My Zumba Journey 2010-2015

MY ZUMBA JOURNEY – BY WENDY RIVERA

“Reading this and had a bit of laugh LOL thought I would share WARNING its a bit long!!

So since coming to Hervey Bay back in 2004 I discovered two amazing things which fell into the passionate category for me.

– The first was Latin dancing I learnt to do Salsa, Samba, Merengue and Batchata then discovered the stage and I fell in love, SO in love.

– 4 years later a short little Latino appeared on my screen talking about dancing whilst flexing your ‘ Treeceps’ and ‘Beeceps’ to the gorgeous Latin sounds that had become so familiar to me through dancing although he called it Zumba Fitness!!

Next thing you know I find myself following this Brazillain groover called Enrique with a heavenly blonde beauty by his side!! Well within a few months this Brazillian Groover asked me to do my training as he is a ZES and will be traveling around the world with Beto the creator of Zumba Fitness so he needs someone to cover his classes (my reaction)

WHATTTTTT…….. Me little old plain me…… WTF…….No you can’t be serious!!! Well as you may know my first passion is dance although Enrigue kept on persistently enticing me to come over to the dark side so to speak! I was like nah I can’t do that not teach dance fitness….Can I…..hmmmm…..you see I taught Aerobics for years and danced for years but never taught anything like this before!!

So I thought okay let’s give it a go ( I must have had a mad moment at this point), what attracted me most was the opportunity here to help people, make people smile and feel good by getting them to enjoy exercising, to make a difference in people’s life to inspire them to have fun and show them how to sweat it up through dance which is amazing for the soul.

So with that I put myself on a plane and flew down to Sydney where I did my B1 with Maria Teresa Stone (we did the Mexican party for her) I was exhausted (anybody that has done the B1 or B2 knows how exhausting it is) but I was qualified.

I get back and I am thinking okay I’m ready to go to do my first class on the Monday night ahhhhhhhhhhh I practised and practised and practised beforehand till all hours of the night…

Well I was sooooo scared Eeeeek, taking over Enrigue’s class was the most scariest thing I have ever done, they were such big shoes to fill and I wasn’t sure if I could fill them at all!!! So when I turn up I had all these expectant faces looking up at me waiting to see if I have the goods OMG I can tell you I was literally trembling from the top of my head right down to the tips of my toes. I thought what the hell am I doing…for starters I am white!! I am a skinny, lanky no muscle tone 40 something year old female, I am shy and very self-conscious, (yes I really was) I have only just completed my training, I am going to forget panic sets in, I can’t breathe….I I I I OMG I am insane!!!!!!!

But I did it!!! and continued to teach 3 classes a week along with doing Demos all over the Bay and amazing themed parties too My Zumba Instructor status just became permanent! So then to add to my Zumba repertoire I completed my B2 training, Zumba Toning Zumba Core and Zumba Pro skills.

After my training I gave up my beloved dancing and put my total focus, energy and time into Zumba Fitness. And became totally and souly Dedicated to giving each and every one of my participants the best possible experience I could possibly give them. So much so that those nerves before my class have never left me, I literally tremble yes from the top of my head to the tips of my toes right before every single class right up to this very moment! I remember back in the days when we had a few men come to the class and they used to come on stage with me All the time I might add one of them Buddy some of you might remember him well he was watching me go through my ipod setting up some tracks I was doing the whole trembling thing and he couldn’t believe how much my hand was shaking!

There have been many amazing classes and so many crazy moments, the Brain Farts, the memory freezes and millions and millions of bloopers along the way not to mention the crazy parties, dress ups, amazing ZINs and Jammers that I have met, crazy and sometimes very challenging demos, mini classes and shows around Hervey Bay, oh and the different venues when our beloved hall was unavailable.

I have done a lot….Attending Zin day in Sydney and meeting the amazing and my favourite ZES Tania Beardsley, she did a talk at this event which brought me to tears! Experiencing Beto’s Concert Class in Sydney which was pretty good But I must say we do it better and we got poll position right up the front…Awesome although never did get to see myself on that DVD??? Doing Zumba for the Whale Paddleout and meeting the loveable Bob Irwin beautiful man he couldn’t help himself and joined in the Zumba on the sand I believe. Hosting the crazy hair class with Michael Thomas OMG did I feel good up on those Stages (my friends no why).

Another highlight was going to the Fitness Expo in Sydney and meeting all the Zumba crew including my male idol Steve Boedt oh he was just gorgeous.

Wow Zumba took me to all levels in life, I have dressed up in all sorts, mucked up everywhere and anywhere, partied all throughout the bay including the night club, bars and pubs, screamed and woohooo’d until I have lost my voice, laughed and laughed and laughed so much more and cried a bucket load of tears!!

You know my passion to give my participants my all made me show up no matter what, I have literally crawled in that hall from being so unwell, I have nearly fallen asleep on the stage before the class, and have nearly passed out several times during the summer months teaching under these god for saken horrendously hot stage lights…!!!

When I started my Mady was only 12 and my Jake 7 Me I was 41!! Now Mady is 17 Jake is 12 and I am ‘cough’ 46!!!! 5 years has flown by!!!! I have met so many people along the way and fell in love with you all. Some of you have been with me since I started some of you used to do Enrigues classes with me as a participant!

I feel so grateful to have been a part of Zumba Fitness, I am so very proud of myself for taking that leap of faith and trusting in myself to lead that very first class. I am proof that as long as you believe in yourself you can do anything in life you just have to jump right in! I have had the pleasure of working with such beautiful people that encouraged and supported me throughout my Zumba Career.

I have met so many beautiful participants that are now my friends. You are all a crazy bunch of people thank you for being so extremely supportive and for giving me so much energy each and every week. I have watched you grow into beautiful Zumba dancers with awesome hips that can Booty shake like crazy, I see you thank you for the smiles, the laughter and your dedication, thank you for putting up with my crazy face ( I doubt you will get the same kind of facials as mine ever) and insane personality.

Katie you my love are amazing the opportunity that you and Enrique gave me to lead your Zumba Fraser Coast classes is something I will cherish forever. You Katie always gave me strength when I was week, positivity when I was negative, happiness when I was cranky pants and sunshine when I was sad! You are an amazing woman with which your participants are so lucky to have lead them.

So its Adiose from this old Zumba Chick Love you all loads”

Wendy (aka Wendita) RIVERA

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