Featured above: Rick Smith Photo taken by Antonio Franco, Zesty ZUMBA does not own rights to this photo.

Featured above: Rick Smith
Photo taken by Antonio Franco, Zesty ZUMBA does not own rights to this photo.

Feeling a little down from the weather? Do you feel the sunny days slipping by from the freezing cold? Heat up your day with a ZUMBA class from Rick Smith!

Smith is known as an instructor that will have you jumping for joy; literally. This local instructor got licensed in Sept. 2012, and although he may seem new to some, he has the teaching capability of an experienced instructor.

So how did Smith get into the ZUMBA community? Even instructors  have their share of workout history.

“When I first took a ZUMBA class in the summer of 2010, I was sweating profusely and I thought this was a cool class. I also needed a workout program at that time to lower my blood pressure, lose some weight and this was one that was fun and not boring like a treadmill or elliptical can be,” he said.

Smith is licensed to teach ZUMBA Gold and ZUMBA Basics, but his education will not stop here. “I am currently trying to study for AFAA Certification,” Smith said.

So what is Smith’s style of teaching? “My style is Gangnam style,” Smith said jokingly.

But really, Smith is one of the most humble ZUMBA instructors you will ever encounter. “I would say not so much a style but I try to approach each class as if I am just like one of the students,” he said. “I have no formal training in dancing, I never took a dance class in my life, I never danced in plays or performances so I am no different than then my students.”

Rick works two part-time jobs and truly believes he is the “average Joe.” But this modest instructor does have a goal for his students that will inspire you to run to one of his classes. “I am just an average Joe (Rick) who wants others to be healthy, feel healthy and groove to the beat,” Smith said.

This instructor has grown significantly since his licensing, and so have his students. “My most memorable moment is when one student who started my Gold class back in the summer,” he said. “She had to sit down because she was tired about three songs into the class. It was her first time doing ZUMBA Gold. By the end of the session she was moving and I could even hear her behind me singing softly. That is what I love to see and it inspires me to keep doing this.”

What advice does Smith have for future ZUMBA instructors? “Practice, practice, practice! Practice in your car if you are stuck in traffic. I will do that. The driver next to you might give you looks but hey, we instructors can’t stay still for too long if we hear a Zumba song we do in our class,” he said.

Currently Rick Smith is a ZUMBA Gold instructor in Silver Spring, MD. For those readers still nervous about going to try a class, this inspiring instructor has just one final piece of advice.

“If you can move, you can do ZUMBA is what says on my card and I believe it,” he said.