Cynthia Chavez (Cindy C.) 

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Since Oct 2010

My ZumbaŽ Story

How Zumba changed my life

Posted on March 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Fall 2008, I had a 6 month old baby and a two year old. I always wanted children but I had no idea the impact that it would have on my life. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my kids and I LOVE being a mom BUT a stay at home mom, not so much. I became depressed and lonely and decided to see a therapist. She helped me in taking the steps to change things a bit and advised me to do two things: Get a part time job and join the YMCA solely for group fitness classes.

Well, I hired a nanny and off to work I went, part time of course. The job helped but joining the Mission Valley YMCA is what really changed my life. I am a very social and extroverted person who has always traveled in large groups of friends so when I had children, it was quite a shock for me to be alone so much with my kids. Being able to leave my kids in the daycare at the YMCA and take these group fitness classes was so great because not only did I get my feel good endorphins from the exercise but I started to make friends!

As time passed, the group exercise classes became my favorite place to be, step, spin, and strength training being some of my favorites. Then one day, a friend of mine told me that I had to try this dance based class called Zumba. My reaction was what? I told her that Zumba probably wouldn’t be high intensity enough for me and I prefer my boot camp classes. I finally gave in and tried one in early 2009.

I went and took the Saturday morning class and it was packed full of people. I was nervous but being in theatre my whole life and having a LOVE for dance and music, I was excited! Keila, my very first instructor simply amazed me. Her energy, her style and most importantly the MUSIC!!!! I left that class feeling so PUMPED and immediately started looking for the music so I could listen to it all the time! This quickly became an addiction, I found other instructors that I really liked and before I knew it, I was taking Zumba fitness classes 5 days a week. That’s when I met Ninfa Skeezas, who like Keila, taught at the YMCA but Ninfa opened Party Fitness studio in 2010.

Party Fitness Studio is very near and dear to my heart, Ninfa created an environment where when you walked in, it felt like family. We didn’t just exercise together, we partied, danced and had a safe place to let it ALL GO. This was what I was searching for and is one of my favorite things about Zumba Fitness. No matter what, when you start taking Zumba classes, it’s MORE than just a group fitness class. It brings people together.

Being in theatre my whole life and always having a passion for music, I started to realized that maybe, I could be an instructor. I’ll never forget asking Ninfa if she was a professional dancer and is there any way I could do this too. She was SO encouraging as were my other instructors in helping me in my journey to becoming an instructor. Before I knew it, there I was getting licensed with Eliza Stone in October 2010.

Now, my REAL journey begins when I became an instructor. I have battled low self esteem and incredible insecurity my whole life from things that happened in my childhood. It has affected my decisions, my self-respect and my overall self. In high school, I would get the lead in a musical and drop out because I felt I wasn’t as good as my understudy. I never lived out my DREAM of acting because of my crippling self image and self esteem. This has been an uphill battle for me my whole life.

I have been teaching for almost 2 ½ years and I have never been this confident. I still battle my demons of self doubt and low self esteem every day but I feel that I can manage it now. It’s taken me a lot of tears to get here though. Every instructor deals with critique and being compared to other instructors. Some just have thicker skins than others. I am NOT one of those people with thick skin, to say the least but through the past two years I am learning to not take it personally and challenge myself to rise to it. For me, my journey has not been about losing weight but challenging me emotionally and mentally to BELIEVE in myself!! Every day I still struggle with this but because of Zumba, it has really given me the tools to cope and work on my self esteem.

I have learned to appreciate my other ZINS and how we are all different. We can all learn from each other, and we are NOT here to compete and battle one another. Through the experience of teaching, I have really come into my own, focusing on my students and using the music that moves me so I can move others. Every time I teach a class and I see all those smiles, it invigorates me and makes my soul happy. Teaching Zumbatomic has become one of my favorites, bringing exercise and dance to the kids could not be more rewarding.

I am so thankful to Beto for creating this program because it has truly changed my life. Every smile and kind word I receive from my students of how it has changed their life, only makes me MORE confident and touches my heart that I am really making a difference in people’s lives. Zumba has lifted my spirit, my confidence and my self esteem and I want every person who takes my class to get that special, “I can do anything!” feeling and finish my class feeling like a true rock star!

 

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Licenses

  • Zumba BasicZumba Basic
    License to teach regular Zumba® classes.
  • Zumba SentaoZumba Sentao
    Licensed to teach the party-like workout that incorporates chairs to improve strength, definition and endurance.
  • Zumba GoldZumba Gold
    License to teach specially designed Zumba classes for the active older adult or deconditioned participant.
  • Zumba Kids & Zumba Kids JrZumba Kids & Zumba Kids Jr
    License to teach the custom-designed kids program that blends dance-fitness routines with fun games and high-energy music.
  • Zumba Kids & Zumba Kids JrZumba Kids & Zumba Kids Jr
    License to teach the custom-designed kids program that blends dance-fitness routines with fun games and high-energy music.
  • Zumba StepZumba Step
    License to teach lower body workouts using a blend of Zumba® routines and step aerobics.