Day 346: Commercial Shoot for Y – Zumba Gold

Joplin Y logo

I love it when a first falls into my lap. I had a planned first for today and was mulling it over as I stepped into Zumba class at the Joplin Family Y – South. I was a few minutes late and the first dance was under way. I made sure that I smiled and waved at everyone and then joined the class, front row and to the right. Zumba was a first for me, way back in February (Day 38). I was concerned I’d be able to keep up with the pace, and had intended for my first Zumba experience to also be my last. I fell in love with the Latin based dance routines and have a great appreciation for Dave, our awesome Zumba instructor. I attend class three times a week and miss the workout greatly if I have to skip a class.

Today, Dave paused after the first dance to let me know, since I was late, that we were learning a new routine today. And….oh yeah….we were going to be filmed today. What? was all I had time to say before we started the next routine. Just as we finished the second number, a camera man with KODE Channel 12 appeared at our door, all smiles.

What I didn’t realize was that this was a professional shoot. I had thought Dave meant that he was filming us today, to use as promotional material. The Y is creating a new commercial spot, to be aired on TV. The camera man was here to get footage from all over the Y, including the Zumba Gold class.

I don’t know if the others in my class realized it was a commercial shoot….or it was just me that was discovering this fact. But when Dave spotted the cameraman, he moved to his music list, announcing we were going to do the new dance. We protested! If we had to be filmed, at least let it be a routine we knew well!

Dave is a brilliant guy. He knew exactly what he was doing, introducing a new dance for the filming. We Zumba Gold ladies get used to the dances and can move through them on auto pilot. I am focusing on awareness and being present in the moment….and yet, I can still suddenly realize my mind has left my body, even as it is dancing, and that I’ve lost track of where we are, exactly, in the routine. You’d think turning the wrong way and facing the rest of the class as they all face the correct way would be enough to make me pay more attention….but no. By cuing up a new song, with new moves, Dave got our full attention. We had to watch him carefully and keep our focus sharp, or risk a mis-step on film.

The camera man reminded us to smile. It’s a workout, especially when we are learning new moves, yet we laughed and smiled as we danced. And with all eyes on Dave, we moved through the new routine well. At the end of the number, the guy from KODE thanked us and left to capture more footage. Our routine will be shortened down to a snippet of the commercial, I’m sure. It was a fun, first experience, being filmed for a commercial during Zumba class, and I decided to claim it. I’m learning to be much more spontaneous and today, I didn’t even try to hide behind a classmate. I just went with it. And then, it was back to our regularly scheduled Zumba.

kode channel 12 commercial

Day 331: Thanksgiving Dinner OUT

Thanksgiving 2014 at GC

Today’s first was about what didn’t happen! For the first time, a small but cheerful group of us, family and friends, ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant….Golden Corral in Joplin. Which meant, I didn’t cook today and even better, I didn’t clean up a destroyed kitchen either! I really don’t mind cooking big dinners, especially for family gatherings around the holidays. It was nice, though, this afternoon, to leave the restaurant and not face a mountain of dirty pots, pans and dishes. I actually got to take a wee nap instead, and that was sweet indeed.

My police officer son was on duty today. He and fellow officers had a potluck dinner at the police station and his lovely bride Megan joined him there for dinner. Daughter Elissa spent the day with her fiancé Josh and his family. Tomorrow is a big day for them! With the family dynamics changed, I opted for dinner out. I knew Golden Corral would be open and their buffet would not only have all the traditional fare but many other entrees and sides to choose from.

Thanksgiving 2014 at GC Walter

Our little gathering today included my mom and stepdad, my sister Linda, daughter Adriel, her friend Nate, Greg and Dave. This year I invited others who might want to hang out with us, if they didn’t have any place else to be. Most had somewhere to go, but the invitation went out and everyone was free to join in or not….no obligation! Dave is the awesome Zumba instructor for my mom and me. Over this year he has become a friend and now, he’s practically family. After spending a boisterous couple of hours with us, he knows stuff! He was a welcome addition, as was Nate.

Thanksgiving 2014 at GC mom Dave Linda

I found it fun to be at Golden Corral. I knew it must be an okay place to be when I arrived at 10:45 am and there were lines out both sets of doors. Because our group stood in line together and passed the time chatting and laughing, it didn’t seem to take long before we were being seated. The restaurant was full. It could be said that I had lunch with hundreds of strangers, yet it was a festive atmosphere. I spoke to people in the buffet lines and smiled and discussed the marvelous selection of food. At our table, our group laughed a great deal. Dave and Nate learned some of our family stories and shared some of their own, and discovered that my mom loves Golden Corral fudge!

Thanksgiving 2014 at GC Nate Adriel Greg

It was a great day. Gratitude is so important to me. Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to be reminded of all that I have to be thankful for, and yet I daily choose to make thankfulness the foundation for everything else in my life. It is so much more than living with the “glass half full”, it is an awareness that gratitude for what I have makes what I do have, enough. And it opens the door to so many other wonderful possibilities and opportunities.

One of my favorite quotes is by John Milton and it says, “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” I love that. I desire that my heart be so full of gratitude that it can’t be contained, flowing upward, to my Source, the Creator of all, and outward, touching everything and everyone in my world. So be it.

gratitude in your heart

Day 261: Zumba in the Street

downtown zumba 3

Tonight was Third Thursday. I always enjoy milling around downtown, chatting with people, checking out booths and art, and listening to music. The Joplin Y took over the corner of 3rd & Main Streets this evening and cranked up the Latin music. For my first today, I joined in with other enthusiastic dancers and did Zumba in the street.

downtown zumba dave

Dave takes the stage

It was a busy day with several unexpected twists and turns, work wise, that kept me on the phone or in the car for a good part of the day. I did get to enjoy the company of granddaughter Aubrey for a short time. After dropping her off at home, I met my mom and sister downtown to watch other groups perform Zumba and wait for my instructor, Dave, to take the stage.

downtown zumba 2

The Y had 8 of their instructors downtown, putting willing participants through a variety of moves, much to the enjoyment of the crowd gathered to watch. When Dave’s turn to lead the dances arrived, Mom and I joined in, front and center. There was at least one other woman from my class present. I arrived downtown straight from Carthage, so I didn’t exactly have on Zumba clothes, but I had a great time. Dave shines as an instructor. Fun and very expressive, he had the dancers moving, clapping and whooping in no time. My sister held our stuff and snapped pics while Mom and I danced through four routines. I’m very proud of my mom, who faithfully attends class three times a week and showed up tonight ready to give it her all. She has rheumatoid arthritis, but you’d not know that from her energy and ability. She inspires me to keep going as well!

downtown zumba e

There’s my mom, two down from me dressed in black. Go Mom!

We finished with the Chicken Dance, which is a high energy routine, even though it isn’t one of our usual numbers. I unfortunately pulled my Achilles tendon on my right heel having a blast on that one and have my foot soaking in warm water with Epsom Salts. I’ve aggravated this heel before and I know it will be fine shortly. It didn’t help when I added insult to injury and stumbled over a parking curb in the dark, walking to the car!

I am grateful to Dave for his patience with the Zumba Gold class, and for his playful sense of humor. And I am thankful for this excellent form of exercise. It is not only fun, it is good for me, on so many levels. I’ve just got to beware that Chicken Dance!

downtown zumba dave 2

Great finish, Dave!