Friday, 29 July 2016

When The Student Becomes The Instructor

         When I turned forty last year, one of the resolutions I made was to return to a permanent exercise regime. My deteriorating health this year gave this resolution the impetus needed. I signed up for membership at SculptFitness, a sleek and contemporary boutique style fitness centre at Lebuh Ceylon, Greentown. In addition to making use of the many gym equipment like recumbent bicycle and elliptical trainer, I attend their yoga, pilates, TRX suspension training and zumba classes.
I look forward to all the classes, and especially the zumba class, the latest fitness craze to take the world by storm. It's an extremely high energy workout that incorporates all kinds of dance moves ranging from jazz, salsa, tango, hip hop to country. The music is very upbeat, which really helps to relieve stress, combat boredom and make exercising fun. At a zumba class, expect to swivel your hips, tone some flab and be drenched in sweat. And the best benefit of zumba is an average person will burn between 600 to 1000 calories in a one-hour class!
     When I went for my zumba class this morning, I was expecting the usual small turnout as the Friday morning class is conducted by Carmen. Her class is somehow not very popular, unlike Mervyn's Tuesday morning class, but I am comfortable with her and am gradually able to follow her steps. I was surprised when a different instructor walked in, smiled pleasantly and greeted me, "Hello Miss Chan!"
     He turned out to be Jian Jin, my ex-student. It has been ages since I've been addressed as 'Miss Chan'. He affirmed that I taught him way back in 2006. His was a familiar face but had he not greeted me, I would not have made the connection. The Jian Jin I knew was a shy, quiet boy. This Jian Jin, the zumba instructor, exudes confidence and exuberance and maintains expressive eye contact. A total transformation!
     I was in for another surprise. When the "aunties" sweating it out at the gym below caught sight of Jian Jin coming up to take over today's zumba class, they all deserted their treadmills and made a beeline for his class. Apparently, Jian Jin's evening zumba class is a big hit. The "aunties"...oops, I meant to say the ladies...just love him!
     For one hour, I imitated my student-turned-instructor's dance moves. I pranced, leapt, hopped, twirled, sashayed and gyrated. As I did all these, I marvelled at how successful my student has turned out to be. He did not excel academically but he found his calling in dancing. In addition to zumba, Jian Jin is also a ballroom dancer and has won competitions. Together with Carmen (his sister) and Janice (his sister-in-law, also a zumba instructress at SculptFitness), Jian Jin has opened a zumba centre in Bercham.
     Today's zumba class was indeed exceedingly enjoyable, because of its highly invigorating moves, and more so because I was taught by my student.
The teacher and the student-turned-instructor


  1. Your student has found success with the gifts he is blessed with. I am reminded that I must resume my walking exercise tomorrow morning after being lazy for so long. Hope it will be a fine morning for walking.

    1. Yes, I'm so happy for him.
      Where do you usually go for your morning walks? Should be fine, I think. Has not rained these last three days or so.