- Growing Up Bronx
Before I got my Zumba License, a few arrogant Zumba instructors tried to play it up like this is some really big achievement that I had to be worthy of. Somebody spoke to me in a way that said, “Who do you think you are that you can just become a Zumba instructor, overnight, just because you want to?” They said that being an AFAA certified instructor who teaches group exercise doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to becoming a ZIN.
Well actually, the fact is that any of you can choose to become a ZIN if you wish. You can make the decision overnight and take the course the next day if you want to, then 8 hours later, you are now a Zumba instructor. It’s that easy, but please, do read on…
Look y’all, first and foremost, this isn’t a knock on Zumba. I genuinely love teaching and taking Zumba classes. In fact, I’d say that Zumba is my favorite format to teach right now. It really is a lot of fun. But don’t get it twisted, ZIN, let’s be real about this licensing and certification process.
To become an AFAA certified instructor, you actually have to take a test. You have to actually study and learn material, and then after preparing you take a test that should you pass, grants you a certification. You have to work for and earn a certification. You have to demonstrate that you possess certain knowledge and skills. It’s not something you can just buy, though granted, you do have to pay for the course, but paying doesn’t mean you will get it. You have to earn it.
Becoming a Zumba licensed (ZIN) Instructor is as simple as paying the license fee, attending a silly 8 hour class which I personally found utterly unnecessary, and that’s it, you are done. You don’t have to learn or demonstrate that you absorbed a damn thing. You just have to show up with a credit card, take the class, and you are now a ZIN. There is no test, no knowledge check, nothing.
Oh, you also have to pay for the ZIN membership every month. I believe its $39 or something like that, if you don’t pay, then you are no longer ZIN licensed. That’s how the ZIN membership works. Really, if we are being honest, it’s all about money. But if you want to teach this format, you have no choice but to pay to play.
Of course, to actually teach in the field, you have to audition at a gym. You have to know what you are doing, but you don’t learn that at the class. You practice and learn choreo on your own, and then you audition. If you succeed at the audition, don’t forget that now you have to get the members to like you too! If you suck, they will never come to your class. Some of them are oblivious to talent and hard work, but there are others who know and they don’t like just anyone who shows up to teach, trust me!
Being a licensed instructor, and being a good instructor are two very different things! But getting that license and having the title of “instructor,” that itself requires no real skill, no commitment, or knowledge. ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE can get it. ANYONE…
Actually being a good instructor requires proficiency, dedication, practice, charisma, passion and much more. But I’m not talking about being a good instructor, I’m talking about just getting a license and being “called” an instructor. That’s just a matter of going to that class and paying the fees.
So puhleaseeeee, when you speak to me about this topic of being a Zumba instructor, and how you earned this right, do measure your words and don’t try to play me! Unlike the other people who you may be able to impress and or fool with your bs, I know exactly what goes into teaching all of these instructor formats! I’m actually quite proficient in Zumba, Kickboxing, Strength, HIIT, Boot Camp formats, and any variation thereof! ANY. VARIATION. THEREOF. And as I have illustrated, I know exactly what you did to “earn” the title ZIN, so please, don’t embarrass yourself and stop trying to blow smoke up my ass! Thank you very much!
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.