10/03/2014

MY FIRST ZUMBA CONVENTION EXPERIENCE...ZINCON ORLANDO 2014

It was a dream come true for me on August 13, 2014. I was finally at the Zumba Convention 2014. My desire to attend the Zumba convention began a year ago after watching the "Fitness Concert" on the Zumba Exhilarate DVD collection. In fact, that was when my quest to know more about Zumba started. Who was behind it? who were the beautiful ladies and energetic men I saw in my DVDs? etc. I just wanted to know more. I am a ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) member and as a result receive quarterly Education materials from the Zumba company. I used to watch the DVDs, but never paid attention to the instructors in them. All of that changed. I now knew these instructors by name, I followed my favorites on twitter and instagram and of course, my desire to attend the Convention grew daily. 
At the time I paid for my registration, and trust me to get the Early Bird registration, I had not even applied for my US visa nor did I have money in my account to purchase an air ticket, but, something in me felt positive, I guess it was faith working. Now, I had read so many reviews/stories from past attendees, some of which were negative. I remember some reviews saying it was a waste of money, and blah blah blah. But, I have never been one to go by negative reviews. Having attended, what I can say is, if you are not really passionate about the Zumba program and what it entails, it would be a waste of money and time, but, if you eat, breathe and live Zumba, it would be one of the most awesome experiences you would ever have.

I arrived a day before the Convention started. That was on the 13th of August 2014. I arrived Orlando, Florida at about 5.15PM. I did not even have to get to the Convention Centre to meet fellow attendees (ZIN members), I met them right at the airport. I shared a shuttle ride with three other ZIN members. One of them was lodging at my hotel (Rosen Centre), while the other three were lodging at the Hyatt and Hilton respectively. All three hotels were all connected and within proximity to the OCCC (Orange County Convention Centre). I must mention, that people were generally very happy and friendly at the Convention. Everyone was willing to help, there was so much laughing and love in the air, it reminded me of the paradise I imagine. No hatred, no competition, different people yet one mind and one goal. The atmosphere for me, was out of this world.

On the 14th, we began the convention with an opening ceremony. I cannot explain the energy that was in that hall, I would have to post the video on youtube. After the ceremony, I went for my first session with Heidi & Armando (I love those two). It was everything I expected and more. I love Dancehall, Soca, etc so it was up my street. To crown my session, I got called on stage *smiles*. My second session for the day was with Fabio Barros. I fell in love with him after watching the Zumba Gold DVD. He for sure has the flamenco fever. I ended my first day with a Master Class with Loretta Bates. I absolutely love her energy and style. 

My second and third days were spent in specialty trainings. I got to meet Marta Formoso and Melanie Guzman. Very Interesting personalities. On the fourth day, I ended my session with Eliza Stone and the Mexican team. I enjoyed that session so much. The last item was the closing ceremony and we finished with an impromptu class by Beto Perez, Gina Grant, Kass Martin, Loretta Bates and two others. 

Of course there was the fitness concert, theme party and all the ZIN members I met. I cannot talk about all that happened in those short but fulfilling four days. I for sure, would do it again and again and again. Pictures, they say, tells a story. So, enough of my chit chat. Enjoy the slideshow below which shows a glimpse of how much fun I had. 

Did I mention that I got to take a selfie with Mr Beto himself, the founder of Zumba Fitness?
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