While I was feverishly checking Zumba.com for any opportunity (remember they post online when a job position or application would open) another opportunity presented itself. I tend to somewhat over look this detail from time to time but it was oh so pivotal in the process.
Zumba was looking for success stories. They were collecting inspiration from instructors and students from people who had incredible results from attending classes or teaching classes. Winners would win a trip to Orlando for the convention, free convention among other prizes.
As I was walking into class one day, I saw two of my all time favorite students. Both of these girls (sisters) were instructors and had incredible success with the Zumba program. One had lost 65 pounds, the other 35. They both gain a whole heap of confidence, friends, endurance and happiness through the process.
Hettie and Sadie were the students who wore baggy black clothes, hid in the back, kept to themselves. They didn’t want to bring on attention by any means. Slowly they made their way, row by row, to the front of the class…front row even. As they crept closer to the front-with their new beaming confidence, their clothes got more colorful and more fitted. They were no longer hiding. With each row, it’s like the volume and enthusiasm increased. If there was a prize for most enthusiastic duo in a class…it was Hettie and Sadie. The hoots and hollers from these two made every class a party, and from then on I forced them to be in every class they could.
Hettie and Sadie were the perfect candidates for this results contest with Zumba. As we were walking through the gym to the exercise room. I informed them they were not allowed to leave until we filmed their amazing stories. 😀
We crept into the ladies locker room and found a private changing room. I didn’t want to accidentally film anyone, and thinking back, I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed at all. I’m laughing to myself as I’m writing this, b/c I’m certain there were one million other options for this video to be made, but we needed to get it done. I figured that’s as real as it gets. Sweaty, after class, talking results…while getting more results. I gave a little intro and let their confidence do the rest.
I sent in the video in.
I waited some more.
You know what’s not fun??? Waiting for emails. 😀
I think around this time (would love to check on the dates, maybe someone at Zumba home office could verify for me) I also applied to be a Zumba Jammer. Zumba Jammer is a trained choreography specialists with Zumba. they hold choreography sessions and teach step by step, cue by cue, 4-5 routines to other instructors. So there was a whole heap of anticipation happening.
While waiting in line at Cafe Rio (oddly enough-there have been a number life changing events which occurred while waiting in line for my favorite meal at Cafe Rio) I get a call from Hettie.
“Kass, you’re never going to believe this!’ The excitement could have oozed through the phone. Hettie continues, “We have been selected for the contest!!!!!” Screaming in the background, lots of smiling and hopping up and down while I’m in line…then we resume. “This girl Meg is going to call you. She is going to tell you all about it. Oh my gosh! OH MY GOSH!!!! We get to go to convention for free!”
The call never came.
Hettie and Sadie did get all of those things, but this prizes never made it to me. I entered them in to highlight them. It was their story and since I was the instructor…I was not invited. Haha. GOOD NEWS THOUGH! I ended up being selected for the Jammer position so the three of us were still going together.
WE WERE GOING TO CONVENTION!!
I hadn’t been on a trip since my honeymoon! No, that’s not true haha. BUT this was the first trip I was going on without Brian and the kids. Dayne and Bridget would be 3 and 5 by the time convention rolled around and this was a whole new concept for me. Kidless at convention.
We packed our room with more friends and ended up stacked like sardines in our hotel room. We had two to a bed and rotated who got the pull out couch. Our room was a constant roar of laughter and an endless mess. It became the running joke that my items were vanishing.”Have you seen my camera?” “Have you seen my phone?” “Have you seen my leggings?”
I had never in my life seem something so grand. Convention was beyond everything I had imagined. I had only seen Zumba from the small scope my classes at the gym and what I had seen on ZIN volumes. It’s like only thinking the tiniest of the Russian nesting dolls exists and then going to convention and seeing the same thing but on a larger than life scale. Does that make sense??. Convention was the big, grand, larger than life version of the same tiny one I had been portraying in my home town and my mind had officially been blown.
The walls were covered in neon, bright, happy colors. The sessions were packed with enthusiastic instructors, and the presenters…THE PRESENTERS were mesmerizing. The way they taught with ease yet precision and captured the attention of each person inspired me on an epic proportion. I wanted to grow, I wanted to learn, I wanted to be able to be good enough, skilled enough, confident enough to be in a position to do that very thing. I just wanted to grow.
My convention experience is a post itself. It put all the wheels of this career and incredible whirlwind of the past 8 years into motion. I left convention 2010 feeling like the stars had aligned. I had a burning in my soul that I had tapped into something that was SO beyond my imagination…and I was right. I was right. I do want to close this post with the notion that life is all about taking every opportunity. You want to excel in a company or skill…you must push yourself. So what if you don’t get it? If you don’t go for it…you most definitely will not get it. So give yourself a chance. I had no idea that video submission would be selected, I had no idea I would be selected for jammer. My fear could have kept me in my cage of comfort and I would have missed a world of growth and possibility.
I will tell you all about it. ALL the details are coming your way. 😀
Here are some pics of me, Sadie and Hettie back in the day. And pics of us now. That’s friendship is a sisterhood. ❤️❤️❤️