to feel confident in their dancing skills, as well as, in themselves. This was definitely the kind of class where dancing like no one’s watching is encouraged.

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We learned some basics (history along with some moves) at the beginning and then got to the main dancing pretty quickly. The format of the class was simple. Ann broke down a song, eight count by eight count, slowly building as we went. Once we had all the components down, we did the song in its entirety as a “dress rehearsal.” Then, we did the song one more time as the real deal. Then, we moved onto the next song. We did this for four songs, including Blurred Lines and Burlesque, and then at the end, we ran through all of the songs in one big go. It was so fun, and Ann even pulled all the guys in the class (there were about eight!) on the stage for Blurred Lines. I can’t believe I waited three years to do this session!

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Beto made a guest appearance near the end of class and taught us a few steps to Britney Spears’s song, Toxic. Of course everyone went crazy rushing the stage and taking photos left and right.

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{me, Gina, Kass, Sarah}

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{another inspirational quote – “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~Walt Disney}

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My second and last session of the day (and of convention!) was a favorite from last year – Latin Pop with Lindsey Taylor!

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I’ve been searching for my Zumba style for awhile, and I really connected with Latin Pop last year. The songs are upbeat, fun, sassy, and playful. They’re songs you may or may not have heard on the radio by well-known artists like J. Lo, Pitbull, and Enrique. I also really liked Lindsey’s instructing and dancing style, along with her choreography, so I really enjoyed this session all around.

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Lindsey started the class with a welcome and a warm up. Then, she (and her crew) broke down several Latin Pop basic moves, and then put it all together with a lively master class. Even though I was feeling pretty tired by the last day of convention, Lindsey and the boys and the music inspired me to move. Plus, knowing this was the last session meant I could put every last ounce of energy I had into my dancing.

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Since we were driving eight hours back home immediately after the session, I hadn’t planned on getting a photo with the Latin Pop team, even though I really wanted one. But, after changing for the road trip, I passed the room one last time and realized the line had only about five people left in it. Plus, Sarah wanted some coffee before we left, meaning we had about 10-15 minutes before it was time to go. I decided I’d rather have a photo with Lindsey and the boys than coffee, so I went back into the conference room to stand in line. I’m so glad I did.

After leaving the hotel, Sarah and I made the long trip back to Charlotte, getting back into town right around an early 1:45am. Phew! We may have to consider doing the beach trip either after convention next year…or before and after! Hmm…now, that sounds like a plan!

I’m so thankful to have been able to enjoy Zumba Convention for another year, and I’m hoping to make it to many more!

Zumba Convention 2013 {Day 3} – Master Class, Rock ‘N Roll Revolution, and Bollywood & Bhangra

Day 3 (Saturday) of convention was my longest day with a master class in the morning, two sessions, and the ZIN Soiree later that night.

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I had signed up for the master class with George Iu, but after hearing about his trouble with his visa (the day before), I wondered if Eric, who had stepped in for the Hip Hop session, would also be leading the master class. My guess was correct. Luckily for me, I really liked Eric’s teaching and dancing style, so even though I was disappointed I wouldn’t be dancing with George, I was happy to see what Eric had in store for us.

Eric did a great job. So good, I thought he was a ZES and only learned later that he’s a Zumba Jammer (ZJ). He led the class with his adorable son and beautiful daughter, plus the help of a few other ZJs. I had a blast. I loved all the songs and took several notes for choreo inspiration to bring back home. As for George, he got to lead a couple songs including a fun merengue mix of In Da Club that I’ve since done in my classes. Love it!

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I stayed after class for a photo op and learned that Eric is Filipino! I knew there was a reason I liked him!

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My first session of the day was Rock ‘N Roll Revolution. Shemane (who is Ted Nugent’s wife) and her crew broke down some rock ‘n roll inspired moves and even showed how the basic Zumba moves can be incorporated into rock ‘n roll songs. I thought it was really interesting to see that Zumba moves could be incorporated into totally non-Latin songs. Shemane and the girls also broke down choreo for three rock songs and we had a fun master class with those songs plus many others. Those girls were getting it! They had so much energy, and I had a great time dancing with them.

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My last session of the day is one of my all-time favorites – Bollywood & Bhangra. This was my third year in a row doing this session, and I wasn’t let down. I didn’t think it was possible, but I loved the session even more after doing it for a third time.

We learned a little history for both dance styles – Bollywood and Bhangra. One of my favorite parts of the session was how Dr. B showed us how to add Bollywood flair to basic dance moves, plus I also enjoyed learning some Bollywood hand positions. She taught those the last two years, too, but you learn so much at convention, it’s hard to retain it all. That’s one of the reasons I like to repeat sessions – for the refreshers!

And I think most of you know I took a bhangra dance class a couple years ago, so you probably already know that I was also a big fan of the bhangra portion of the class. I enjoy seeing how they break down the basic bhangra step, which is a step that is easy yet complicated at the same time. They break it down magically so everyone in the room gets it instantaneously. I’m always impressed. The other thing they do to impress me is break out a bhangra-fied hip hop song during the master class. Every year, it’s something new, and something fun.

The master class was full of songs I’d never heard before. I felt like I was transported to another world. The class was high energy and high intensity. It kicked my butt!

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As you can probably tell, the Bollywood & Bhangra session is one I truly enjoy, which is why I was so sad when they announced at the end of class that this would be their last year presenting at convention. What?! Say it ain’t so!

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The emotion in the room was strong, but everyone was very supportive. I’m going to miss these guys next year for sure!

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{One last photo at their very last session of Zumba Convention}

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Sarah and I split a pizza by the pool and enjoyed a couple cool beverages before heading up to the room to get ready for the ZIN Soiree.

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The theme was ZIN Summer Night’s Dream. I was super busy right up to convention, so I threw my outfit together last minute. I was a Zumba fairy. Not the most unique idea, but I got to wear sneakers and an adult tutu, so I’ll call that a win. We enjoyed music from a DJ before a band took over. Mostly, I enjoyed seeing all the unique costumes all around. I may have to step things up next year!

Next time – Day 4 of Zumba Convention!

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