In this guest blog Yasmin shares how she has started to offer Zumba classes alongside her day job in Higher Education. She describes her motivation for offering the classes and how it helps to develop her skill as a facilitator of groups in a context which complements her work in careers. Over to Yasmin:
I was never one for much physical activity. I remember when I was 12 years old my PE teacher told my mum that I was accepted onto the Track & Field Team because he felt sorry for me, not because I was any good. So how did I manage to become a fitness instructor you may wonder?
I have always had a huge passion for moving to music and dance (again my mother can vouch for this based on embarrassing videos of 5 year old me stomping along to 80s music in the living room, plus countless ‘shows’ and ‘performances’ I put on for my grandparents and classmates). However it did not occur to me at the time to take classes or translate this passion into something more.
Meanwhile I grew up, went to school, went to University and turned my attention to a career in the public sector. Having completed my Bsc in Public Policy, Government & Management at the University of Birmingham I started working for the Department for Work and Pensions. Following a brief but tumultuous 18 month contract I applied to the Careers and Employability Centre at the University of Birmingham, where I now work. I enjoy advising young people and supporting them with career choices both on an individual basis as well as in groups. In fact I particularly enjoy speaking to large groups and overseeing them engage in various activities to help them enhance their employability. I believe part of this enjoyment translated into my desire to instruct groups of people in a fitness setting.
I was introduced to Zumba in 2010. Previously I had never lasted more than a few months on a fitness program and was somewhat sceptical to start with. I began by exercising to Zumba DVDs and later on visited a class. I registered on the Zumba website to receive updates on training events happening in my area, with no real intent to attend any sessions. At the time it seemed more like an idea than reality. However one day I found out about an instructor training course happening in Birmingham and decided to register. After a short yet intensive training, I was ready to jump in and start teaching.
I contacted local Zumba instructors for practice opportunities and a few let me teach a track or two in their class. They seemed shocked that I jumped into teaching so quickly with little experience but I was determined! I continued to gain experience through covering existing classes with up to 40 attendees. The energy in the room would be so exhilarating I was buzzing for hours afterwards!
I set up my own class in city centre which after 4 weeks did not attract large numbers. I now teach every Friday evening and Saturday morning at Urban Fitness at Bournville College and love it!
I do not view Zumba instruction as a source of income or another job but rather a hobby that has translated into something I can share with other people and in a sense adds the missing puzzle piece to the career path I am already on!
To find out more about my Zumba fitness classes visit www.zumbawithyas.com