Well, this weekend was absolutely amazeballs. So check it, I decided to cover two Zumba classes in Brooklyn for a fellow GX instructor. Mind you, I never go out to Brooklyn to sub, it’s just too far and it takes me even longer to commute back and forth than I spend teaching. That’s just never been worth it for me, however, after this weekend, I may have to reevaluate that stance.
The first place I covered at was in Sheepshead Bay, and the class began at noon. I left my place around 930 a.m or so, and I arrived there at about 11:30 am. Fortunately for me, I had a phenomenal book that I’m still reading, Monster Hunter International, and that made the very long commute less painful.
Once I arrived, I familiarized myself with the location, greeted a few people, and began stretching to do my thing. As I stood outside, I noticed a woman in Zumba gear arrive and walk in comfortably during the ongoing class. I wondered what was the deal with that. She seemed very comfortable and everyone began to greet her. I wondered to myself, did I somehow come to the wrong gym, so I doubled checked my info, and confirmed I was good. I don’t make mistakes like that, but we all slip up, so I double checked.
After the first class finished, I went inside and introduced myself to the current instructor, greeted the class, and asked for a quick rundown of the equipment. The other Zumba instructor introduced herself and let me know that this was her class for years before, and that she wasn’t trying to step on my toes by being there. Nonsense I said, I smiled and replied, “No worries at all, why don’t you do a song or two for old times sake with your group?” She agreed and asked if she should warm them up, I said, nope, I’d flag her up when ready. I have a warm up that I’ve spent hours practicing, and I certainly don’t want to go up AFTER a more seasoned instructor, that’s not good for a noob’s confidence. This was only my second time leading a Zumba class, and I’m already too nervous! Let’s not add to that! Also, its my class today, I commuted two hours, so I gotta set it off. LOL.
Interestingly, at first, I thought she was the lady who taught my Zumba license class. She has an uncanny resemblance to her, and I was speaking as though I was dealing with my coach. After a while I realized it wasn’t her. That probably explains the look of confusion on her face when I said, “I learned from you, and now you are here, what are the odds? NO PRESSURE ANGEL!” LOL.
In any case, I started the music, jumped on stage, and pushed on with my set. I will admit, I was a little frazzled at first, I was unsure of how things would go, but I took command and did what I do. Okay, so a seasoned instructor is in here, good, take it as an opportunity to showcase your abilities in front of an experienced teacher. This is not stressful, it’s an opportunity to shine in front of someone who has a more experienced background.
The ladies all had a blast, and their former instructor was having a good time too. She gave me a thumbs up and I was like “YES” she approves! After a few songs, I let the instructor do her two songs and I participated and had fun as well. Good times.
So I continued my choreo, encouraging them to scream and have fun, and they complied. At the end of the class, I was approached by many of the participants and told that I should come back and teach there more often.
“You attracted people who never come in here, they’ve never seen a hot guy teaching, and also your vibe was so much fun!”
I explained that I live very far away, and that I was grateful that they enjoyed my class. One of the ladies came over, smiled, winked, and said, “You can stay with me if you don’t want to ride the train so early.” Hey now…
As I was clocking out, I was again approached by a large group, and they were expressing how much fun they had, and asked me for my card. The love was really being felt from this group, and I was extremely happy that they were so happy! That made me feel good!
As all this was happening, the sales manager was observing. He saw the commotion and came by to observe. He then called me over and asked what club I taught at. After I told him, he asked “Is so and so your boss?” I replied yes and he said he was dropping me a shout out because he was really pleased to see the students so happy and coming after the new guy. Lol. That was very, very nice of him.
I just wanted to take a moment and give a shout out to ZUMBA instructor, Angel! He filled in today (Saturday) for our noon Zumba group x class. His energy and attitude was amazing- even after traveling two hours to get to our club.
The members LOVED him, and the class. MULTIPLE members came up to me afterwards and requested him again in the future. Not only did he instruct the class with vigor and energy but stayed around afterwards to greet, talk and laugh with members.
We all know the importance of our members that take Group X- and having instructors like Angel fits right into our philosophies. It was a breathe of fresh air hearing people rave about an experience they had in our club!
Bro! That’s like a letter of recommendation for work, wow! As result of his shout out, I received an email from the CEO of 24 Hour Fitness, the Senior Group Exercise director, and many other high level management folks. I had no idea, but my man emailed a whole lot of influential people within the company. This was done unsolicited, and I was extremely grateful. I didn’t do anything really special, just what I love, and being who I am!
Wow, it’s not everyday that the CEO of 24 Hour Fitness NY gives you a personal nod over email. I thought that was pretty awesome! All thanks to that amazing shoutout!
Angel, thank you for motivating and inspiring our Members and Staff! Great job, very appreciated! You’re incredible Angel, thank you VERY much!
I think that when you love, love, love what you do, the members will know, then the members tell people, then the people tell club management, then club management tells upper management, and then they all take notice. The energy, the vibe, the electricity, it cannot be denied, they can feel your love and passion for the job! I’m not rich, or wealthy, but I don’t do this for the money, I do have a 9-5 “day job.” I started doing this because I FREAKING LOVE IT and getting paid to do it was just the icing on the cake! I am getting paid to do that which I love, how amazing is that?
What’s the point of this all? If you don’t love it, don’t do it, cause that too they will know. I’ve always said, the day I don’t love this anymore, I will stop doing it. I’ve turned down classes and formats that I don’t love, like I said, I do this for the love, not the money. If this is your passion though, then go forth with everything you’ve got. Bring that passion and fire every time you teach. Give it your all, always, and they will love you for it!
But there’s more, next up, I went to Bensonhurst. This was a combination of a 45 minute bus ride and walk from Sheepshead Bay. When I walked into this group ex room, one of the girls said, “I’m highly stressed, you better be good and help me relieve this stress.” I smiled at her, and I said, “Be careful what you ask for.” By the end of the class, she said, “You relieved my stress.” LOL. I made sure to pay her special attention, you don’t challenge me and get away with it! Haha.
After I plugged in my ipod, one of the ladies brought over a fan and put it by the music equipment. She said this was necessary because it overheats. Alright, cool, thanks for the tips and the hacks! I appreciate the help in making the class go smoothly!
We got to the work, and like before, the ladies loved my routine. They were all sweating, dancing, screaming, and having a blast. It was another amazing class. At first, I was thinking, I can’t have two back to back amazing sub sessions, right? Wrong, I totally did, and it was AWESOME!
They were a bit more timid than the first group, but I got them shouting and screaming just the same! Took a bit more effort, and more screaming alone before they joined me, but eventually I got them going!
At end of this class, I handed out nearly every card that I brought with me. In addition to that, I don’t know how many pictures I took with the different participants. These folks had me feeling like a damn movie star. It was kind of a weird feeling smiling so many times for so many pictures, but at the same time I loved it. So much fun! They sure love their Zumba in Brooklyn!
It feels so good to know that these folks enjoyed what I bring. Especially considering that I’ve only just begun teaching the Zumba format. I’ve been at 24 for a year. I’ve been teaching group exercise for one year now. Zumba it’s only been a few weeks! Think about it, I can only get better right? I will learn more choreo, get even more comfortable, more confident, and improve. Once I get more comfortable, I’ll be able to let my personality shine even more! They will have so much fun while getting healthy! Yee haw!!!
I know that I’m not the best dancer, and I know that I’ll never be as graceful as some of you, but by God, I am committed, I work really hard, and I bring it!
What an amazing weekend for a brand new Zumba instructor to experience. I’m so freaking excited about all this! Thank you to the Sales manager at Sheepshead Bay for that amazing email shoutout to so many of our management folks, wow! And thanks to Carissa who encouraged me to take the long trip out to Brooklyn to cover her class, it was just amazing! I’ll definitely do it again if needed and available.
These days, not too much excites me, but I’m super excited for the things to come! Wow…
On a side note, earlier today I was offered a permanent Zumba class at another location, but I’ll withhold those details until its official. Put it out into the universe and things will happen!
The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author.
Also published on Medium.