History of the ZV Crew

By Founder Denise Galay

Zumba® came into my life completely by surprise.  I had recently become a fitness instructor and was teaching a variety of classes including salsa fit, a class that incorporated Latin music and dance moves in a regular fitness class.  I was looking for new inspiration for the class on YouTube when I started coming across something similar called Zumba®.

The more I saw of it the more curious and interested I became. The next thing I knew I had signed myself up for an instructors’ training course near Seattle in Aug 2007. I had never tried it and didn’t quite know what I was getting into - I thought it might be a nice extension from my background in African, Brazilian and Latin dance.  I had also taught dance and performed in a dance-theatre company for 20 years prior, but still wasn’t prepared for all the drama and fun of a roomful of 60 screaming ladies and 3 hip-shakin’ men going crazy over Zumba®. It took me a moment or two to get over my first bit of shyness but pretty soon I was shaking it with the best of them.  And then it was just a month or two before I began teaching the first Zumba® class in Vancouver, BC.  The style of the class made me so happy, and even more happy to see how people reacted to it.

As soon as people caught wind of the class I started getting requests to teach all over town. Being a new mother I just wanted a part-time thing, so I encouraged my friend Janet McLeish to train in Zumba® and help me with the teaching load.  She took the training and was a natural fit. Then right away other people in the classes caught the Zumba® bug and wanted to teach as well, so suddenly we were 3, then 4, 5 - there are now 8 instructors, all of us teaching to our personal max.  We have 44 classes of approximately 30 participants each. That’s 1320 weekly participants based all over Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Ladner, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.  And that’s the ZV Crew today.

We all have diverse backgrounds but have been dancers or performers in one form or another. So that’s what this group has in common—a strong love for music, dance, staying healthy and fit, and most of all having fun and enjoying life.

Denise Galay, Owner and Operator of ZV Crew.

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