What Koh taught me.

I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving.  I went to Charlotte to have Thanksgiving dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, and spent a few days hanging out.  I’m actually writing now from the kitchen table in her house!

So, Thanksgiving day, I manged to not do a ton of damage – I ate a good bit, but broke up the day with a lot of walking, so I didn’t feel AS slobby as I could have, but nevertheless, I went ahead and poked around on some of the local Y sites to see what classes they were running on Black Friday.  I stumbled across a super familiar name – Koh – for Zumba, and immediately set my alarm so I could go to hear class on Friday morning.

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If you sorta remember that name, it’s because I ran into Koh at DCAC, and she was the first person in the history of the world that I ever took Zumba with. I went Zumba->get licensed->teach at State->teach at camp->decide I wanted to do something with my life that involved group fitness->the Y, which I love, so as I planned to go to this class, the weight sort of started to hit me, that all of this was coming full circle.

I got to the Harris Y, about 30 minutes from Sharon’s house, about 10 minutes before class started.

First, as an aside, the Harris Y is the most monstrously huge Y I have ever seen in my life. And I’m very familiar with Siskey. But this Y had a separate building for youth programs, and the grownup side kinda seemed like a small city. But in a good way, because the guy in membership who helped me come in and get settled was absolutely as sweet as pie.

Anyhoo, I got to class, and once we got started, I felt completely in my element. Koh really likes to pump her music, so once you got into each of the songs (that she ended on a pose, mind you), it was sort of like being lost in your own fitnessy world. I smiled, clapped, and at one point when we were dancing salsa, she pulled me to the front of the room with a few folks, smack-dab in the middle, to dance, while she attended to the other side of the studio.

I left that class sweaty, happy, and ready to go for a little longer. In fact, we were able to convince her to let us repeat a Michael Buble song because we’d all enjoyed it so much and felt like we could do it better than we had the first time. So she obliged!

I think the cool thing about returning to a teacher that you went to way back is that you begin to remember how it feels to be a student, and you remember the subtle nuances that you’d like to incorporate into classes to make people feel as good as your instructor is making you .

Koh Taught (still teaches!) me:

  • Be happy.  Every movement she hits, Koh acts as if it’s the most wonderful thing she has ever done.  This spreads to the class.  Maybe it’s a complex movement.  Maybe not.  Maybe it’s really really silly and might look a little funny.  She still executes it with the best attitude ever.
  • Keep it simple.  Koh is great.  BUT, she waves her wand over the classes, and it lets you know that you don’t have to be the best dancer for this class to work its magic on you.  But just in case you do want to be the best, she communicates through really really simple movements.  Things are logical – a move for the verse, a move for the chorus, and a move for the bridge.  No real rocket science there.  But it works!  So no one feels like an idiot in class because things are SO ridiculously easy to follow!
  • It’s not about you.  I’ve phrased this 60 million different ways irl and on the blog.  And I’ll say it some more.  But there is no one on earth more entitled to a big fat head than someone like Koh, who was a master presenter for Zumba® Fitness for a long time.  Her classes are consistently packed.  She could regard it as the Koh Experience.  But instead, she has made it so that you leave the class feeling like you were the star.  She’ll dance with students.  Point out when someone is doing awesome.  Allow the veterans to lead class for a little while.  Mingle during.  And generally, make it an unspoken point to communicate that she’s here for your workout, not her own.

Of course, I totally wanted more after because I was just buzzing with excitement, but I checked the schedules of the 3 Ys around, and there’s nothing super interesting going on.  Which means I’ll have to bite it and actually pay for a class and run tomorrow instead of getting into a class at the Y.

And with all that sweating, I’m not absolutely terrified to look at a scale sideways on Monday.

How did you stay fit this Thanksgiving?

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