Soaringwords + Zumba® Hospital Visit

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photo (2)As part of the Soaringwords + Zumba® experience, the instructors will offer a simple and fun Soaringwords “pay it forward” activity which fosters altruism, reciprocity, well-being and resilience.

The following activities can be printed (in black and white or color) and brought to the hospital. (Please check with your hospital contact if they can provide crayons or markers.)

Below are six activities you can use for your hospital visits. They can be rotated and used repeatedly. Click on the activity link to save it to your files.
Please print Soaringwords Certificate to give to each patient.


Choreography for both songs was generously created by ZJ™ Holly Rose.

Smiles for Life – by Alex Boye; available on iTunes. We have rights to use the song for Soaringwords classes, but volunteers must purchase the song in order to use it (cannot be shared or emailed).

 *** Please note that this is a PRIVATE YouTube link to choreography that was created EXCLUSIVELY for current Soaringwords volunteers and should not be posted online or shared with those who are not current volunteers. Please respect this request. Much appreciation for your understanding.***

Zumba High – by Francesca Maria; song available on MegaMix and on iTunes. We have rights to use the song for Soaringwords classes, but volunteers must purchase the song in order to use it (cannot be shared or emailed).

*** Please note that this is a PRIVATE YouTube link to choreography that was created EXCLUSIVELY for current Soaringwords volunteers and should not be posted online or shared with those who are not current volunteers. Please respect this request. Much appreciation for your understanding.***

Get Up! – by Dahrio Wonder; song available on ZIN 56. We have rights to use the song for Soaringwords classes, but volunteers must purchase the song in order to use it (cannot be shared or emailed).

 ***Please note that this is a PRIVATE YouTube link to choreography that was created EXCLUSIVELY for current Soaringwords volunteers and should not be posted online or shared with those who are not current volunteers. Please respect this request. Much appreciation for your understanding.***

More songs and choreography coming soon!


In Preparation, Please:

  • Confirm the class with the hospital contact a week prior to each monthly class.
  • Do not visit the hospital if you have flu or cold symptoms (fever, diarrhea, runny nose).
  • Bring a government-issued photo ID for the hospital security/entrance. Hospital needs this to allow you to get into the building.
  • All ZIN™ members must wear family-friendly/child appropriate clothing: Zumba® Fitness leggings or pants and an “official” Soaringwords t-shirt for the top. Please donate anywhere from $4 to $15 and we will send you the t-shirt (if possible we’d like to ship shirts for the whole team in one package). Email to request your t-shirts.
  • Do not wear perfume or heavy smelling lotions or hair spray, per hospital policy, because patients are extra sensitive to smells.
  • Pre-approve any giveaways with your hospital contact (stickers, tattoos, bracelets). Confirm the number of items needed (bring enough for everyone and enough to leave some behind with Child Life “just in case”). Note that these are optional; Soaringwords is unable to reimburse these expenses.
  • Leave heavy bags and personal belongings in the car or at home. There is often no room at the hospital to store items and you cannot lock them up. Best to travel light!

While Visiting:

  • Give patients, families and staff your full attention.
    • Do not have side conversations with other volunteers.
    • Turn cell phones completely off.
    • Please take at least one photo and one video at each class to share with Soaringwords each month.
      • Photos and videos can be taken of: ZIN™ members with hospital staff, ZIN™ members “in action” with backs of patients’ heads, ZIN™ members with hospital staff by hospital signage. If you have consent you can take photos and videos that include patient faces to share their smiles.
      • Please do not take photos or videos of any patient unless you have permission from hospital staff (staff need written consent). See sample Photo/Video Consent Form on page 31.
      • With permission, we will feature these photos and videos on Soaringwords’ social media!
      • Please remember appropriate boundaries. You are (very kindly) volunteering your time as a Zumba® Fitness Instructor. You will no doubt make many meaningful connections during your visits. Please do not share personal information (email, phone) with patients or families or go back to visit patients/families that you bonded with on your day of volunteering. If you are interested in volunteering more, please contact Soaringwords at and we would be delighted to discuss additional ongoing volunteer opportunities for you in your community.
      • Remember you are a visitor: please do not block the hallway; this is an important thoroughfare that needs to be kept open at all times. Please remember to always stay out of the center of the hall and keep your voice down. Make sure to stand as close to the walls as possible so that patient stretchers, hospital beds transporting patients to and from procedures, and patients in wheelchairs and patients with IV poles can easily move through the corridor without the Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness delegation causing a traffic jam (patients get embarrassed when they have to pass through a big crowd, especially with IV poles, etc).

Positive Attention and Communication While in the Hospital:

  • Listen carefully to hospital staff, patients and families.
  • Parents frequently need to step into the hallway to have a private conversation away from the child. Please respect their need for privacy.
  • When talking to patients and families, be friendly, positive and keep it simple. Make upbeat statements instead of asking questions (e.g. “Your fuzzy, bright bathrobe looks so cozy!” “You have a beautiful smile!” “I see from your pillow and room decorations that you really like the Red Sox”).
  • Avoid medical or personal statements and questions like “Get well soon”, “I hope you go home soon”, “Feel better” or “How long have you been here?”.
  • Do not make assumptions about gender. Patients may have lost their hair, or wear jewelry or clothing that is not distinguishable.
  • Do not personalize any lack of enthusiasm. Patients may be feeling drowsy from medication or illness.
  • Do not talk about any patients or staff you meet while you are in the hospital (you never know who is standing next to you in the hospital elevator or café).
  • Please do not talk about religion, angels or God. Hospitals receive government funding and are not allowed to promote religious practices. Also, when children hear about angels and God they often think about death. You can pray for them in your thoughts.
  • If you are uncomfortable at any time, find a hospital facilitator (Child Life Specialist, volunteer or nurse) immediately. If something upsetting happens in the hospital please note it in your Post-Event Feedback Form so that Soaringwords can respond to you in a confidential way.
  • Do not ask patients, families or staff any personal questions about any patients’ medical condition, hospitalization or where they live (this information is confidential and it is against the law for staff to share this information with you). Hospitals can LOSE THEIR LICENSE to practice or be SHUT DOWN if they violate patient confidentiality. It doesn’t matter if the child has cancer, diabetes, or a chronic condition; our job is to bring joy and laughter to his or her day. Please help us keep it positive.
  • Do not give out your cell phone or email to any patient in the hospital as this is against hospital protocol. Soaringwords encourages in-person visits that are life-changing and wonderful. We are not equipped to be professional therapists or ongoing support systems for these children and families.
  • Do not give any money or gifts to patients or families, except ones that have been approved by Soaringwords and the hospital (e.g. SoaringQuilts® and SoaringPillows® and the Soaringwords activities).
  • If a patient or family member shares something about their medical condition, such as “My son Brendan has had four surgeries in the past month” or “My granddaughter Kim was just diagnosed with cancer yesterday” please do NOT share medical anecdotes or stories about someone you know who has the same illness.
  • Maintain composure with patients and their families. Do not start crying. It is okay to ask a patient or their family if they want a hug or to respond with an encouraging, neutral statement such as “that’s why I’m here… to bring you some joy today.” If at any point you feel overwhelmed or like you might start to cry, take a break and come back when you are ready. Be sure to discuss this with your team and the Soaringwords executive team so we can help coach you and others.
  • Do not talk about your own experiences with hospitals or illnesses.
  • Discuss universal topics such as favorite games, activities, sports, animals and television shows.
  • Give everyone as much of your positive energy, love and support as possible.

Soaringwords Activity:

  • You can print different activities from the website: SoaringSuperheroes , SoaringHaikus, SoaringBeds, SoaringConstellations , Gratitude Ladders, SoaringAnimals for Chinese New YearSoaringLoveSoaringExpressions, SoaringSigns
  • Let patients and families know that you are there to share the joy of Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness and “to brighten their day.”
  • Let everyone know that a big theme in Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness is to
    “pay-it-forward” and do something kind for someone else: encourage patients and families to create something for someone else “to brighten their day.”
  • Items created can be used as an “admission ticket” for the Zumba® Fitness class/party.
  • When possible, please take photos of items created (with the volunteers and patients if approved by hospital staff).

Zumba® Fitness Class:

  • Assure everyone right away that the point of the class is to be together and have fun.
  • Do not worry if you can’t move around much, and be sure movements are safe for the space provided.
  • No one should worry about “keeping up” or dancing really well.
  • Please be sure to check sound prior to class and know ahead of time how loud the music can be.
  • Keep moves SUPER SIMPLE so everyone can feel successful and happy.
    • Perhaps just step-tap, step-tap with easy arm movements repeated again and again.
    • Do not add on movements until you see that all are successful and happily enjoying what you are already doing.
    • Remember: You are there for the patients, families and staff, not to showcase your best dance moves!

Please complete the Post-Event Feedback Form after each event.

Soaringwords office needs to know what is working well and how we can improve the Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness collaboration.

 Please notify Soaringwords:

  • If a volunteer had a recent loss or is grappling with an illness in her or his family and had a bad reaction at the hospital.
  • If a volunteer did something inappropriate with patients (we need to know about it before the hospital calls Soaringwords to tell us about it).
  • If something happened with the hospital, such as they kept you waiting for an hour or they forgot to tell you the class was cancelled and everyone showed up, or any other miscommunication.

  Thanks a million for volunteering your time! We appreciate your involvement and generosity.




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For centuries, people have taken comfort and joy as they gazed at the night sky and were able to recognize clusters of stars known as constellations.

You are going to help someone feel more hopeful and positive when they get your SoaringConstellations messages and artwork.

 The cool thing about Constellations is the stars make up a pattern.

See samples of SoaringConstellations.

Here’s How to Get Started:

1. Choose what kind of Constellation you want to make today:
          a. Animal-shaped
          b. Object-shaped
          c. People-shaped
          d. Invent your own Constellation

2. Write the name of your Constellation on the top of the page and then draw your SoaringConstellation within SoaringConstellations border, using lots of colors.

3.  Fill in the bottom lines with a message for a special person. When you are done, share this finished artwork with the person you chose.

Do make your picture really big. Fill the entire page with your picture and message.
Do make your picture really bright and colorful.  
Do have fun!

 pegasus Queen lion Little Bear herculesInvent Your Own Constellation



Manage Your Energy

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Human Performance InstituteThe Soaringwords team spent two and a half energetic days at the Human Performance Institute (HPI) training center nestled on a stunning campus surrounded by a majestic golf course in Lake Nona, Florida.  The humidity was not the only thing causing our temperature to rise. From early in the morning (7:30 start) to late into the night (homework! bring it on) we discovered that energy is the most critical resource we have as human beings.

Not too long ago, time management seminars were the hot ticket as people were desperate to learn how to cram even more projects and activities into already hectic, over-programmed lives. Recently, many scientists concluded that chasing more and more external accomplishments can actually result in feelings of emptiness and frustration, even leading to poor performance.

HPI co-founders Jim Loehr, Ph.D. and Jack Groppel, Ph.D. honed their experience by coaching dozens of the world’s number one athletes (tennis star Monica Seles and Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen among others).

Like an electric current constantly surging through our minds and bodies, energy is the most critical currency for top performance. Three magnificent HPI trainers (Jenny Susser, Jill Strong, and Cindy Heroux) taught us that becoming aware of our energy and managing our energy allows us to do extraordinary things. There are four dimensions that comprise your energy: Spiritual which is the force of your energy, Mental which is the focus of your energy, Emotional which is the quality of your energy, and Physical which is the quantity of your energy.

HPI Pyramid

Taken together, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical energy enables you to grow and flourish. Many people constantly try to “cheat” the natural cycle of being a human-being by spreading their energy across as many things as possible, without pausing to recover or rejuvenate. If you’ve ever spent the first three days of your vacation simply recuperating from your life, perhaps you have experienced this syndrome.

This tendency to flit from one thing to the next, never quite fully engaged in anything only dissipates our energy.  HPI recommends taking focused action to build in rituals that will with practice become new habits. Focus on the four dimensions of energy, learn to re-charge our weary bodies, refocus our minds (to disconnect from the prevailing tendency to multi-task 24/7), and look at our “old story” (blah, blah, blah) that prevents us from living in harmony with our ultimate purpose. The seminar culminated in writing a “new story” which leads us closer to our ultimate

Like anything important in life, the pathway to mastery is often a winding road and rarely a straight line (at least that’s what’s going on for me since getting back home).  The process of energy oscillation actually serves us well as our brains re-learn how to do things to respect, nurture and strengthen our energy capacity. Oscillation sounds just like it’s meaning – to move backward and forward. Consider a wave in the ocean – tall and majestic and then the water is calm and smooth – undulating between being fully “on” and fully “off.”  When you give yourself permission to turn off for a few minutes every couple of hours, you actually restore your body and mind.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Schedule energy breaks in your calendar to break those old habits.
  • Eat a snack when you wake up it gets your brain and body started after it’s been fasting all night while you sleep.
  • Work out and move, after sitting for 30 minutes to energize. Just 60 seconds elevates your energy.
  • Don’t wait for the “perfect time” or the perfect situation, remember some is better than none.

For the past 30 years, the Human Performance Institute ( has taught thousands of type-A professionals to chill out. Check it out, you may start to breath deeper, smile more broadly and experience much more energy for the things you love and appreciate.