New Zumba Instructor! And an Energy Ball recipe

2 Apr

“Who’s the instructor now?!” “I am!” shouted a gym full of 50 new licensed Zumba instructors this past Saturday. And I was one of them!

Zumba instructor licensing with mom

Me and my mom, Diana, at the start of our licensing training. Not sweaty yet 🙂

On March 30, my mom and I attended the day-long training session to become full-fledged licensed Zumba instructors. We’ve both been doing Zumba for two years now, and decided it was about time to get up and teach our own classes!

Two years ago, when my mom first brought me to a Zumba class, I was overweight, sluggish, and about three weeks into an honest effort at weight loss. But it was going terribly – the elliptical machine and daily salads just were NOT doing it for me, and I dreaded working out. Zumba changed all of that. I fell in love with the class, despite the soreness I felt the next day. The energy, the music, the instructor, and the SWEAT all had me addicted in no time. I found an instructor at the university I attended at the time, and made it work in my schedule to attend as often as possible.

Throughout the past two years, I’ve maintained a healthy weight loss of about 50-55 pounds. I’ve learned how to eat and be healthy and happy at the same time. I’ve made lifelong friends with my Zumba instructors and fellow Zumba students. I’ve grown closer to my mother, who often shimmies and shakes right next to me. And I’ve even led a few songs here and there! Zumba fitness has changed and enhanced my life in so many ways, so becoming an instructor myself seemed like the next logical step.

Zumba Licensing with our trainer

Being taught by the best! Kelly Bullard, mom, and me, after our morning “Master Class”

The training day was long. Full of sweat, smiles, booty shakin’, and soreness. But it was incredible! We were all there for the same reason, and had the privilege of being taught by one of the finest, and my first ever, Zumba instructors – Kelly Bullard. And at the end, we were able to proudly shout that “I am the instructor now!” We got our certificates, devoured some healthy snacks, and went on our ways, Zumba music blasting in the car on the way home.

Officially licensed to instruct Zumba

Mom and me with our certificates. Watch out, world! We’re here!

I’m now part of ZIN – the Zumba Instructor Network – through which I’ll receive music, helpful choreography, and tips to join the ranks of the best Zumba instructors. My next task is to memorize my music, work on choreographing songs, putting together a playlist, and oh yeah – finding somewhere to teach! There’s a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m so looking forward to all of it. Just another step on my journey to health and well-being 🙂

I also want to quickly thank everyone who has supported this journey of mine. Whether from the very beginning, half-way through, or even recently….the support, love and caring is just incredible, and helps remind me that I’m NOT alone in doing this – both in losing weight, and in pursuing this opportunity to be an instructor. It means a lot, and I hope everyone can attend my class (once I have one)! THANK YOU!

Oh, and speaking of snacks, in addition to the bag full of fresh fruit, veggies and nuts that we brought with us, I made these amazing energy balls to make sure we were able to survive the entire day of training! It’s really simple, and full of variations. Perfect for pre- or post-workout, or just when you need a little energy boost without having to worry about a sugar crash an hour later.

Energy Balls (makes about 10-11 golf-ball sized balls)

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

  • 1 C nuts (walnuts, unsalted almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews)
  • 12-15 medjool dates (make sure there are no pits!)
  • 1 C dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, tropical blend)
  • Option add-ins: ground cinnamon, ground ginger, shredded coconut, honey, cocoa powder, chia seeds, ground flaxseed meal, lemon/orange/lime zest, mini chocolate chips

In a food processor, add all ingredients. Pulse a few times, to break everything up.

Process continuously for 30 seconds, and scrape down the sides of the processor.

Process for another 1-2 minutes, until it starts to all clump together in a ball.

Gather in a dish lined with plastic wrap, and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap up the plastic wrap, and place in fridge for 1-2 hours (or longer).

Using a spoon, scoop into balls, to your preferred size. Eat right away, and/or store in an airtight container in the fridge. These kept perfectly all day long out of the fridge, but if you plan on eating them the next day, keep chilled until you do so. You can also cut into bars and store the same way.

My specific combo was: walnuts, dates, cranberries, cinnamon and shredded coconut. They tasted so great! And you can’t go wrong with healthy fats and natural sugars.

Zumba Licensing with our trainer

“Strike a pose!” she said. I may have gone a little “Superstar!” with this one 🙂

Peace, love and ZUMBA!


9 Responses to “New Zumba Instructor! And an Energy Ball recipe”

  1. KellyB April 3, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Congratulations Christina and Diana!!!! You’ve had quite a journey so far…. and the BEST part.. it is ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!! Sooooo PROUD of you both!!! 🙂 BIG HUG and BEST WISHES!!!! 🙂 kellyB 🙂

    • xtinaluvspink April 3, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      Thank you so much Kelly!! Your support and smile are always a big help 🙂

  2. Kim McCarty April 3, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Congratulations to you both! I myself lost a ton of weight with the help of Zumba Fitness and became licensed to teach in June of last year! I started teaching my classes last November and became licensed to teach Zumba Toning just last month, too! I’m going to Zumba Gold in May as well. Kelly was my ZES for both my B1 AND my Toning training – she is PHENOMINAL!! Best of luck to you girls and keep shakin it! ~~KimMc from Jersey~~

    • xtinaluvspink April 3, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Thank you, Kim!! We appreciate the support 🙂 Zumba really is great, and Kelly is just soooo amazing…we’re lucky to have her just a 20 min drive from home!! I’m looking forward to having my own class, but until then, I’ll be practicing, doing choreo, and leading songs here and there in other classes 🙂 Thanks again!!! ~~peace, love, Zumba~~

  3. Thoughts between pages April 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Congrats! And thanks for sharing the energy balls recipe- definitely going to try it out!


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