The time has come.
It’s taken me over a week, but I’m finally writing about my trip to ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) Day in Toronto a week or so ago. I did share a few photos with you last week but now I’ll give to a better overview of the happs that went down. 😉
As most of you know, I road-tripped to T.O. with four other Zumba instructors to attend ZIN Day. Yes we are crazy, but we lived to tell the tale! The truth is I already had made plans for two other trips this summer before I found out about ZIN Day and couldn’t afford another place ticket so if I hadn’t been able to road trip-it I wouldn’t have been able to go. For those of you wondering, from my house to Toronto is approximately a 20 hour drive (calculating in stops along the way).
We left the valley around 4pm Friday afternoon and landed in Toronto around lunch time. Three of us were on no sleep (cue Seinfeld moment)….
and this is where the story gets interesting. This year, Zumba Head Office decided to add a new element to ZIN Days called ZIN Crews. Groups of ZIN were to get together, create a Zumba routine and submit their crew online and 10 would be chosen to go on stage and teach their routine to everyone in attendance. The Nova Scotia Instructors has submitted their names to be one of these crews (I had opted out and volunteered to take photos).
Friday (back that the start of the road trip) we found out that Team Nova Scotia has been chosen to go on stage.
Small problem – there was still no song chosen and no routine created. The instructors are from all over the province so many hadn’t even met in person, and a bunch of them wouldn’t even be getting to Toronto until Saturday afternoon. Reminder – ZIN Day was to be on Sunday. Most of these other crews had been practicing for well, a month. So I tell them they better figure out what they are doing ‘cuz they’ve got some serious practising to do before Sunday! At which point I’m informed that my request to take photos was denied, “Suzi you’re in the crew.”
Back to Toronto. Since only 1/2 of the “crew” was in Toronto we headed over to the Eaton Centre for some food and shopping (since if we had stayed in the hotel we likely would have all been asleep in a matter of minutes and we still had a heck of a lot of stuff to do). I might mention, when you’ve been up for 30-some hours, the day goes by very slowly. I’d look at my watch thinking it must be 7 or 9 pm and it would be like 1:12 in the afternoon. It was very disorienting.
After we shopped and ate – I didn’t buy anything but I REALLY wanted this purple bag
we headed back to the hotel and started working on our routine. The rest of the peeps had just landed and headed out to get something to eat so we told them to meet us at 6pm so we could get everything figured out. We put the song we ultimately chose on repeat in the hotel room, ideas were tossed out by everyone and while Katie and Josie went to work making our team shirts
I kept trying to piece the routine together (with help and ideas from all the others). By 6pm we had it pretty much all figured out, met up with the other three and went to look for somewhere to practise.
Enter the park and a random gazebo.
I may remind you it is Saturday evening, around 7pm. There were some drunk peeps hanging around. There had been a dog fair nearby and afterwards lots of people brought their dogs to the park. There was just in general a fair amount of people hanging around wondering what the hack we were doing.
We practised and practised for probably 1 1/2 or 2 hours until we were satisfied that we wouldn’t make total fools of ourselves on stage. Since we knew we wouldn’t get any video of us actually on stage, Angie took this video of us in the park. Please remember we are all very tired and very hungry at this point…
After “practise” we went for pizza then hit the hay to get some rest for Sunday.
The first order of the day Sunday was filming ZIN 41. Every other month Zumba sends all ZIN a DVD with choreography on it. On the DVD there is a live class and a one-on-one class and we were going to be in the live filming for an upcoming ZIN 🙂 My outfit of choice
We checked out and took the short-ish (it seemed a lot longer on the way back) walk down to Kool Haus where the event was being held
I forgot to bring my sunglasses :/
Once inside I checked my bag/phone so I have no photos from the live taping but it was super fun! Sadly, there was no room for me and my giant wingspan so if I actually am visible in the DVD I’m sure I’ll look like a weirdo with my arms all tucked in like a flamingo. Aw well.
After the live taping I attempted to go to the Zumba Wear Shop
um yeah. It was too crazy for me so I got the heck out of there!
There were a few info sessions with Zumba Head Office
And then it was time for the Crews. We were slotted to be crew 9 out of 10. Giving us (or at least me) lots of time to worry/get nervous.
Here is the whole crew all dressed in our outfits
For those of you not from around here, blue and white are obviously our provincial colours, and Susan in the front is rockin’ some seriously fab Nova Scotian Tartan 😉
And then we went on…..in front of over 550 other instructors….
Somehow, I am never involved with anything that is mishap free.
The song we chose was just over 4 minutes long. During those 4 minutes I managed to have 3 or 4 mishaps.
#1 – One of the previous groups must have had bells sewn on their outfits. One of these bells fell off and was on the stage unnoticed. Until I stepped on it. I thought I stepped on Josie’s foot so quickly lifted my foot and shot said bell directly under her lifted foot which nearly caused her to fall.
#2 – Each of us wore a “snap bracelet” that was covered in Nova Scotian Tartan. My crazy spider arms flail too much and sent my bracelet flying across the floor. I decide to ignore the bracelet and continue with the routine
#3 – I nearly step on the rogue bracelet and then decide I need to pick it up and put it in my pocket.
#4 – I decide I don’t like having it in my pocket and put it back on my wrist. Where it falls off AGAIN. This time I have enough sense to pick it up and toss it off stage, in doing so forget where we are in the routine and mess up. Doh.
Mishaps or not – we finished!
Despite the fact that the announcer said, “Team Nova Scotia – bringing us some country!!!!” It wasn’t country. It was a celtic song. Sheesh.
Afterwards we had a number of people come and tell us how much they liked our routine (there were even some sweet souls that said they liked our routine the best!), which made us happy, especially since 24 hours earlier we still didn’t have a routine at all!
We finished off the day with a Broadway Lights session with the fabulous Tamara Stoke-Said and Amanda Grant
And Columbian Connection with Jaime Farfan. Sadly I don’t have any photos from the last session as I was too involved in doing it to take photos, but it was the same kind of session he did at convention last year so just imagine this photo is from Toronto 😉
Once all the excitement was over I shot this quick video
Then we started the L-O-N-G trip home. I got home Monday afternoon around 4. From the time I got up Thursday to the time I got home Monday I had slept a collective 10 hours, and done 10 hours of exercise. Fro them time I got home Monday, until 11am Tuesday I had slept 16 hours.
I was a tired girl.
Would I do it again? Heck yeah! But give me a few more weeks to forget about how tired it made me!