Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor’s Master Class

After fueling up at Hammock Beach, we hit the road for Orlando and the 2014 Zumba Convention!

On the schedule (in the order we hoped we could pull off):

  • Check into the hotel
  • Go to the grocery store
  • 12:30 – 2:30pm Latin Pop with Lindsey Taylor
  • 3:30 – 5:30pm Tribute to the King of Pop with Steve Boedt
  • 7:00 – 8:30pm Master Class with Lindsey Taylor
  • Dinner

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite happen in the order we wanted, but we just had to shuffle things around. Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, but we were able to put our things into our friends’ hotel room and change there, too. Phew! Big thanks to Angie and Jennie!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

I’m always thankful for the “white mile” – the covered walk-way that runs between the three main locations of Zumba Convention: The Hyatt (formerly known as the Peabody), The Convention Center (in the center), and the Hilton. This walkway keeps us safely out of traffic and covered from the sun and rain.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

My first session was in the Hyatt where many of the main events, like the theme party, take place. The vendor booths are also located here.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

There was a big line waiting for Latin Pop when I arrived. I was excited not only for my first Zumba Convention 2014 session but to enjoy one of my faves (click here to check out my post from last year).

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

This was my third year in a row attending Latin Pop. I just love this session – from the songs to the dance moves.

Latin Pop usually features some move breakdowns in a couple categories (including House, Waacking/Vogueing, and Urban Movement) and a master class. For the music, Lindsey only uses five artists: Shakira, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and JLo. Love them! The session is upbeat and has plenty of sass. Of all the sessions, I’ve gotten the most choreo inspiration from this one since I really connect with this particular style of song and dance.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

{picture line}

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

Best year yet!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

This year, there was a ZIN DJ Stage in the Hyatt.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

There were many different sessions going on throughout the convention, and it was nice to have something to watch in between sessions if you didn’t have time to run back to your hotel room. With one hour between session #1 and #2, this was a great break for me since I didn’t have the time to go to the room. I had enough time to grab a quick snack and watch a couple songs at the stage.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

My second session was just one room down from Latin Pop – Tribute to the King of Pop with Steve Boedt.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

I thought the session would teach us a bunch of Michael Jackson moves, but Steve explained early on that the class wasn’t set up to imitate Michael. Instead, this session was made to celebrate Michael.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

Steve had lots of fun mixes of classic Michael Jackson songs, including some with Latin spins. I always enjoy his choreography and energy, so I had a great time.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

Many sessions feature choreo or move breakdowns, but this session was mostly about the dancing. We didn’t do any breakdowns, but there was a short presentation near the end. Steve talked briefly about Michael and offered some general tips during his presentation. I did Steve’s Be the Inspiration presentation in 2012, and it’s one of my all-time favorites. I love Steve’s take on teaching (he’s so uplifting!), so I’m always happy to hear whatever tips he wants to share.

After this, Sarah and I were finally able to check into our hotel room. We wanted to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store, but there just wasn’t time.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

For my last session of the day, I went to Lindsey Taylor’s master class for 90 minutes of Zumba fun! It was a great way to end my first day of Zumba Convention 2014, but boy was I tired.

After the session, Sarah and I were finally able to take a quick trip down the road to the Publix, which is just a mile or so away. We got snacks, waters, etc. for the rest of convention.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 1} Latin Pop, Tribute to the King of Pop, and Lindsey Taylor's Master Class

And we wanted to have dinner by the pool, but we didn’t get back from the grocery store until almost 10pm, and the restaurant closed at 9. Doh! Luckily, David’s (inside the Hilton) was still open. After the long day of driving, dancing, and running around, we just wanted to eat and sleep. I had a glass of prosecco and the grilled cheese with tomato bisque. After enjoying dinner, it was definitely bed time!

One day down, three to go! Next up – Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 2}!

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

I never flew anywhere growing up. We were more of a road trip family. So, after flying to the first two Zumba Conventions I attended (in 2011 and 2012), it made sense that I opted for a new method of travel eventually…by car. I did my first Zumba Convention road trip last year with my friend Sarah, and it was the best decision by far. We had a blast! Of course, the road trip wouldn’t be complete without a couple great stops, and we visited our same beach pit stop from last year, Hammock Beach Resort.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

We had morning appointments at the spa with plans to do the beach, lunch, more beach, and dinner.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

The day was gorgeous. After the spa, we took a quick trip to check out the beach before heading to the pool area for lunch.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

{No need to pack beach towels!}

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Pictured above is the small hotel section of Hammock Beach Resort. This building is considered the true hotel. The rest of the facility is apparently comprised of condos that people own, though the resort rents the rooms like a hotel. At least that’s how I understood it. The hotel section is also where the Atlantic Grille (yum!) restaurant and golf carts are located.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Hammock Beach Resort seems to have something for everyone – from kids to adults. They have a spa, golf course, cigar bar, crazy-awesome pool (with multiple levels, areas, and a lazy river), and eight dining options. You pretty much never have to leave during your vacation, which is nice.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Sarah and I loved the two restaurants we visited last year, so we hit them up again this year. First up – we had lunch at the Ocean Bar & Cafe.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

The food here is really great, and you have a beautiful view full of palm trees.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

We started with the crudités for some veg servings.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

We really wanted to order the same sandwich we got last year that was made with mahi mahi, but they didn’t have it on the menu. So, we opted for their new fish sandwich – the BBQ salmon with cole slaw.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

It was really good, and I really liked the way they cooked the salmon!

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

While we were eating, a storm rolled in. We stayed at the restaurant watching the rain, hoping the sun would come back. As time passed, we started to think we may end up spending the rest of the day inside the resort. The restaurant is actually located completely outside, so I started wondering if we’d end up soaked if we tried making a run for the hotel. The rain just didn’t seem to want to stop.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Finally, the rain started to clear up, so we had a choice: make a run for the hotel or check out the beach. We were feeling optimistic, so we headed to the beach.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

The clouds rolled out over the ocean, and the sun seemed to be coming back.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

We were so glad we went back out because we had more sun and fun on the beach. Three cheers for staying positive!

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

We visited another fave from last year for dinner – Atlantic Grille. We started with rolls and two kinds of butter – regular and cheddar bacon. That’s right – cheddar bacon butter! It was as good as it sounds.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

Sarah tried a seafood pasta dish with a pimento cheese cream sauce. I tried a bite and really liked it.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

But, the short rib was calling my name. I remembered enjoying this quite a bit last year. This year’s version was served over creamy parmesan ivory lentils with wild mushrooms and carrot purée.

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

And we split a flour-less chocolate cake for dessert. Another great dinner at Atlantic Grille! Great eats all around at Hammock Beach, in fact, including one last meal before we hit the road for convention…

Hammock Beach {Zumba Convention Road Trip}

We opted for room service for breakfast since we were in vacation mode and hoping to save some time. It was a real treat, and the perfect way to start the day. With a session starting at 12:30, I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat a large lunch, so a filling breakfast was just right.

We had another great visit to Hammock Beach Resort! I can’t wait to bring hubby and Bailey here sometime. I think they’ll love it!

Next up – Zumba Convention 2014 Day 1. Thanks for reading!

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