Back to life, back to reality. I always hum that song whenever I come back from a lovely three day weekend.  It’s so hard to return to normalcy after a brief taste of heavenly freedom.

I received my Zumba Basics 2 certificate in the mail today, which reminded me I had the B2 training on my list of things to blog about.  I almost didn’t take the Zumba Basics 2 workshop.  Before I break it down for you, let me explain my resistance to taking the workshop.

Some people become Zumba certified after teaching group fitness for a number of years.  They already know how the industry works so there aren’t a lot of surprises or questions there.  I became Zumba certified because I really liked taking the classes and felt really inspired when I took Liana Veda‘s Zumba class. Liana’s classes are a perfect example of how every instructor brings her unique talents and background to her Zumba classes.  Your personality shapes everything from the music you choose to the type of movements you incorporate into your choreography and that’s why everyone’s classes are so different.

When I started teaching, I didn’t know a lot about teaching group exercise, though.  I had to learn a lot by trial and error and just using common sense.  Zumba certification is about $250, depending on how far in advance you sign up.  Tip:  The training workshops sell out super early and they don’t have a wait list.  Sign up months in advance to reserve your spot and get a cheaper price.

On top of the cert fee is the pressure to join ZIN (more on that for future posts) and buy Zumbawear.  If you’re not careful, as an excited new instructor you can shell out $400 without having a single class lined up to teach!  On top of which, you might get $25-40 per class, depending on the type of facility, your experience and your training levels.  To increase your costs, some clubs require you to have an AFFA or some other form of primary group ex certification (again, more on this in future posts).

I’m a pretty rational person. I make impulse buys but not of the $400 variety.  And if you’re earning only $25-40 per class, it might take awhile to see profit from your training.  This is why I almost didn’t take the Zumba Basics 2 — I was making decent money as a Zumba Basics 1 instructor and, more importantly, having a lot of fun doing it.  The Basics 2 workshop is another $250ish and your instructor fee won’t necessarily reflect your extra training.  It’s not a great ROI, if you’ll pardon my crass practicality.

I did take the B2 training a few months ago thanks to one of my Turbo Kick friends and it was invaluable.  When I took the Basics 1 training, I’d never taught group ex before. In the B2 training, I had questions about teaching that I could ask other pros.  Networking with other instructors was more fun in the B2 training because I was so nervous and shell-shocked during my B1 training.  By the way, meeting other Zumba fanatics is one of the awesome things about teaching Zumba! Please make sure you attend Jammer sessions, master classes and any other booty-shaking opportunity with other Zumba instructors.

More importantly, there are tips from Beto Perez in the training materials about how to be a rock star instructor, how to avoid politics and burnout as an instructor and how to keep your classes new and fresh.

Do you need to take B2 right after you get your B1 certification out of the way?  I don’t think so.  I think it was actually more beneficial for me to take a year to develop my own process of teaching so that I could use the B2 tips to improve my technique as an instructor.

I hope this helps! Questions? Comments about your experience with workshops? I wanna hear ’em!