Saturday, 29 October 2011

More classes coming

Just a month ago, I was pondering if it was time to edit my Blogger profile already; more specifically, to change my occupation from “jobless scientist” to “jobless Zumba instructor”. This week I did two Zumba lessons at the Pabellón, so probably I am not exactly jobless Zumba instructor after all. But wait: next week, I will be starting new classes at the brand new Azul Yoga & Pilates Studio (Calle Dr. Aristides Hernandez Moran, near the Blue Jazz Bar). The classes will be on Mondays and Wednesdays, 19:30 to 20:30; the first class is on Wednesday 2 November.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Aqua Zumba Vol. 5

I liked this collection better than the previous one. By now, only two girls are left in the pool but they seem to be enjoying the experience. There are two (not bad!) originals by K.L.C. Clave Cubana, the rest are covers. The program opens with Suavemente; this song works great in water too! But the most fun song is Busamba. One day I’d love to play it in a Zumba class.

Song List

  1. Suavemente — Merengue
  2. Dale Cintura — Salsa — by K.L.C. Clave Cubana
  3. Gotcha — Cha-Cha-Chá / Pop
  4. Amor Del Bueno — Cumbia / Pop
  5. Sin Aire — Latin Pop / Rock
  6. Cumbianchera — Cumbia
  7. Busamba — Salsa / Cha-Cha-Chá
  8. No Te Pido Flores — Cumbia
  9. El Celular — Salsa / Reggaeton — by K.L.C. Clave Cubana

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My first real class

Sticking my posters around the town was fun, but it was mostly word of mouth (if you can call Facebook-ing that) that worked. I had six students today!

Tamara did come too and helped me a lot. That included showing a few steps which she really does better than me.

The program this week is almost identical to the one of my trial class last month, except for Baila Pa Emociona replacing Zu Bailaito. I thought quebradita will be a bit too much for my first lesson.

Song List

  1. Anatomic — Warm-Up — by Afro Celt Sound System
  2. Baila Pa Emociona — Calypso
  3. Las Mujeres Lo Bailan Bien — Merengue
  4. Aguanile — Salsa
  5. La Batidora — Reggaeton
  6. Dança Da Mãozinha — Axé
  7. Tunak Tunak Tun — Bhangra
  8. Bla Bla Bla — Reggaeton / Cumbia
  9. Toul Omry — Salsa / Bellydance
  10. Con Moviemento — Bachata / Reggaeton
  11. El Baile del Gorila — Rumba Flamenca
  12. Culiquitaca — Merengue — by Toño Rosario
  13. Quiero Saber — Cool-Down — by Gypsy Kings

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Make a difference

Together with thousands of other ZIN members, I got an email this week.
Get Wyclef’s new hit “Historia” for your Zumba® classes and Party in Pink™ Zumbathon® charity events — 10% of every iTunes download directly benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and its global nonprofit partners.

You can also make a difference by calling your local radio station to request “Historia” so more people hear the song and want to download it. Your efforts will help millions worldwide!
Or, you can make even bigger difference by giving your hard-earned cash directly to the better charity.

If you buy Historia from iTunes for $1.29, you contribute just 13 cents to Komen, the establishment famous for pinkwashing and trademarking the very phrase “for the cure”. The remaining 90% presumably go to Wyclef Jean himself, recording company and iTunes. Personally, I would not buy a song from iTunes even if I happened to like it. Which is not the case here.

Don’t get me wrong: I am far from pooh-poohing the idea of Zumbathon. Finding a cure for breast cancer is a noble cause and Zumba charity event must be fun. But I really detest paying to Pink Ribbons, Inc. and the guy who used the Haitian earthquake for shameless self-promotion.

Unfortunately, there’s no much choice: currently, Komen is the only charity that can benefit from Zumbathon® events. (Why do they even have “Choose Benefiting Organization” menu there if there is nothing else to choose from?)

Among things I miss here in Fuerte are the charity shops. I bought some of my favourite shirts in the Cancer Research UK shop in Saffron Walden. And, although I am not a big fan of running, I really enjoyed watching their Race for Life in Cambridge.

You also can help fighting breast cancer without paying anything. How? Just go to The Breast Cancer Site and click!
When you click, we display ads from our site sponsors. 100% of the money from these advertisers goes to our charity partners, who fund programs to provide mammograms for women in need.
Isn’t it great?

Friday, 21 October 2011

Give me an adventure

Aqua Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold-Toning, the brand-new Zumba Sentao™... Am I alone in thinking that with all this branching out, Zumba Fitness starts to lose its focus somehow? According to my Zumba instructor training manual,
The choice of music for a Zumba workout is the single most important element in a Zumba class.
Well then, let’s concentrate on music. In spite of all the diversification, the music supplied by Zumba progressively becomes less and less interesting. The latest ZIN 35 music CD is out there as if to illustrate this unfortunate trend. With the notable exception of mapalé Adiós Fulana, the tunes are instantly forgettable.

Now the DVD. The live class was shot at the Zumba Convention 2011. What a disappointment. I mean, forty minutes of the same five blokes, even if one of them is Beto, almost entirely in wide shot? And then the bonus track of the same five blokes plus Wyclef. Come on guys, I know you can do better. Better music, better camerawork, better Zumba! And when I say “better”, I mean “more adventurous”.

ZIN music CDs and especially choreography DVDs are part of the ZIN deal, in fact one of the main reasons to join ZIN. One can be excused for expecting quality music and quality choreo. When ZIN fails to deliver the quality, I cannot help feeling robbed.

Song List

  1. Trai La Bulla – Cumbia / Merengue
  2. Me Voy Pa Cali – Salsa
  3. Feel Like Dancing – Ragga / Pop
  4. Bounce – Merengue
  5. Conga (Zumba Remix) – Techno
  6. Qué Te Pasa – Cumbia / Hip-Hop
  7. Adiós Fulana – Mapalé
  8. A Namorada – Funk / Pop / Brazilian
  9. Quiero Volver A Mis 20 – Bachata

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Samba Reggae Workout

with Quenia Ribeiro

I bought this DVD on the strength of the Amazon reviews — and was not disappointed.

Quenia starts with Welcome and, in just two minutes, introduces the samba reggae Basic Steps. These look easy; that’s encouraging.

To my fellow Zumber@s, Quenia’s Warm-Up may seem more like “cool-down”: a lot of stretching exercises, some of them rather impressive. At 12 minutes, it is a bit longer than your typical Zumba class warm-up/cool-down. But you can’t have too much of a good thing. You will be sweating by the end of it.

In Workout #1 (about 37 minutes) Quenia builds up, well, a “routine”: shows a step, repeats, adds a new step, repeats “from the top”, shows a new step and so on. Non-stop. (Speaking of stops: the great thing about the DVD is that you always can use the stop button to catch your breath. I had to do that a few times during Workout #1.) “Routine” may sound boring, but actually it is a good fun. OK, I found Quenia’s verbal cues rather redundant and did not exactly fell in love with her voice. So what, I know how to turn the volume down, so it really is not a problem. It would be perfect if there was a way to quick-jump to particular steps, because the only way to navigate within Workout #1 is the good old fast-forward (or fast-backward).

Workout #2 (about six minutes) is basically the same routine as we learn in Workout #1 but danced at the higher pace. As by now we should know it more or less by heart, it goes without any commentary.

I love how Ms Ribeiro introduces her band and dancers and explains the role of each instrument. Once again, quite unlike Zumba Fitness Anonymous.

One day, I hope to learn how to dance samba properly. I can start with making good use of Quenia’s moves.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Quarterly report

I just realised that today is three months of my life in Corralejo. Are there any achievements to speak of?

Zumba classes given: one.
Children taught to ride a bicycle: two (14 and 10).
Space/time offered to give Zumba classes: one.
Hotels/gyms visited in search of said space/time: many.
Salsa classes attended: quite a few.

All in all, it was a nice Summer. I hope it will be an even better Autumn.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

My first ad

As I said earlier, I need to get a critical mass of students to start the classes. I have created my first printed advertisement with an intent to litter the town with it. Here it is:

(click here for a PDF file)

Monday, 3 October 2011

One step closer

Back in July, I went to Centro Cultural de Corralejo to enquire about a possibility to give Zumba classes there. From there (“Fitness? That’s sports, not culture!”) I was sent to Escuela Naútica where I was given the telephone of somebody in ayuntamiento (municipal council) in La Oliva. That was the end of the story then, for I was not quite prepared to phone there and explain myself in my embryonic Spanish.

Last week, the unexpected help came in the form of Tai Chi Chuan teacher Annalisa Paloschi. Not only did she take me from one desk (in Escuela Naútica) to another (in ayuntamiento), but also helped to fill the solicitud (application) and even volunteered to give her telephone number as a contact in case they phone back. They didn’t, so she did phone them instead. What an amazing lady.

Today we went to La Oliva again, to meet the person responsible for all the sporty activities. I brought with me the photocopies of my qualifications, the printout of Acerca de Zumba® Fitness from the official Zumba website and a promotional DVD. And, hooray, it looks like I have a slot booked for regular classes: Sala Pabellón de Corralejo, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 to 12:30!

The catch? Before I start classes, I have to ensure there’s some critical mass of students (five or six, I am told, will do). You see, ayuntamiento is not that interested in walk-in classes. They rather prefer people to pay monthly, via bank. I see a bit of problem here: what if you enrol to do Zumba and after a few classes want to leave? The only way to avoid that is to make sure that absolutely everybody loves my Zumba classes.

So now it’s publicity time. I am working on a flyer to distribute around the town. The prospective students presumably should phone me and I take their details down. Then, when I have collected those, I contact ayuntamiento again and say, well, now I have my six students and ready to party!