This past weekend, I spent two days at the Zumba Basic 1 Instructor training, and now I am an official Zumba® instructor!

I love the essence of Zumba®. Even though it is crazy fun, it is really a very systematized format – you can fit the basics into an Excel-table 😀 And, in addition to fitness, it can give you some very special coordination drills: just try to layer a 7-count arm combination over a 6-count step pattern!

Our instructor, Sucheta Pal, was a ball of fire, really. She was enthusiastic and full of energy. And when she told us a story of how she quit a “grown-up” job to dance, I knew we had something in common. And when she discussed her concerns for the integrity of Zumba®, I felt like I could tell the same story about oriental dance.

What I loved most about Sucheta’s training were the very practical teaching tips, starting from how one should enter the class to how to take care of newcomers without making them feel too self-conscious. I mean, in a standardized format you can learn steps and choreographies from almost anyone, but this kind of knowledge comes from years of practice.

As an oriental dancer, I was pleasantly surprised how much emphasis is put on musicality. We learned to identify the main rhythms, and even made graphs to break down songs. And I really enjoyed the exercise where Sucheta divided us into groups, assigned each group a part of a song and a movement, and then played the music so that we could recognise and react to it. I never expected that from a fitness training.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I learned new things, got my behind kicked, and made some new contacts in the Indian and Nepalese dance world. And now you will probably start hearing Zumba® news from me! 😉