It was such a privilege for me to sit with Marc and hear him share about how much Zumba and Z Club NY have influenced his life. He says he has grown and improved so much through his Zumba experience, and is not only a believer, but also a true enthusiast. We had a nice chat while on the Z Club NY retreat to Haiti, and I am excited to share what he had to say… – by Yali Szulanski for Z Club NY.
How has taking classes with Z Club NY benefited your life?
Although I have been a fan of Zumba since I began taking classes in November of 2012, I really found my passion for it when I began taking classes with Z Club NY. Right from the start, the level of the classes impressed me and quality of instruction that Z Club NY has to offer compared to what I was used to in the Bay area. Each instructor has a unique style – but most importantly, a passion that translates through his or her style of teaching.
Taking classes at Z Club NY has enriched my experience with Zumba, with dance, and helped me in my own journey to feeling whole and strong in my body. Every time I am in New York, I make it a point to attend classes with Z Club NY as they allow me the time to check in with my body and myself. In the line of work that I do, I am more aware of how my body is feeling, whether I am balanced, and whether I am present. Taking classes with the instructors at Z Club NY has enhanced my ability to tune into myself, to challenge myself, and to succeed in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
What inspires you to succeed in class and in your life?
I am inspired by passion. People who are passionate about what they do and why they do it motivate me to further understand the way we are all connected. I have faced personal challenges in my life that have often set me back in my own path, and I have been motivated to heal, grow, and continue through passion. Passionate instructors who motivate me to perform better and reach my potential – and then go beyond it – inspire me. I enjoy being challenged to go beyond my expectations of myself.
How has Zumba / Z Club NY supported your health and fitness goals?
I suffered a severe bike accident a few years back that left me seriously injured and unable to fully access and control parts of my body. I had to relearn to walk, to stand, to find balance in my body. This was challenging to me, especially as the line of work that I do as a naturopath, healer, and kinesiologist requires me to be connected to my body and physical self. The most significant benefit of Zumba and taking classes at Z Club NY has been palpable progress in my recovery, and in regaining my strength. Through the careful and attentive teaching of Irena Meletiou and other Z Club NY instructors, I have been able to find balance in my body again.
Furthermore, in the last year since starting to take classes at Z Club NY, I have also experienced a boost in my confidence and in my ability to believe in myself as a teacher. I teach doctors at conferences about my type of healing, and I have noticed that my confidence has grown tremendously in parallel with my taking classes. I find that I carry myself better, my posture is better, and I am more present. I feel better in my body – I am more fit and certainly healthier. Confidence for me means being okay with the “I don’t know”s of life – stating them and not feeling bad about them, rather being more open to learn. When I take classes in San Francisco now, I challenge myself to stand in the first or second row – to really push myself to learn. I take a lot of what I learn through instruction in Z Club NY classes and apply it to myself when I am in other classes. I also find that a lot of that passion and commitment carries through to my daily life.
What have you learned about yourself through taking classes at Z Club NY?
I have learned that I can be okay with myself, and that I can grow beyond my perceived limits. I have learned that I like –no, that I love to dance, and that it provides me with so much peace and allows me to access my strength and my confidence. Most importantly, through taking classes at Z Club NY, I have learned that I master difficult challenges and really re-connect with my body. I have also learned what type of instruction I learn best from, and where I can access my own inner-teacher.
How did you come across Z Club NY and Zumba in general? What is your favorite part about Z Club NY?
I began taking Zumba in November 2012. I was working on a client who is a dancer and a Zumba Instructor, and she recommended that I take his class. I was apprehensive at first, but I quickly found that I connected to the music, the energy, and that I felt good while dancing. I began taking classes in the Bay Area, where I lived and worked and really got into them, and final became a licensed Zumba Instructor through a training led by Joyce Smith.
I work on a lot of dancers and performers, and my work often takes me to NYC. I sought out Zumba in New York and came across Z Club NY – my first class was with Wilson, whose energy was infectious. I found it both challenging and engaging. I started taking other classes, and discovered many quality instructors with whom I enjoy taking class. Z Club NY is different than any other Zumba studio because of the quality of their instructors – they are great dancers, and great teachers. Great dancers can show the moves, but great teachers can really break them down. I find that Z Club NY instructors overall are more inclined to teach, which I really appreciate. They still hold the bar high, but are able to simultaneously attend to the needs of their students in class.
Which classes/instructors are your favorite? Why?
When I am in NYC, I take as many classes with Irena Meletiou as I can. I have really grown to appreciate her as a dancer, a teacher, and a quality instructor. Her energy is unmatched – she is passionate and she exudes that through every class she teaches. She has the uncanny ability to communicate with students in a way that he or she can learn – regardless of their level. I enjoy watching her teach to the level of more advanced students, and still have the ability to break it down and coach others who need more help. Her ability to give individualized feedback shows the depth of her teaching. She really notices each student’s experience and is able to mutually coach and challenge her students. Taking Irena’s class has helped meet my fitness and health goals faster than I could have imagined. I enjoy the energy of her class and the intensity with which she is dedicated to her teaching.
I have also greatly enjoyed taking classes from Sarah Grimaud and Edmee Cherdieu d’Alexis. Starting with Edmee – of course, it takes great passion to be able to build an organization as solid as Z Club NY and continue to maintain the quality of her instructors, as well as her the integrity to dance, Zumba, and fitness. Edmee is full of spirit and energy. Her classes motivate me to move, to tap into my inner dancer and to really have fun while I sweat it out. Edmee is a strong woman and that really shows through her teaching. Sarah is a burst of energy and motivation – I enjoy taking her classes because she is clearly having a great time teaching, and that motivates me to move more, smile more, and enjoy more.
What is something unique about yourself that you’d like to share?
I strive to take in as much as I can from every experience in my life. Whether it is my personal life, my professional life, and now my dancing life – I enjoy the challenge and the great reward of accessing that core strength and confidence within my self.