I get asked a variety of different questions on what Crazy Country is and how it came to be. So here it is in a nutshell.
In Zumba we have monthly routines and music sent to all ZIN members worldwide. ZIN is short for Zumba Instructor Network. ZIN makes teaching easy, takes the hard work and guess work out and you can learn, grow and reach new heights as an instructor through this amazing program.
When I became a Zumba instructor in 2008, I told my husband I was going to try ZIN for 6 months. It’s a monthly fee and with a 1 and 3 year old and schooling there wasn’t a whole lot of extra cash. After the 6 months I realized there was no way I would have grown like I had without this program. Not a chance! It’s value to me is priceless. I learned how to cue, lead, learned rhythms and moves I had never heard of and within all this, really found success as a person (hello personal growth) and as an instructor (people aside from my mom were attending and coming back 😀 BONUS).
Fast forward through the biggest whirlwind, learning curve, ride of my life and now I have done a number of the choreographies for these ZIN volumes. Crazy to think of.
One of the ZIN volumes (as we call it) had a song that was stuck somewhere between Irish, Indian, and Country music. How’s that for a music fusion? 😀 Anyway, when you are the choreographer, Zumba sends you music and you then choreograph and send videos to Home Office for approval. They may change some things here and there. In this case, with this fusion song, I was instructed to go “A whole different direction, think country western.” Country western??? To be honest, I hadn’t even heard country twang in there. So I went back to the drawing board and channeled my inner country girl.
While filming the ZIN volume in Miami FL, Beto Perez (creator of Zumba) stopped by the production studio to take a peek. That nearly killed me on the spot but he is so encouraging it’s hard to not feel that love he has for you, how encouraging he is and truly believes in people and this great company.
ANYWAY…he saw my country routine. Yehaw!! Nearly 2 weeks later (or what seemed to be, or maybe it was months. Zumba world has it’s own time zone and speed) I received an email about doing a country dance session at convention. WOW! What an opportunity! It’s amazing how things work out huh? Problem is, I hadn’t really been up to speed on my country songs as of late-blame the husband and his lack of enthusiasm for country music, he clearly has been mislead. 😀 In the email they said “If you don’t want to do this session or don’t have time, than who would you recommend?”. I am not one for turning opportunity down. My life motto is go for everything, iron out the kinks later. I figure you work your tail off and then you can reassess and redirect if it doesn’t work out. So I did some research, a fair amount of digging and found the most amazing heart pumping adrenaline driving country songs and moves to boot.
I was a little hesitant on bringing this session to convention as Zumba is a latin based company. BUT Zumba is world rhythms and country is a great fit, right there in middle America. The response to this class over the past 5 years or so has been amazing. I hear “You made me love country music.” a lot! It takes you by surprise and I love that!
Zumba Country DVD was soon a project we were working on. It took nearly 4 or so years from the first convention and inspiration from Zumba Home Office for this to be a consumer product to filming day.
I was so lucky to be able to pick a team of cowgirls and cowboys to be in the DVD with me and I can’t imagine doing it without them. My sister Emily, cousin Heather and friends Nick and Eddie. The Zumba Country workout DVD is now a top seller and can be found at Walmart, Target, Costco and other stores.
Life is crazy that way. One day you’re doing a choreography in front of your boss, El Jefe, Beto Perez and that leads to presenting this session at convention, touring that class, having a Zumba Country DVD, and tonight my sister and I are doing a Crazy Country master class here in Utah.
These adventures are beyond my wildest dreams. It’s incredible what hard work, looking for opportunity, believing in yourself and reaching for the sky can get you. Who’s with me? Can I get a Yeehaw!? YEEEHAWWWW!!!
That’s my thoughts and feels for the day!