Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exercises and Steps To Work On For 11/28/12 Classes.

For Dance CORE;
the awesome abs series. If time allows leg extensions (to the back).

Floats turns. Tutorial I currently like to use here.
Start with breaking down action at the leg action with one hand at the barre.
Procede to centre floor.

Six step turns. Tutorial I currently like to use here.

Rehearse and perhaps add onto "A Child Is Born" dance and maybe "Wide Awake"

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Way To Show Thanks To Those Who Serve...

...And get maybe get a leg up on your Christmas shopping list!

  The GRID.

This weekend, November 23rd -25th. When you purchase The Limited Edition CAMO GRID, Trigger Point Performance will donate $5 to the Wounded Warrior Project.

There is a banner link on the right side of my blog. Or go to

The GRID by Trigger Point Performance Therapy is one of my favorite products of all time!

It can be used as a self massaging/self myofascial release as well as a tool for core training (an example).

*Quick medical disclaimer- This product may not be appropriate for those with poor circulation due to conditions such as diabetes. Also it may not be appropriate for those suffering from severe varicose veins, high blood pressure or other conditions that affect normal breathing. Consult with your doctor and/or other medical professionals before using this product. Also, pregnant women should consult with their doctors before using this product.

I use it for myself, although lately not as much as I should. That's gonna change. I sometimes bring in the two rollers that I own for my dance students to roll on or use as a tool for core exercises. It is highly portable. I almost always take it on vacations. The hollow center is great for stuffing your socks into.

My husband has always been somewhat skeptical of the GRID's virtues. So you can imagine how delighted I was when Manning (Peyton, I believe) popped up on the T.V. with a bunch of his teammates rolling out their glutes and piriformis during a football show.

Back in October of this year I attended a SMRT-CORE workshop that focused on the applications of the GRID as a tool for;

 pre-workout prepping of the body

integrating the core and strengthening specific muscle groups

a technique know as Total Body Tension that uses body tension to isometrically fire up the muscles of the core and upper body, requiring functional stabilization during specific movements. I like to refer to this as gaining body intelligence.

self massage for relaxation, rejuvenation and restoration of the body. Flush the gunk from your muscle tissues.

 In the coming year I plan to post more about this glorious product and its applications.

I'll be dropping hints galore about what a great gift this would be for say, a teenage ballet/contemporary student/dancer! My young ladies might not be too excited about the CAMO design, but the Orange/Black or Black/Green options will do just fine. And many have witnessed me using my GRID to prep for Zumba as well as recovering afterwards.

So, if you plan on doing some online shopping to fill your Christmas list needs, AND you want to give a gift that will give back for years to come, consider getting a GRID for a loved one. And don't forget yourself! Although the really nice thing is that if you buy one for a household member they will probably be so delighted that they will gladly share. You might just want your own too!

Enjoy the dance that is life!

****Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products through the links on the right side of my page, I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs****

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Real Deal; Go With A ZIN™!

You love your weekly Zumba class, or classes. You greatly enjoy your regular instructors (okay, right here is where we are going to assume that your regular Zumba instructor is a ZIN member).

The holidays are here, and for many of us that may mean traveling to see loved ones. It also means traveling right out of our regular routines. Right into a potentially gastric nightmare compared with the oldest stress know to mankind; the hassles of travel and holidays with the family!

Not the best time to be forced to ditch your workout regiment.

With travel comes an opportunity for new experiences. You can, if location (visiting loved ones on the outskirts of Siberia?) and time allows, why not check out a Zumba class in the area you are visiting?

Best way to find an instructor? If you are visiting someone who is familiar with the Zumba program in their area you can ask for a recommendation. Or better yet, go to, click on the "Find An Instructor" option located in the menu across the top of the page. This will tell you about the location of all the ZINs in the area you are seeking.

You may even have the opportunity to introduce friends and family to the joy that is Zumba!

Okay, next I'm going to give a short explanation of what a ZIN is, followed by a bit of mild ranting and blathering. Wanna pass? Just scroll on down till the text goes go back to the color black.

What's a ZIN?

ZIN stands for Zumba Instructors Network. Once licensed through completing a Zumba Basic 1 workshop, a Zumba instructor can sign up and subscribe to being a ZIN member. For the monthly fee ($30.00) comes discounts on everything from clothing to specialty workshops, monthly deliveries of either new music or new music and a DVD loaded up with tons of choreography that we as ZINs can use or not use or modify, marketing materials, resources and a links to chat online with other ZINs throughout the known galaxy. In addition, ZINs can promote charity events or Zumbathons and sign up for special classes only available to current ZINs.

I'm not trying to sell anyone on the ZIN program itself. But I do want to emphasize what opportunities and resources are available to ZINs, as opposed to someone who calls themselves a Zumba instructor, but is not a ZIN. If not a part of the ZIN program, one must get re certified every year, and as far as I know, they don't have all the ZIN resources available to them.
Over the last year, Zumba HQ has put out at least one promo video about encouraging folks to go for the real deal. The one video that I have seen has a very mock video feel. It features a rather dumpy looking character with a horrible hair piece butchering basic Latin dance moves. All the while text appears throughout the video of the hazards of going with anything but a ZIN when seeking a Zumba instructor. Silly and quaint, it was mildly entertaining to me. But the realities are that someone claiming to be a Zumba instructor (past the basic one year non-ZIN time limit) and to giving the authentic Zumba experience may actually deliver a good to great class. Here's my, for lack of a better term, issue with that; if one really believes in a program (hopefully in themselves as well), then commit to properly representing them by their terms. Otherwise, nut up and start your own damn brand. Additionally, who knows what gaps in the knowledge of safety may exist with such a shameful usurper!

For what its worth, there are times that I will train an eye of suspicion on the virtues of ZINdom and what's coming out of Zumba HQ. But more often than not I am surprised, delighted and/or grateful for the opportunities they give us ZINs.
                           For example;

The Zumba affiliate program! Use my code; mserinzfit to get a savings of 10% on Zumba wear!

Or visit my ZIN website at

That's all for right now. More tips for "dancing" your way through the holidays to come!

Thanks for reading.

Enjoy the dance that is life!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Psoas; Wicked Little Muscle!

Don't even try reading the tiny words!


Okay, maybe "little" isn't the right word. "Wicked" on the other hand...

 The psoas (so-az) is a muscle that contains many mysteries. But this muscle plays a serious role in movement and stabilization. The name psoas represents two muscles, psoas major and psoas minor. Psoas minor is present in only 40-50% of the human population. What! That's a pretty wild fact. I haven't come across anything that indicates if this is gender specific occurrence.

What I have come across though, in reading articles and surfing the mighty web, is that the psoas is often ground zero for lower back pain, hip pain, all kinds of pain! This I know from personal experience. That's why I'm so darned fascinated and interested in this muscle. Human anatomy is pretty interesting anyway, but in this case, a necessity. To understand how to retrain and reshape a muscle, joint, what have you group, you've gotta know a little about how it works.

My knowledge is limited at best. I'm hoping to change that bit by bit.

I came across this website; Learn About Psoas Muscle Pain & Psoas Release Techniques by Barry Krost.

There is a wealth of knowledge on the site as well as many links. Geek out at will!

Here's some quick and dirty about "Our Friend The Psoas".

The psoas primarily flexes the hip and the spinal column. Think lifting your knee for hip flexion and rounding your back for spinal flexion.

Because it is a flexor for the hips and thighs it is a major muscle for walking.

The psoas is part of a group of muscles that effect the hips and back.

The psoas is part of spine twisting and moving the pelvis in all sorts of ways.

The body of each psoas (it's on both sides of the body) contains, on average 11 branches of muscle fibers. Each of those branches has a connection. That's a total of 22 connections! One on each thigh, on the femur, and 10 along the spine. The highest is at the lowest thoracic vertebra and the rest along the lumbar vertebra. Compress much?

The psoas has two layers of muscle, superficial and deep. Embedded between those layers is a bundle of nerves that communicate with everything in the region; hips, thighs, abs, pelvic floor.

There is also the whole emotional element to the psoas. It is really one of the main muscles in a "flight or fight" situation to react. There is evidence that some traumas may get stored in the psoas, causing it to stay tight and reactive. I'd like to touch upon that in coming posts. I know for myself that whenever I get a massage I find it nearly impossible to be worked on in that area. No matter how comfortable and relaxed I am, I will cringe, stiffen and get a horrible "tickle" response.

So many opportunities for something to go seriously wonky! To make matters worse, excessive sitting is a major shortener of the psoas, thus making everything TIGHT!

I plan to learn more and more about the psoas. And how I can learn to move better, more efficiently and hopefully pain-free! I hope to share as much as possible for your journey as well.

I've ordered some books that I saw mentioned on the website I put a link for above.

The Psoas Book by Liz Koch.
Psoas Release Party! by Johnathan FitzGordon.

Should be for some interesting reading.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy the dance that is life!

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm Now A Zumba™ Affiliate!


I am now a Zumba affiliate for Zumba apparel! So what does that mean exactly?

Well, it means that by using a special code that is mine as a member of the Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN) I can pass along savings to friends, family, students, or whoever uses it really. By using the code, customers can save 10% on their Zumba wear purchases! I earn a percentage from the purchases when the code is used as well. Win, win!

So how does it work?

Go to

Click on the "SHOP" option along the top menu.

When you have made your selection or selections and you are ready to checkout (after each item is added to your cart an option to "continue shopping" or "checkout" pops up) a window will appear that asks for any coupon codes, and below it one that asks for an affiliate code. That's where you are going to type in my code

It's that simple! Of course, if you have additional coupon codes to use on the first option type them in as well.
My affiliate code works on sale items as well!

There are some restrictions; DVDs, video games and gift cards are excluded. If someone is a ZIN and they are shopping as a ZIN, that's also excluded.

Now for some tips when shopping for Zumba clothes and shoes.

Read the reviews for each items you are interested in ordering! This has helped me immensely in the past. Don't just read one or two either. While I have always found my Zumba wear purchases to be of excellent quality and can hold up to many wearings and washings, they aren't cheap money wise. Probably because they can put up with a lot of wearings and washings! They are on par cost wise with many mid to higher end fitness brands. But still pretty affordable.

Often reviewers will have listed their age range, as well as mention within their review their height and body build. Reviewers are also a mix of Zumba enthusiasts, students and instructors. Bust size is really helpful as well. For someone like me who is small chested, when I read a review like "I'm a 38 DD and this sports bra held up great through a 3 hour Zumba workshop and I looked super sexy in it!", then that particular sports bra might have way more material than I need and will not fit well. Let's say I come across one that reads "I'm 5'4" and not very big up top, but this sports bra has a really flattering cut and is super comfortable", then I'm all over it!

Reviewers will also usually share whether a particular pair of cargo pants is too long for their body type or is too tight in the crotch. As well as if an item is true to size. Is the medium really a large. Or maybe the reviewer was swimming in the large and would have been better off with a medium. The accuracy of size is super important when looking to purchase footwear.

I bought some Z-Kickz II many months ago and I absolutely love them! Reading the reviews helped me pick the perfect size for my feet.

There is a sizing guide as well, but who wants to go hunt that darn measuring tape!

Think about the fabric as well. I bought some cute yoga style sweatpants a few years ago. It was at a licensing workshop, so no reviews to read. They were way to thick to ever use in a class, unless I was planning on dancing in a freezer. They were even too hot for just lounging around. So think about what you will be doing in them. Check the lock first if you plan on dancing in any freezers!

So if you are looking to add some fun Zumba wear items to your wardrobe or you want to get something for a Zumba lover, now you have a way to add a little extra savings!

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy the dance that is life!