Living in Shanghai has given me close proximity to many opportunities as a Zumba instructor and beyond. I’ve had Zumba and fitness events every weekend. I feel really lucky that people have had faith in my abilities to invite me to do such events. Recently, one of the ZESs (Zumba Education Specialists) from Zumba China invited some instructors and others to go to the airport to go greet Daddy Yankee by dancing to some of his songs at the Pudong Airport. Daddy Yankee was on the bill to perform at the Concrete and Grass Festival in Shanghai. Because of Daddy Yankee’s strong connection with Zumba, it was only fitting that the most enthusiastic people come and greet him!
I was lucky enough to be able to go and not only meet people who are passionate about dance and Daddy Yankee but get to know some of the Zumba China team and some of the instructors who teach in Shanghai. The one thing that I love about Zumba is the passion that instructors have when it comes to music and “chugether-ness” no matter where the instructor comes from.
After meeting up with everyone near Zumba China’s HQ and practicing the choreo, we got on a bus headed towards the Pudong International Airport. I’m sure everyone in the terminal thought we were super strange with our colorful outfits and dancing. Mind you, we were trying to be quiet and attract so much attention to ourselves because everyone knows about China and regulations, adding the fact that were a large group planning to dance in an airport.
Many of us came to realize that no one alerted the authorities there about our plans, so there was a risk of getting kicked out. Many people wondered why no one told the airport, but sometimes in China, you need to just show up and do what you want to do before someone tells you know. We all stood around nervously, making plans for escape just in case we got in trouble. Eventually, one of the guards was kind enough to allow us to dance!
Finally, time arrived! Daddy Yankee came around the corner from the exit gate and spotted us. He seemed ecstatic to see us (he’s hella handsome in real life) and I think it was truly a warm welcome for him. I was lucky enough to get close enough for one quick selfie, but I didn’t want to bother him because I’m sure his flight was super long.
What's also cool is that the coverage went pretty viral on social media, including a couple of post on Instagram and some articles.
On the way back to HQ, the real party started where we danced to Daddy Yankee songs and really turned up. I’m really happy to have gotten experience and hope I’ll get more opportunities like that again soon.