(If you missed Part 1, its over here…)
My Cape Town Zumba-thon continued with Monique’s class – at the risk of being repetitive, it was another fantastic one! It’s amazing how much energy the students and instructors bring to the class.
Like the others, Monique was super-welcoming and her packed class was tons of fun! She’s a great instructor with years of teaching and mentoring experience. She was very easy to follow and clearly loves hip hop, which is always a favourite of mine.
There were several other instructors there too. I especially enjoyed Lucas, who is the South Africa ZES (the person who instructs instructors) – he incorporated a lot of African dance styles and music into his routines. And Westley is an amazing dancer with incredible energy (more on him later).
I’m impressed with how often I’ve seen instructors taking each other’s classes here. I know how much time it takes to prep for your own class, not to mention holding down a day job… Cape Town has a very dedicated and passionate group of instructors!
The next weekend, Omar invited me out to wine country for a special 90 minute class. The gym was close to a University campus, so the class was predomonantly college students. It was exam time, so our host Natasha, was a little worried the class would be small… they only had about 65 students show up instead of their normal 80 or so. (Ha!).
Its such an incredibly supportive community in Cape Town- there were 7 guest instructors who came along (plus me). Most of them traveled 40-60km (about a 45 min drive) to support Natasha. And this wasn’t a special fundraising event – just a regular class. This gives the students exposure to different styles, gives the instructors a chance to learn from each other, and everyone has such a good time. It was so nice of them to invite me along (and for Monique & Westley to drive me there).
I’ll confess I took a couple days off after that to play tourist… the climb up Table Mountain was rough on my knees so I needed to let them rest (briefly) before I jumped back into it…
… with Zumba with Jess, who teaches twice a week in Sea Point (very close to where I was staying). Jess is vivacious and teaches in a small studio filled with incredibly friendly students. She leaned towards latin songs and had disco lights, which transformed the pilates studio into a Zumba dance club!
I followed this with Westley‘s class, which Virgin Active calls “Groove” on the schedule (but it was essentially Zumba). Jevon also joined him, when meant 2 high-energy guys to work the class into a frenzy. They were both so easy to follow, super energetic, and the right amount of sass. Everyone was having so much fun they kept begging them to do more songs, so it ultimately turned into an 80 minute class. (Ask Virgin Active Wembley Square for their current teaching schedule.)
Then the grand finale was a special 90 minute BioRhithm class on Heritage Day. The whole crew was there – Rukaya, Mansoor, Omar and Marel, plus all of their newer instructors.
It was non-stop for 90 minutes and the room was never low on energy thanks to all these instructors, working hard to keep everyone fired up the entire time. And then of course, there was plenty of photos afterward:
Big thanks to Omar (of BioRithms) and Cindy (from the Zumba Addicts group) for all their hospitality – I never expected to meet so many people and take so many fantastic classes in Cape Town. I’m blown away by how many enthusiastic students and incredible teachers there are here. And I am really touched by what strong and supportive community this is. I’ve learned a lot and had a blast!