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When I was living in the Central Coast in CA, in Santa Maria, I used to go to my 1Zumba class. That was few years back before moving to the Bay Area. One day, when we were about to have our 1Zumba class, the one at 5pm, I think, there came to our class two very nice looking 1Zumba instructors: Vanessa & Lauren.
We didn’t understand what was going on, but we knew later on that our original 1Zumba instructor, for personal reasons, would not be able to come to the class any more.
Vanessa & Lauren were supposedly subbing or replacing the original instructor, but we didn’t know for how long. They were a bit hesitant at the beginning, but once they got busy, OMG, they were on fire; both of them. They were looking at each other, as if trying to remind each other with the routine or the movements they were supposed to carry on. They were so sweat!
The class went on as if it took only seconds. Oh! It ended that fast. We were yelling, screaming, and doing very simple movements; nevertheless, we were sweating like no other day in 1Zumba classes. Rika, Yellenda, Pat, Cindy n myself were shaking our heads in surprise saying: “What was that!”.
It was not about the 1Zumba itself, it was about how could that happen, all our clothing were wet as if we were under the rain, with tiny whinny movements. As if in a blink, we came out of the swimming pool, dripping water. It was unbelievable. All of us, immediately said: “We wanted more!” How happy we were, I can’t tell you, coz we knew that with all that sweating, we would lose weight. Losing weight was one of the reasons behind going to Zumba, not only keeping up with good physical fitness.
Our group was about 45 or more, but her other classes in other gyms out-numbered that class. We used to go to other cities where Vanessa Zumba during weekends, in group of four instructors together. Sometimes, in Pismo Beach, or Orcutt, it depends.
Vanessa is one of the genuine 1Zumba instructors in everything she’s doing; she was candid and lavish. She has this special quality mood, that will make you feel as if you are flying in the air, in her 1Zumba, although, you hardly leave your spot.
She has the ability of making you sweat like no other, but with very systematic repeated movements, with no boredom felt at all, while you keep repeating those routines. She has exquisite song lists, always adding new songs, or classic songs that we all love to hear. She tailors her 1Zumba to the rhythm of each song, whether the song is slow or fast, she is so skillful to adapt the right motion to each one.
Here is what she told us about her love for 1Zumba:
1- How long have you been teaching 1Zumba?
Vanessa: Since March 30, 2013
2- Why 1Zumba? What did you do before being a 1Zumba Instructor?
As someone who loves to dance, I took my my first 1Zumba class with Rosalie Fortner at the YMCA in 2010 & immediately fell in love with it. 1Zumba allows me to let go of everything for that 1 hr I am in class. I had taken other fitness classes, such as spin & yoga, but nothing really ever reached out to me like 1Zumba did.
3- Do you have a dance element and a fitness element equally in your class?
Yes I do, I love to incorporate dance moves that work out every part of your body, so we may have some upper body, lower body & core work in just 1 song.
4- What keeps you going on with your classes?
The relationships that I have formed with my students. I love to see their smiles & hear their yells & screams during my class. Their energy gives me energy to keep going!
5- What seems to be difficult for your students?
6- What attracts your students more? Why?
I have been told by my clients that my genuine enjoyment of teaching my class is what they love. I don’t stop at all, I am sweating & moving just as much as they are. I have also been told that they really like my style of teaching…I am very easy to follow & don’t include too many tough moves for them.
7- What range of ages do you have in your classes?
I have people in their 20’s all the way up into their late 80’s.
8- What difficulties do you have being a 1Zumba instructor?
My biggest struggle is getting the motivation to go to class after a long day…but once I am there I have a blast & don’t regret going! One of my other struggles is trying to find time to choreograph new music. I’d love to have 1-2 new songs every week, but it’s very tough to find the time between working a full-time job, being a wife & mother & teaching my classes.
9- Which 1Zumba do you prefer? Why?
I haven’t found a form of 1Zumba that I have not liked. The only genre of basic 1Zumba I struggle with is Salsa & Bachata…it can be very tough to choreograph.
I currently teach 4 classes a week.
11-How many studios or health centers, or others do you work with?
Two: I teach at the Santa Maria Valley YMCA & at Curves in Orcutt, CA
12- Is 1Zumba a rewarding career? How?
I love making people smile & helping them with their fitness goals…I also love bringing people out of their shells when they are very nervous to try a 1Zumba class. I want everyone to leave with a smile on their face!
13- Do you introduce the steps to your students?
If I have time in the beginning of a song, I will break down the steps, otherwise I use a combination of verbal & hand cueing.
14- What do you least enjoy about 1Zumba? Why?
I wish I was able to afford to go to more events….there are lots of ZIN Jams (Choreography Sessions with 1Zumba Choreographers), and many other big events, but I just can’t afford to go to all of them.
15- How do you keep things interesting for your students?
I love to just have fun with them….one of the other things I do, is I change-up the playlists every class…I don’t want them to get bored with doing the same playlist every class…so I have 10 different playlists on my phone to change things out…
Vanessa is one of our 1Zumba Superstars; certainly, we will invite her again to talk to us more, so that we can catch up with all her lovely surprising adventures. Indeed, Vanessa is our 1Zumba “Marvel”!