The Merengue Soul

Hey … I was wondering one day how do you really know if you’re a good Zumba Instructor and that your participants like your style?  How do you know when a participant says “your class is good” that they really mean it?

I went to sub at one location one day and the manager told me ” we’re looking for someone that is exciting and has energy..because our partipants tell us that our zumba class sucks”. I couldn’t believe it…she said it out right just like that.   The instructor that teaches it has all the credentials of a fitness instructors from FIT, Zumba Licencing, a Zin member..and I think even PTS too by Can-Fit-Pro.  But even with all this, there is negative feedback.

If i go to a zumba class and I don’t like the instructor’s style, because every one has their taste…I just won’t ever come back. But I would never have the guts to tell to their face because people are human and have feelings.

I know the subject of this post is “get the truth”…but is there any way to actually get it?

Here are some ideas I have:

Feel the energy in the class room, are they looking like they enjoy it – are they moving? – do they return to your class again – is your class busy on a night where the fitness club is generally busy? – have you received negative feedback and not followed up on it or try to improve? – are you staying true to the zumba formula – are you changing your music at most every 2 months? – are you using zin music? – are you using the 30% 70% split to keep outta da foomba zone? – are you picky on participants getting the moves right when they just wanna dance?

I did a class at wynn fitness two weeks ago and a member said to me, “can you do some reggaeton”. I was a little confused because there is reggaeton interludes throughout my song list. Then i figured..maybe she wants more full songs with reggaeton. So hey..i’m doing exactly that. I find that people like “she’s hot” on zin 28..and then I’m adding a couple more.

Well i know i haven’t written in a while because i just haven’t gotten to it but i got several topics written in my notebook as a reminder to touch on. This was one of them;)

Hey so keep dancin and keep exercising con ZUMBA!!!


Remember that song? Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Heyyyyyyy aaayyyyyy aaayyyyyyy I said HEYyyyyy! What’s gowiiinnnn on!  That lady with the Janis Joplin voice. That’s the song that came to my head right now just right before writing this post.

What’s going on is …is that it’s clear how much I enjoy teaching Zumba Fitness Classes and Aqua Zumba Fitness Classes.   I swear for that entire hour I’m teaching…I don’t think of any problems or things going on in my life that stress me out for that entire hour. It’s really a great feeling. I’m smiling, I’m laughing…i’m whooooing..and feeling..ofcsouse    sexxxxxaaaayyyyyyy! and the ladies feel sexy too and I can see it the look in their eyes when they roll their hips in the water!  It gives me a work satisfaction unlike no other job I’ve had.   Soooooooo… that’s why I’m trying to get more jobs teaching now.

Now I’m officially teaching 3 times a week and soon to be 4 starting january. There will be 2 Zumba classes and 2 Aqua zumba classes a week. I can sure teach more Aqua zumba classes during the week because it’s easier on the body. The members at Premier Fitness in Mississauga…u know the burnhamthorpe and erin dale station location…yeah that one…they’re really embrasing it. Last week there were 14 people.   According to a successful Aqua fit program that used to be taught there but is no longer..there were 20 members every class…but for whatever reason the instructor no longer teaches there.   Maybe he got bored or something… but

CON ZUMBA!  There is just no room for boredom.  The Zumba Fitness Programs are long as the ZIN’s…instructors who are members of the zumba instructor network are embrasing the new choreography and music…it will be kept forever fresh ..and here’s the plus …YEAH WITH LICENCED MUSIC!  Instructors who are embrasing too much of the Top 40 hits or oldies and incorporating them in their classes forget that SOCAN is gonna come out to get us soon unless we stick to ZIN music only. You pay 30 a month for the licence to use the music along with many other benefits. Need I list them again..okay I’ll list a few:

  • the right to use licenced Zumba Fitness Music
  • The right to advertise your class on a flyer
  • The right to call your class ‘Zumba’
  • The right to clothing discounts
  • The right to advertise Zumba on your website
  • The right to use the trademark ‘ Zumba’ in your website name like
  • The right to teach classes indefinately without having to recertify after one year is up. yes that’s right..if you’re not a zin member you can only teach zumba classes at your place of employment or business for 1 YEAR then you gotta stop. Take a B1 course again..and join the Zin network baby and embrace the freshness and sexiness of the Zumba Fitness Program.
  • The right to stay confident and true to the zumba formula so your class doesn’t evolve in to a foomba or fumba variation. need i not translate:P

Can you tell I’m a happy ZIN member? hell yeah baby!

So! My next step in my CON ZUMBA career is to get more Zumba related jobs and work in more fitness centres. Lose 30 more pounds and look super hot for next Summer.  And if I play my cards right…Meet my girl Tanya Beardsley again and dance and punch the sky with her again in New York Citayyy  or at the Zumba Convention 2011.   Take a nice photo with the Zumba God Beto Perez and Identify what colone he wears and tell my main squeeze to wear it till he dies. lol!  Hmmm..what else….  Who knows be in a taping with my new hotter body for a ZIN taping…maybe be on tv…host a Zumba Fitness Class in da Cluuuuuubbb.  This is gonna be a great next 12 months and that ma new year resolution

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm beeeetttoooooooooooooooo!

Peace out!

Farida B

Dont’ forget to check out my website at for Zumba Cargos, Tops n’ Stuff !

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Remember that job interview I had a more than a month ago with that lady on lakeshore who said that “no one wants a dancing body with it’s head cut off”…basically implying that I had no personality. yeah ..that one who is also an unlicenced zumba instructor who actually never took zumba fitness training and who’s getting fumba routines from YOUTUBE.  But I don’t wanna be a rat because karma’s a bitch!  I still stand that she was harsh in the way she approached the situation.   She wanted me to talk more and not just instruct on direction of a move or how to do was about motivation.   Since then I’ve definately learned more about how to be a better motivator in being a fitness instructor since I began teaching Aqua Zumba.

Here’s how..I actually googled “how to motivate as a fitness instructor” or something else along those lines and I learned quite a few things.

  • Complimenting them when they are doing well
  • Encouraging your class to give you more
  • Pointing out those who are doing extremely well
  • Taking on a role as a performer and getting them to let go of their inhibitions
  • Smile and encourage them when they seem they’re giving up
  • If they’re not getting the moves with all that..them simplify it

I used these techniques above in teaching my first Aqua Zumba class but it wasn’t enough to make it a success because the moves were not easy to do. So before the second class, I got in the water and found that they were right. You gotta get in the water to get a better feel for how to teach them the moves on land..and if they still can’t get it..then simplify or change the move all together.  The second class although it was only one member was a success and the member told me “This is better than just swimming”.   I’m about to go onto teaching class three for Aqua Zumba at Premiere on Sundays and hopefully with a bigger crowd that will say the same thing. CROSSIN MA FINGAZ.!!!

I also subbed my first Zumba fitness class one thursday in oakville and used all the motivation techniques above and got feedback from the manager today who said “they loved it, and they want to get me on the list!” Woo hoo! It’s great encouragement for the class I’ll be subbing tomorrow at Premiere fridays at Burnhamthorpe/Erindale station. I’m gonna have them ladies sweatin’ like never before and the music is gonna be SEXY HOT!!!

Oh yeah about that lady on lakeshore….they say when a door closes another door opens. She didn’t even want to give me a chance to demo a class and just went by what I did for her. Even she was smiling and giggling too and still turned around and said I had no personality. She was gonna offer me 20 and I’d have to wait for the rate I’m getting now which is 30. So i’m gonna say a few things.

Sionara! Astalawego! Astalavista! Areevadechi! Aurevoir! Masalama! Fil Me lengae! Baby!

Remember I was saying it’s foomba to talk in a Zumba fitness class, well I was wrong and I was very upset that day for really being insulted not that I didn’t get the job.   Since then I learned that it’s important as a Zumba Fitness instructor to be a motivator too because your participants want to feel good about taking your class too and so they get to the level of success that they seek in taking your class.

Chao baby!

p.s. I wanna say that Zin 29 is da bomb! and I already started using 3 of the songs in both my Zumba basic and Aqua Zumba classes. I believe in the Zumba Formula and do my best to stay true to it every single class…even if it’s my own choreography.

Man I got a beef to pick eh’. I just went for an appointment for a job to teach Zumba in a dance studio and didn’t get the job because they wanted F-umba basically.  Although the Zumba Formula and the Zumba King himself promotes Non-Verbal cueing in a Zumba Basic Class, it was expected that I would.   I’m not just talking verbal cueing of the next step, but each and every step!  i.e. You make a booty shake and face in four directions like in La Patilla, she wanted me to not only point but say “This way”…”now that way”, “now this way”…maybe a giggle in between and say “that way” . I swear if I went to a F-umba class that had that much unnecessary verbal cuing I’d seriously consider shooting myself LOL!

But hey I don’t blame her for expecting it because the previous instructor did that..and so did the instructors she experienced at other gyms such as Salsasize, and jazzercize, and all those Les Mills programs that probably promote tons of talking during class. Which is fine…but

This is Zumba – not F-umba – So it’s a party! – Do you talk at a party?  Why would you when you’re too busy feeling the music!

Anyway it was good to get the feedback because it only enforces the kind of instructor I wanna be..and that is one who sticks to the roots of the Zumba Formula, who follows the vision of what Beto Perez, the Zumba King wants for his Zumba Craze.   Only in Zumba Gold you use verbal cueing.  I saw a Zumba Queen perform, and that was Tanya, she did not speak a word during her performance, but she dance her fricken heart out and gave it her 130%.   She is a performer and a teacher, and talking has nothing to do with it.

If Tanya went to this interview…and yes she spoke to me through her shoes, beause I was wearing her Nike Air Max 90’s the yellow and purple ones…she said to me…Forget it Farida…you don’t teach F-umba. Peace out n’ Zumba Love to all xox!

P.S. I’ve seen Zumba taught at Goodlife Fitness and they don’t teach F-umba either and I fell in love with taking them.

P.S.2 And do you believe the owner said that she’d be teaching F-umba until she found another instructor to take her place. Gave her a friendly reminder that it’s not really legal and she corrected herself to say that she teaches salsa and balloom and renamed it to “Latin Funk” er som sht  – unlicenced zumba instructors can’t teach Zumba Classes

Was in the ZIN forums and got some awesome advice I’d like to share and it actually made me feel a bit better:

I have worked for Gyms who “dictated” how they wanted me to teach. You know what, I took the job at that time and SLOWLY changed the way the management saw Zumba.

I enjoy a challege. I see this as an OPPORTUNITY to get in there and MAKE A FEW IMPRESSIONS… by working with the facilty and management.

I see this as an even better way to share the Zumba way, by changing minds!

Just me. I believe that people are allowed to have their own ideas about things but if I know of a different or even better way, I might take the chance to MAKE THE ZUMBA MAGIC HAPPEN!

It is called evolution and professionalism

My reply:

thanx for your feedback I was waiting for it actually. I like the way you emphasized it as being a challenge and slowly changed the way management saw Zumba(i like that). I definately want to evolve and be more professional. Maybe next opportunity i’ll try to keep this in mind. Thanx 😉

As your budget becomes tighter you begin to think what is the cheapest way to remain a Licenced Zumba Instructor.   One way people think is cheaper is cancelling the ZIN membership 6 months on and 6 months off because the minimum term you can have ZIN for is 6 months.  Well…IMHO it will cost you more in the long run.  Because when you want to join again, you’ll have to call or email or a combination of both to get it started up again which can take some time.  It can take as long as a month to get started up again so you have to consider that since your training is only valid for 1 year if you’re not a ZIN member.  As your training is valid you’re Licenced to teach that particular Zumba Fitness class whether it be Basic, Gold, Toning, Aqua or Zumbatomic.  If you don’t become a ZIN member in time your cost to take the training again, because you’d have to take it once a year will cost you about 240 in Canadian funds, when as a ZIN member it’s 130 or less depending on the Canadian Dollar.  If you need to renew your training for 1, 2 or 3 different kind of classes that could cost you all around $600 bucks in all when you can just pay 360 US/yr to keep your Licence up to date.  So really you’re going through all that trouble, if you just have one training, to save a little over 100 bucks that year, unless you plan on doing Zumba Fitness classes for only a year and quitting.  Don’t count on that because it’s addictive for the postive experiences you get out of teaching classes.

That is just 1 point alone why being a member of the ZIN network is worth it.

Second is the forum.   It’s not just about asking questions but it’s about reading answers for questions you didn’t ask yet, or finding out the latest before you find out on your own.   The other day there was a Bonus track called Sacudelo by Willy Chirino danced by Tanya Beardsley and I wouldn’t have found out about it if I didn’t log into the forums.  After I received my ZIN CD she then tells you to log in and find it there.  So I found out about that new coreographed routine, practiced it and had it down pat in 2 days, performed it for my friends twice before I even got my ZIN 28 DVD. Now that’s the second awesome point is how you can be kept up to date with all the ish on da fly!

3. Extra clothing discounts as a ZIN member over and above regular discounts

4. Ability to have a domain name with the name ‘Zumba’ in it

5. Ability to be an authorized Zumbawear reseller

6. Receive updated Music, and DVD coreography by your favorite Zumba Celebs monthly! That way your class stays fresh!

7. Discounts on attending Zumba Events – Like Mexico’s Club Med Zumba Week this December 4-11

8.Ability to use Zumba logos on your website and on your promotional marketing material

9. Discount on future trainings which cost $125 cad

10. Ability to post your classes under your ZIN profile on the Zumba website and people can email you. If you’re not a ZIN member, it just has a little blurb about you, with no picture, no contact info and no schedule.

11. Lessen the chances your classes will be foomba which are Zumba fitness classes which don’t follow the Zumba Formula using tools from the ZIN Network

12.  Added March 24, 2011 – Being a ZIN member allows you the right to teach specialty Zumba programs such as Zumba Gold, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Toning, and Zumbatomic.   If you’re not subscribed to the Zin program then the only class you can teach is Zumba Basic 1/2 which like nearly all zumba instructors are teaching right now. Get ahead of the game and offer up something different. For me, having Aqua Zumba under my belt got my foot in the door for teaching at Premier Fitness 5 months ago. Now I teach all three formats Zumba, Aqua Zumba, and Zumba Toning – Join Zin program today!

As a ZIN member you have the tools to become an Elite Zumba Fitness Instructor if you want to

*btw I was not paid nor did I benefit financially from giving my testimony today. I’m a satisfied customer who wants to tell the world ZIN Rocks!!!!

Don’t forget to visit my site 



What is the Zumba Formula?

  • One move for each part of the song
  • Each part of the song can include mini moves but make sure not to many to be hard to follow
  • Each song should contain no more than 6 different parts because some songs are good for Zumba and some aren’t
  • Use of clean music – so no profanity or sexual jargon
  • Latin music, most of your class should contain Latin music and the rest can be a mix
  • Latin music should be a balanced mix of salsa, merengue, reggaeton, cumbia, quebradita, samba, batchata, and also a mix of other international tunes like belly dancing, african, bangra, greek etc
  • Last but not least, the class is taught by a LICENCED Zumba Instructor. So if you’re not licenced yet, please do, because we pay the money to become licenced, and some of us even pay for the membership ZIN fee (which I do) to remain up to date on the industry to keep classes interesting.  If not’s that’s FOOMBA!


et cetera