Since Nov 2006

Lisa's Blog

Random thoughts from ZJ Lisa D

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HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL JAM EXPERIENCE

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 2:50 PM

So you'd iike to attend a ZIN JAM™ session but you're a little intimidated.  Maybe you're not sure if you will be able to remember all of the choreography, or you don't know if you will actually be able to use the songs in your class.  I GET IT!  Learning 5 routines in a jam session can be a challenging task.  But I have compiled some of my best tips to ensure that you get the most out of your jam experience.


1.  REGISTER IN ADVANCE!  The earlier the better.  Why?  Because the sooner you sign up for the jam, the better the chance that the ZJ will be able to tailor the jam to fit your needs.  Lots of ZJ's will send out a pre-jam survey to get more information about you:  your teaching experience, song preferences, and likes/dislikes.  We also like to look at your Zumba profiles to see what your background is and what types of classes you teach.  Try to give yourself at least 2 weeks prior to the jam to sign up to give your ZJ time to collect info and create the playlist.


2.  BRING A FRIEND WITH YOU!  5 songs is a lot of choreography!  Sometimes you may not remember everything you learned - but if you have a friend with you, there's a good chance between the 2 of you, you will remember it all.  Plus, you have someone that you can get together with after the session and review/practice.  Plus - it's always more fun to go with a friend!


3.  DOWNLOAD SONGS IN ADVANCE!  As soon as you get the playlist from your ZJ, download the songs, create a playlist on your iPod, and START LISTENING.  A LOT.  The single most important thing (in my opinion) is being familiar with the song structure before you walk into the jam session.  This will make it SO MUCH EASIER to nail the choreography.


4.  VIDEOTAPE AFTER THE SESSION!  Especially if you are a visual learner.  Go right home and videotape the songs so you can refer back later. You don't even need to record the whole song, maybe just the section(s) that are a little tricky or the ones that are not straight off the B1 step matrix.  


5.  COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR ZJ!  We can't always accommodate every single request but it's better to know the info in advance.  Do you teach at a church and need squeaky clean songs?  Do you teach mainly Zumba Gold classes and you need to make sure you have modifications to teach to them?  Do you LOVE belly dance and really need a new routine for your class?  All of this information will help the ZJ to make sure that you will be able to take something away from the session.


Most of all - JUST HAVE FUN!  Even if you don't do all of the songs you learn, I'm sure you will pick up some great ZJ tips, improve your cueing and progessions, and meet lots of FUN new people.  Whether you're a new ZIN member, or you've been teaching for a long time, these tips will help you have a great jam experience and hopefully will keep you coming back for more!


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