Fit For The Job: An Interview with Zumba Instructor Claire McGlave

Claire McGlave, currently a Sophomore at Bates, has been a Zumba instructor since the beginning of first semester this year. At the end of her Freshman year, Claire was approached by the graduating Zumba instructor and was asked if she would be interested in applying for the soon-to-be unfilled position.

“My primary tasks include getting to class on time, running class for 45-60 minutes, and making sure the attendance sheets are accurate.” Since Zumba fulfills a Physical Education requirement for students who take it, Claire notes that it’s important that each attendance sheet reflects who has come to class that day so that students get credit for taking Zumba. “Another big part of my job is preparing. I spend 1-2 hours a week learning new songs and practicing them for class, and work 3 to 4 hours a week overall.” Current songs Claire has created work out routines to include “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and “Drop It Low” by Ester Dean, a dance piece with moves that are very much inspired by the title of the song.Claire decided to snatch up this offer “because I love Zumba, and I wanted to share that with other students at Bates!” To apply, Claire contacted Marsha Graef, with whom she had an in person interview.

When asked if anything interesting or humorous occurs during her job, Claire commented that once during a Zumba class her phone rang in the middle of the class while they were dancing to a piece, “and since I play the music straight from my phone the music just stopped, and my little ringtone just started coming out of the speakers super loud.” Needless to say, the students were a bit flustered by the change in song, but soon enough everyone was back to dancing soon enough.

One of Claire’s favorite parts of the job is getting to see people dance who come into Zumba thinking they can’t dance at all. “Once they get going and stop worrying about it, it is so fun to see them just really go for it and get super good!”

Working as a Zumba instructor has taught Claire to be more organized than she had previously been “which is something I had always struggled with previously”. Since she has started having to keep track of the attendance and her timesheets, Claire has found herself to be a more orderly worker and realizes that “these skills, in addition to learning to communicate with my boss, will be incredibly helpful when I have a real job, where such skills are expected upon entry. You can get fired (very quickly) for lacking them, as they are expected as a base line for most professional jobs. Learning to be very communicative, ahead of schedule, and organized will greatly help me in future careers.”