Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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10 Things To Expect from ZUMBA® Instructor Training

Last weekend was a whirlwind of fun packed with a bachelorette party and wedding shower for a friend, my nephews’ 3rd birthday party (twinsies), and a full day of training to become a ZUMBA® instructor!

I’ve been working out ZUMBA® style for about eight years and I’ve had becoming a ZUMBA® instructor on my bucket list for almost as long. It is such an amazing workout and it makes me happy (and laugh at myself).

When you do something you absolutely love for eight straight hours in one day AND check a major thing off of your bucket list, it is just so uplifting; you almost want to cry! Seriously, I was filled with joyful tears while dancing last Saturday many times and had to bite them back, so people didn’t think I was a weirdo!

If you haven’t tried ZUMBA® or you haven’t heard of it, it a “Latin-inspired, dance-fitness class that incorporates Latin and international music and dance movements, creating a dynamic, exciting, exhilarating, and effective fitness program.” (From ZUMBA® instructor’s manual.)

Put simply, it is an amazing dance-exercise party guaranteed to make you smile and sweat!

ZUMBA Training

If you’ve been considering becoming a ZUMBA® instructor and you’re apprehensive, because you aren’t sure what to expect, allow me to share some highlights from my training. Do it! Check it off your bucket list!

10 Things to Expect from ZUMBA® Training (Basic 1):

1.) You will meet other people that love ZUMBA® as much as you do! One of the things I love about ZUMBA® is that anyone can do it, regardless of your fitness level or dance experience. I was nervous for the training, because I thought I might be the sole dance-duckling in a sea of beautiful Latin ballerina-swans. Even in a small class, there was an eclectic group of ZUMBA® enthusiasts with a wide range of ages, dance experience, personality types, fitness levels, and plans of what to do after the training. It was great to meet and network with other future instructors and make new friends. Make sure to exchange emails and phone numbers, so you can keep in touch after the training.

2.) You will get inspired and crush your fears! One of my favorite parts of the entire training was the hour master ZUMBA® session we started the day with. What better way to start a ZUMBA® training than with an AMAZING ZUMBA® class taught by an amazing trainer! We worked up quite the sweat! About four songs in, our instructor motioned to another gal and me to join her up in the front. I almost peed my pants and shook my head no; I was not ready for that, I didn’t even know the song! BUT we got up there and for the first time, ZUMBA®ed a totally different way, as an instructor. It was the most non-threatening way to be eased into this and a moment I’ll never forget. Fear had been crushed!

3.) You will learn the history and “formula” to ZUMBA®. You’ll love ZUMBA® even more once you learn who and how it was birthed and grown into an international sensation. Also, once you learn the basic “formula” of how to place steps and songs, building your own playlists and classes feels less daunting!

4.) You will learn steps and practice them. I’ve been doing ZUMBA® for years, but I feel much more confident having been taught the basic steps and all of the variations. I was doing many of the steps correctly, but I definitely had a few adjustments to make to my moves! We also had fun practicing the steps in small groups and making up our own choreography!

5.) You will learn cueing. This was the toughest part to get used to, because I’m used to being a student and following cues, but I’ve never had to cue myself. ZUMBA® instructors are encouraged not to talk during their classes, so giving non-verbal cues to let the class know what moves are coming, how many repetitions, and in what direction we’re moving next is vital.

6.) You will practice the instructor role. When you are driving and following your GPS, you don’t always pay attention to exactly what roads you are turning on to and how many miles you’ve gone, you just follow whatever Sally the GPS lady tells you (or whatever you’ve named your GPS, you know you have!). That’s how it can be as a ZUMBA® participant. You might think you know every move of a song, but really you might be totally lost if the instructor wasn’t cueing you. Practicing the instructor role versus the participant role was eye-opening and a real confidence builder.

7.) You will learn the benefits of ZIN™. Once you complete the ZUMBA® training, you are considered a ZUMBA® instructor for a year or forever as long as you become an active ZIN™ member (there’s a monthly fee). ZIN™ membership provides you with an online account that gives you access to the latest music, choreography, clothing discounts, a personal website, and so much more. ZUMBA® instructing without ZIN™ would be like a steak dinner without the steak!

8.) You will learn about the different kinds of music used in ZUMBA®. ZUMBA® music is Latin and internationally inspired. You’ll learn how to build your playlist, so it flows well during your class and contains a diverse selection of songs. Salsa has always been my favorite, but an hour of only Salsa music isn’t a ZUMBA® class, it is a Salsa class!

9.) You will learn about logistics. I just want to dance, workout and help others feel the ZUMBA® party! Before this training, I didn’t think much about some of the logistics that are key to ensuring your ZUMBA®party is safe and a success. In training, you will discuss things like participant waivers, insurance, CPR and group exercise certification.

10.) You will come to understand every instructor has a different style. What if people come to my class and leave half way through? What if people with a ton of dance experience come (and are better than me)? I really want to teach like so-and-so. It is so important to BE YOURSELF as a ZUMBA® instructor. One of the many beauties of ZUMBA® is that every instructor has their own style. You will have people love your style and others that don’t. You have to learn to be at peace with that. You can’t please everyone. I know I will build a group of people that love “Natasha’s class” and others won’t and that’s okay! Be confident that “your” people will be there!

If you’ve had it on your mind and heart to become a ZUMBA® instructor, do it! Push your fears aside and dive in, because it really does have the potential to change your life!

Oh, and you might want to bring several changes of clothing with you to the training, just saying!

Good luck! ZUMBA®!!!

Natasha

 

TMB-approved-150

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No, We ARE NOT Chasing Butterflies

It is Farmer’s Market season here again! There is no way I’d rather spend my Saturday morning than waiting in line at our favorite bakery, praying there will be at least one ginormous scone left, grabbing a freshly dripped cup of coffee from a local roaster and then strolling through the booths of fresh spring goodies.

It is also so much fun to see people headed back to their cars with their Farmer’s Market score of the day. Everyone seems so happy already thinking out where they are going to hang those massive flowering baskets, or what on earth they will bake with 5 pounds of fresh rhubarb, or convincing themselves how wise they were to spend $30 on pastries and bread alone.

I find the Farmer’s Market so refreshing! It’s great to get ultra fresh foods, support local families, be outdoors, and spend time with family.

One of my favorite parts of our Farmer’s Market is the bright orange food truck that serves some of the most creative, fresh, and flavorful food in town. Usually, I visit the food truck at the end of our Farmer’s Market visit to put a few more minutes between the breakfast I’ve already eaten at home, the enormous (I’m sure calorie-free) scone I just downed and whatever I’m about to order and pretend is lunch even though it’s only 10:15am.

Recently as the boys and I were waiting for our food truck treasure, I noticed a mom with her three young children sit down at a nearby bench. Mom left the kids and walked just a few feet to order from the food truck. The kids quickly got up off the bench and started being kids. When mom noticed they had left the bench she yelled at them and all I heard was, “NO, WE ARE NOT CHASING BUTTERFLIES!”

Butterfly

Do you ever find yourself in one of those extremely rare “My kids are being perfect angels today! Best day ever!” bubbles? I was in one of those bubbles at that moment. It was a beautiful sunny day, we scored the last two “candy cookies” (M&M cookies) from the bakery, I was about to indulge in an awesome orange food truck sandwich, and the boys were being awesome! Sweet, precious, happy bubble moment!

So, when this mom yelled, “NO, WE ARE NOT CHASING BUTTERFLIES!” to her kids, I’m not going to lie, I road my happy bubble for a few seconds and was thinking, “Whoa, settle down lady, they are just being kids!” And then I laughed, because I remembered how quickly the happy bubble can pop and how the “No Chasing Butterflies” mom could easily be me in the next minute when my toddlers start being, well, toddlers.

Have you had a happy bubble moment?

Have you had a judge-y mom moment?

Anyway, this incident reminded me of how easy it is to say crazy things to our kids in the heat of a moment. In reality, I’m sure that mom absolutely wants her children to chase butterflies! I mean, people have entire Pinterest boards filled with images and quotes about how we should chase butterflies and all that jazz.

What have you said to your children in the heat of the moment that didn’t really make sense?

Have you said something crazy to your kids and then had a good laugh later after thinking about it?

At mass on Sundays the priest uses this big brush-like thing (fancy name: aspergillum*) to sprinkle (MONSOON) us with holy water. My boys have really been into recreating this moment at home. They build holy water sprinklers out of tinker toys and then run around the house flicking them at each other and singing the “Come to the Water” song we sing on Sunday. It really melted my heart the first dozen or so times it happened. One day, during the boys’ at home holy water blessing, I realized that they were actually dipping their holy water sprinklers into their milk glass. I came into the kitchen to find milk splattered over the floors and walls and a full cup of milk tipped all over the floor.

This was a bubble pop moment for me. This was my recent, “quit chasing butterflies” moment! It was just so cute until there was milk everywhere. I started mopping up the milk with towels and yelled, “WE. DO. NOT. DIP. Our Holy Water…Thing-ies…IN. OUR. MILK!” Then I gave them each a towel to help me clean up and quietly laughed at the ridiculousness that just came out of my mouth. And later I made a point to look up what those Holy Water thing-ies were actually called; see above*).

Have you had a bubble pop moment?

Here are the lessons I was reminded of at those times:

  • If we don’t cry over spilled milk, then we don’t yell over spilled milk either, Momma!
  • Words and the tone of our words are so powerful, especially to our children!
  • We need to encourage our children (and ourselves) to chase MORE butterflies.
  • Don’t judge other moms, because it could be you in the next minute (or second)!
  • Enjoy the happy bubble moments and laugh more when they pop.

Love,
Natasha


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Date Your Spouse: 5 Dates in 5 Weeks

Have you ever complained that your life is void of spontaneity? Have you grumbled that your spouse just isn’t as romantic as he used to be?

When my boys were just a few months old I read a book on baby sleep habits. One thing I’ll always remember from the book is, “sleep equals sleep,” which meant the more rest baby gets throughout the day during naps, the better baby will sleep at night.

I got to thinking; it is kind of the same with romance in a marriage. Romance equals romance, which means the more romance you put into your relationship, the more you will see reciprocated. This may not be true for every relationship, but it is for mine. When I go the extra mile to be thoughtful with my husband, it is always reciprocated in surprising and sweet ways.

date your spouse 5

I’m not talking about anything extravagant, expensive, or complicated….it’s the simple things that really seem to add up in a relationship.

So, my challenge is, instead of complaining about how your marriage is lacking of romance, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Turn up your romance game!

PS: I’m generally not into cheesiness. I’ve been known to roll my eyes at Anne Gedde baby pictures and I only call my hubby things like “snuggly-umpkins-muffin-bear-sugar-lover-face” with strong sarcasm, BUT I also think a good dose of CHEEZINESS once in a while is good for the soul….and makes you feel flirty and like kids again!  Cheeeziness makes you laugh and don’t we all love to laugh!!

So, feel free to order extra cheese on these dates!

turn up the cheeseHere are 5 simple date ideas to try, one-a-week for the next five weeks. These are simple dates you can do when the kiddos go to bed and they won’t cost you!

  1. Week One: The Love Fort (Please pronounce “love” in a super cheesy voice….LUUUUUV):
    • Build a fort out of blankets in a spare bedroom or other room where your hubby won’t see it. Fill the fort with lots of blankets and pillows. (Kids can play in the fort by day!)
    • Send your hubby a text invite him to join you in the “Love Fort” at a specific time.
    • Before the “Love Fort” date, cut 10 small hearts out of paper. On each heart, write down something you love about your hubby. Write down the first things that come to your mind. Tell him you love his eyes or how hot he looks all dressed up for work! Be creative!
    • When date time arrives, retreat to the “Love Fort” with your heart notes to wait for hubby. Play some music on your phone and turn on your flashlight app for some mood lighting.
    • Share the 10 hearts with him and seal each one with a kiss! Embrace the cheesiness….it’s fun!

 

  1. Week 2: Dessert Picnic
    • Make or buy a favorite dessert; grab your fave adult beverage.
    • Lay out a blanket in a lesser-used place of the house. Light some candles.
    • Enjoy a dessert picnic after the kiddies go to sleep. Talk about your bucket list!

 

  1. Week 3: Breakfast Surprise
    • Have a date before the kids wake-up!
    • Get up a tad early and make coffee and breakfast. You could make something special or just have cereal together!
    • Put on some “pump you up for the day” music and light some candles. What the heck, sneak in a dance too.
    • Talk about 5 things you are each thankful for today.

date your spouse 2

  1. Week 4: Redneck Dinner
    • Set-up a folding table and chairs in your driveway.  The neighbors really got a kick out of this when we did it.  My husband got home from work and slowly opened the door and asked with a smile, “Um, honey, why is there a table in our driveway?”
    • Prepare the table with a candle, plates, silverware, wine, and wine glasses.
    • I prepped all of the food inside and had it ready on a tray, which I took outside when my hubby got home.  Make whatever you want for food; I just made sandwiches with veggies and fruit on the side.
    • We had the kids eating with us too and they got a kick out of the change of scenery.  When they were finished, they played in the front yard and my hubby and I scooted closer and sipped our wine with smiles!

 

  1. Week 5: Time Capsule
    • Grab an old shoebox and fill it together with classic time capsule goodies.
    • Ideas to include: a current newspaper, a few photos of you together and with the kids, a little list of current things like stamp and gas prices, what your kids are into at this stage, where you are at in life (work, vacations, family happenings), etc.
    • Also write a little love note to your spouse, but don’t read each other’s!
    • Seal up the box and mark it with the “do not open until” date. Store the box somewhere you’ll forget about it for a while (or bury it if you’re feeling energetic)!

 

Good luck romancing! Just try something different; do something to get out of the funk of life and LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH!!

I look forward to hearing your ideas on other fun dates and your experiences from the above 5 weeks of romance!

Thanks,

Natasha

 

 

 

Shadow photos by Katie Frank.