A few weeks ago I took the Zumba Basic Steps 1 certification. I'd been checking the Zumba website periodically to see when they were having a training near me. I tried to find info on what to expect with the Basic Steps 1 certification, but unfortunately I couldn't find much. I thought the topic would be a great blog post for others who are also looking into getting certified in Zumba.
Luckily I found out about one early enough that I could get the early bird price when I signed up. You can't go wrong with saving money. I was talking to one of the other ladies during the training, and unfortunately she didn't realize that even though she was registering for a training in Canada, the fee was in US dollars. Needless to say with the current state of the Canadian dollar she had a bit of a surprise when she got her credit card bill. Make sure you check out the exchange rate if you're Canadian when you register so you know what to expect when your credit card bill arrives.
The instructor for the full day training was Andrea Sandhu (check out her site here). Right away it was obvious that she had a lot of energy and that she was going to keep us on our toes. We started off the day with a preview Zumba class, where we went through a warm up, a few songs for the meat of the class, and then a cool down. It was great to go through a class looking at it as an instructor instead of as a participant.
Afterwards we spent some time with out instructor manuals while Andrea explained everything from how Zumba was created and it's founder to how songs are made up. We then got back on our feet and dived into learning the merengue. We spent the most amount of time on the merengue, because it was the first of four that we learned that day. With each successive dance (salsa, cumbia, and lastly raggaeton), we spent less and less time on it. I really liked that approach because the more we moved the easier the different steps were to pick up.
We broke for about a thirty minute lunch. While a few people left to go buy something, most of the people brought a lunch from home, which is what I did. It was great to have a bit of time to talk to the other people taking the class. Honestly there wasn't a lot of time otherwise to do it because it was such a jam packed day. I actually ended up chatting with a lady I'd done the group fitness certification with back in February. Sometimes Calgary seems like such a big city, and other days it feels so small.
Once Lunch was over we once again alternated between learning the steps and listening to Andrea go through the manual. I thought she had a lot of great tips and ideas as far as leading your first class. She definitely had a lot to add to the manual. She also spend time going over ZIN, which is the Zumba Instructor Network. For a monthly fee of $34.95 (USD again, so check the exchange rate if you're Canadian) per month you get access to a new playlist along with choreography. I can see how it would save your a ton of time because you don't have to come up with your own choreography, plus you can download the music to your phone or ipod and use it during classes. I didn't sign up for it, as I'm not taking my group fitness certification exams until August, so I can't teach until then.
So what am I qualified to do now? I can teach a Zumba class, and I have the certificate to prove that I can! I'm certified for a year. If I let it expire I'll need to take Basic Steps again or I can join ZIN, and I'll be certified for as long as I'm a member. I'd love to teach Zumba once I'm group fitness certified. I think it's a really fun workout with great music. Like Andrea mentioned during the training, “Zumba is exercise in disguise”. I've always had fun at every class I've been to, though I end up leaving a sweaty mess too.
I also left the training with a 4 DVD/CD set with music and choreography. I have yet to go through it all quite yet, but I did check out part of it and it looks like it's going to be really helpful when it comes time to put together my first class. It's also nice to be able to take something home to review what I've learned. As helpful as the manual is, when it comes to dancing, being able to watch something comes in pretty handy.
To be entirely honest the only thing I didn't like about the Zumba certification was how much ZIN was pushed. I wished we'd spent more time going over the steps instead of hearing about the benefits of ZIN and why we should sign up.
Have you ever taken a Zumba class? Do you teach any fitness classes?