I began 2023 trying to help my wife write her bio for The Circle Family Center’s website. They hired her as a certified Zumbini instructor, and I couldn’t wait to help list how she was the perfect candidate for such a fun job. Zumbini is a music, dance, and educational class for toddlers and their parents to learn, move and bond. Her classes at The Circle had just begun, and saying she was using all her skills as a teacher and fitness instructor is an understatement.
Parents and their kids, ages 2-4 years old, poured in the doors to be met with the Zumbini “Kalino finds the music” song and begin dancing from the get-go. My wife, known to her 4th graders at Mar Vista Elementary as Ms. Dunham, wrangled these babies and toddlers together to shake bells, peek-a-boo with scarves, and bang on mini-congas like a pro. She is a pro in that she taught yoga, and kids’ yoga, professionally in New York before she moved to Santa Cruz to become a teacher in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. She is taking time off to be with her baby, Willow, and now teaching this class where she can be a teacher, new parent, fitness instructor, and emblem of inclusivity.
Almost every week, one new parent and child join our Wednesday afternoon, adding to the core group. Zumbini classes comprise eight-week sequences where the Zumbini character, Kalino, sings and dances to the same songs during that segment until the story changes. We’ve noticed that the songs like “Rueda, Rueda,” and “Vuvuzela” have become favorites and get played weekly because Ms. Dunham, the teacher, knows how consistency benefits a child’s learning and Spanish language acquisition.
The class deserves some attention because there is no Zumbini locally, and parents don’t yet know how amazing it is.
Zumbini teachers get paid well to come to birthday parties and get kiddies dancing!
At the end of each class, to calm down, Ms. Dunham, the yoga instructor, has each child pull a card with a pose they all try with their parents. After that, everyone leaves with a huge smile—and some sweat. A new class and great family center that parents with toddlers should all check out! @zumbini_aptos
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