3 Yr Anniversary as a Zumba Instructor Reflections 🤔 💃🥳
Jessica R Duggins
August 6th makes my 3rd year as an official Zumba Instructor, I can’t believe 3 years have passed so quickly. I’ve enjoyed the journey of becoming a fitness instructor, the challenges, the growth, the music and of course the dance!
Teaching Zumba has been the most fun job I’ve had albeit, one of the most challenging. I am instructing people towards a healthier lifestyle, in one of the most fun ways, but exercise is only a small part of being fit and healthy, and that became apparent most so in my own life.
It has led me to reflect upon my own lifestyle choices, made me face my bad eating habits and other mental strains like taking on unnecessary stress. Of course life will have stressors but how I respond to it is my choice.
When I am dancing and teaching Zumba the unnecessary stress goes away for an hour. I’m focused on cueing moves and the music. I’m focused on my participants, if they are getting the moves, are they having fun, are they safe, are they getting a good workout?
I focus on the beat, the lyrics, the fun and freedom of the groove, and the connection I share with my fellow dancers.
The stress of buying a house fades away for an hour, as does the stress of being an adult living with my parents. This is also year 3 of that journey. The stress of parenting a young adult living with autism, the worry of raising a multiracial child in a racially charged country, and the basic everyday stresses of being a mom and wife, all melt away for an hour.
I take a deep breath before I address the dancers and it’s all gone, my brain knows where we are going, we are taking a mini vacation, I am allowing my brain to celebrate life and a space to express joy, passion, individuality, and confidence.
I am connecting with the other dancers and as we dance together and laugh, the space between us is being filled with happiness, smiles and laughter, and of course sweat.
We come with our day trailing behind us, we are excited to put our worries down for a while and let the music take us back to our true selves. I reconnect, with my body, my spirit, my inner self, who loves to create and move and share that joy with others.
My arms look different to me in this moment, they are banners of expressive thought, strong hard moves that show my toughness and the adversity I have overcome. During softer moves they are like silk ribbons of comfort, grace and nurturing. My arms are telling a story, my story, my interpretation of the song, my connection to a song. My arms are happy and free as they feel the breeze of movement against their surface. It is a celebration of movement and the allowance to do so.
My legs look different as well. They are pillars of strength, decisively moving all over the dance floor, moving in rhythm, moving with purpose, moving freely.
I am in this moment, I am connected to the music, it’s an excuse to be elegant, and a reason to stomp and shout. I’m home and officially in my happy place 😊
That may or may not be Zumba for others but I think, I hope, we all share a space like that ❤️ and if you don’t yet, come to Zumba and dance with us, it’s a great start to finding your own happy place.
See you on the dance floor 😘