Zumba Kids & Zumba Kids Jr is the program that replaced Zumbatomic, in order to divide the work into two age groups, 4-6 and 7-11, as it wasn’t that defined in Zumbatomic.
I have started teaching this program in January this year, and I wasn’t really sure how to deal with kids when it comes to physical activities and socializing among children groups. Time definitely teaches you how to connect with children and how to understand them, and how to make yourself understood to them as well.
I agree generally with the program rules in terms of children safety comes first, whoever drops the child off should be the one to pick them up, the instructor should be superior in front of the children, with of course a friendly manner, innocence in dressing and behaving in order not to affect children in a wrong way, plus sticking to children songs rather than common and popular pop songs that might not suite a child’s mind and interest.
Unfortunately late in February I came across health complications and I had to quit my job, due to joints inflammation, I’m not yet sure about the diagnoses, but I hope it’s not an autoimmune disease like RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). But I had to stay at home for 3 months since at the beginning I wasn’t being able to walk or stand up, and I was on many medication and regular check ups. By the time I started walking a bit I decided to continue teaching kids to dance and play around with them as much as I could. My other classes were all cancelled, like Body Combat, Body Pump, etc.
For almost two months my only activities besides swimming was Zumba Kids, it was hard and painful and demanding to me, although Zumba Kids is one of these programs that don’t demand too much physical efforts, but rather mental focus and socializing with the kids. But the kids always make things up to you when you’re tired, sick, sad and depressed, with their smiles and laughter, with their jokes and games, with their creativity and sensitivity and with their innocence and smartness.
My kids taught me a lot of things, those who are healthy and others who have special circumstances, each one of them taught me something, they are too short tempered yet happy, their lives aren’t full of burdens yet but they have their own small problems, that to us is nonsense but to them they could bring tears to their eyes.
I tried my best to teach them how to use their bodies to express something, not to be shy, to make friends, to compete and challenge themselves and others, to behave to impress, and to talk clearly and understood. I tried my best to highlight unnecessary manners like selfishness, rudeness and gossiping, and I always enjoyed seeing them working in teams and over come their feelings of dislike towards each other.
My journey with kids has been always cool and happy, sometimes some of them think I’m as old as they are, and share with me their ideas that I find always amusing and interesting.
What impressed me the most is that, I couldn’t do much at the beginning since my physical abilities were somehow limited, but later I came to notice that working with kids was some sort of physical rehabilitation for me, since the moves are simple and relatively slow compared with programs taught for adults. In a matter of a month with the kids I managed to dare and say yes! I want to go back slowly to work, teach some classes that don’t necessarily need all my energy like maybe ABS or Circuit Training.
During summer break many sport centers start summer camps for kids and I was asked to teach Zumba for kids, I hesitated a little bit because the schedule was packed, I had to do three hours in a row twice a week, but I agreed at the end. Those hours with the kids were the actual rehabilitation for me, at some point during the summer camp I went back to teaching Body Pump, and now I teach Body Combat, Zumba and all the other programs that I enjoy.
Thanks to my kids who taught me how to walk and run again, smile and laugh and have hope, and feel really young again, as Marita said: “We are cool, because we are real kids”, thinking I’m a kid just like she is.
So everyone expects Zumba to be a happy thing, right?
I’m originally a Les Mills instructor, I decided to enroll myself in Zumba Fitness different instructors’ training courses due to the markets’ demand, and second my appreciation to dancing in general.
On the 27th of this month, which is two days ago, I have been to a Zumba Step instructors’ training, fully willing and fully aware of what I was doing. I have registered during February this year, before I got my joints infection attacking my feet, and so when the time came to do Zumba Step I thought I can do it, since two days before I was on a Les Mills RPM module training, which is more serious, strict and physically demanding, besides the assessments we had to go through during these two days in order to initially pass or fail, and what motivated me to go on for the Zumba Step, is that the RPM master trainer did make sure to let me know what my duties and responsibilities were during the RPM module so I deliver what they expected me to, on the other hand the master trainer did actually let me rest and take small breaks when I thought my feet were not gonna hold me standing or pedaling longer, and I passed it, so i thought Zumba Step is easier and less serious and the ZES, Zumba Educational Specialist, are usually more relaxed, so no biggy, no biggy at all!
Among the instructors we had another Les Mills instructor who had a recent knee surgery, her knee hurts and my feet hurt and we both had a reason why we should have rested every now and then. But this is what we have been told by the ZES: IF YOU THINK YOU ARE NOT FIT ENOUGH FOR THE PROGRAM TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE, IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE ARE GOING TO DO HERE THEN TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE.
It was kinda shocking to hear such words coming from a person who claims to have knee problems, and weird enough to hear such things from a person who claims to have been in the fitness industry for over a decade. Fitness instructors usually are aware of injuries and different health problems, and the majority of them have been through some injuries, whether they were small or big, they do know what it means to be injured and still want to continue education and career. So calling Les Mills instructors UNFIT, like me and my colleague in that case, is totally unacceptable. We weren’t there to judge or be judged.
Besides that the one day session was a one man’s show! Everything had to roam around that ZES, who’s name I’m not going to mention:
- WHEN I WAS IN MY TWENTIES I WAS SLIM, I WAS FIT, I HAD 6 PACKS!
- I WAS A LES MILLS INSTRUCTOR TEACHING THIS AND THAT!
- WHEN I TALK YOU LISTEN, AND NO ONE ELSE IS ALLOWED TO TALK!
- I HAVE FOUND MY RELAXATION TECHNIQUES: BODY BALANCE, JUNK AND WINE.
- I DON’T WANT TO BE FIT ANYMORE, I WANNA EAT ALL THE BAD THINGS IN LIFE.
And lots of other bluffing like: THE BAR TENDER IN THE HOTEL IN AMMAN WAS SURPRISED WHEN I ORDERED BEER AS A WOMAN!
Here is what I want to say:
- We paid money and came to learn not to get to know you!
- Don’t judge us for being injured and sick, because one day you might also be in our shoes.
- Zumba Step specialty is kinda new and we did want to be among the first instructors in Jordan, my country where I live now, to have its license and teach it, so appreciate our attendance, we have disregarded our situations, so respecting it would be much better than whatever you have done.
- Don’t ask me to leave or reschedule because such specialties are not coming every other week to my country.
- Honestly I don’t need a ZES to teach me anything in Zumba, I just need the manual and the DVDs for the program, you should be glad I came.
- Fitness instructors no matter what TRY AND LOOK AND SEEM AND BEHAVE HEALTHY, so we never talk about junk, smoking, alcohol, etc in front of our students/members.
- Bragging about the past won’t bring the it back, so get real please.
- During Les Mills module training courses so far I never heard the word Zumba, so why mention Les Mills during a Zumba training. There is no way to compare this with that, please! And don’t change the channel.
- Jordan is an Arab Muslim country, but drinking became so usual and normal, bar tenders don’t freak out seeing ladies asking for alcohol, I suggest you try another way to show off or look like an outcast or feel special. You were in Jordan not Saudi Arabia. And holding such a job of yours, you must be very accustomed to cultural differences and not mention them at all.
- We are adults too, just like you, so let’s not play kids and teacher here, never ever!
Anyway, thanks for reading, I really never been through such a horrible experience trying to learn something new in fitness. I felt I was serving in the military that day bossed by someone who’s mental.