Soaringwords + Zumba® Hospital Visit

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest0
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.




Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest0


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



Soaring Photographers®

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest0

Welcome to Soaring Photographers!

Its been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words” because a powerful photograph can capture our thoughts and emotions. Over the years, photography has become an integral part of our everyday life. Did you know the average American encounters over 1000 camera images a day?

Photography was “born” in the 1820’s. A French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce was experimenting in printmaking and discovered a way to copy engagements onto glass. In 1827, he improved his photo making process and placed his lens facing the window and, after eight hours, the earliest camera photograph in existence came about, View from the Window at Le Gras and shows parts of the buildings and surrounding countryside of  his estate.

Most of the early photographs were portraits. Now cameras are a part of our daily life, recording birthday parties, vacations, and family get-togethers. They allow us to see outer space, cells in our bodies and even our favorite movie stars. What will you decide to take pictures of? Take a journey and learn more about our favorite Soaring Photographers!


Guess Who Zoo

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest0

The Guess Who book series is the first children’s book series to be designated as part of the Soaringwords Book Club where children read the books and then are invited to make SoaringRiddles to donate to hospitalized children.

The author and Mascot Publishers are proud to cooperate in a program to Buy One, Give One to motivate consumers to purchase an extra set of books to donate to a hospitalized child (Press Release). To purchase your book click here.

Create a SoaringRiddle

Scanned from a Xerox multifunction device001 (1)Riddles are questions or statements phrased to tell its answer and they are usually presented as a game. Riddles are like puzzles and they ask the question: What am I? Many people enjoy riddles because they are fun to tell and even more fun to figure out! The riddle you make will be shared with a child in a hospital to bring laughter and joy to them!


1) What is black and white and red all over?
A panda bear with a sunburn.

2) Why do hummingbirds hum?
Because they forgot the words!

3) How do bees get to school?
By school buzz!

4) Why did the turkey cross the road twice?
To prove he wasn’t chicken!

5) Knock Knock!
Who’s there?
Cowsgo who?
No they don’t, cows go “moo!”

 Click here to see more riddle examples. To see what students from P.S.75 in New York City have created, click here.

Here’s How to Get Started:

  1. Pick an animal that you want to be your answer (like a dog or dinosaur).
  2. What does your animal do? What does your animal look like? Write these ideas down.
  3. Draft your riddle. Try reading it to a friend to see if it makes sense. You can re-word it and try again!
  4. Share your riddle with friends and family!
  5. Use the SoaringBorder to write and decorate your riddle.


  • Fold your border to make a book. (When printing the border press “two-sided copy”.)
  • Do make sure your words are legible and neat, so that the Riddle can be easily read. Your riddle may end up on our website!
  • Do use darker colors for the words and bright colors for your picture.
  • Don’t write “Get Well Soon” or “Feel Better” because these messages can make an ill kid feel sad.
  • You can give your riddle to someone who is ill. Or, you can mail it to Soaringwords and we will share it with a hospitalized child.



Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest0

“I look forward to teaching my monthly classes at Children’s Hospital. Seemingly healthy children and those hooked up to IVs join the fun, some in wheelchairs, all ready to dance. These are regular kids who just want to DANCE and have FUN. We have the pleasure of delivering joy. The joy spreads and follows them back to their rooms and changes the perspective life of those present forever!” – Richard Gormley, Zumba Education Specialist

In 2012, three weeks before the Zumba® Instructor Convention, Zumba Fitness CEO Alberto Perlman met Lisa Buksbaum, CEO & Founder of Soaringwords. They had a “meeting of the minds” and realized that it would be amazing to invite ZIN™ members to share love and passion with hospitalized children to inspire them to dance and experience some joy, even in the midst of serious medical challenges. After the Convention, three Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness delegations started sharing free monthly classes with hospitalized children in Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago and Atlanta.

Soaringwords is working closely with hospitals to bring more ZIN™ members into the collaboration each month. We would like you to be a part of this powerful wellness initiative.

Experience the energy of the Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness collaboration in photos and videos. Also, check out the photos taken at last year’s Zumba Fitness Instructor Convention in Orlando.

There are number of ways to help support this important initiative:

1. Make a donation
100% of your donation will go towards the coordination of hospitals and Zumba® Fitness instructors worldwide. With your support, we will be able to share the healing power of dance, movement, laughter, and community to transform the lives of pediatric patients. Click here to make a donation.

2. Volunteer at a Hospital
Would you like to volunteer to teach Zumba® Fitness classes to pediatric patients, families and staff in a local children’s hospital? We are looking for Zumba® Fitness Instructors who are licensed in Zumba® Fitness Kids to volunteer to lead monthly classes for hospitalized children. This is a great way to build awareness for you as a Zumba® Fitness Instructor and get more paying classes and clients.

If interested in volunteering:
a) Click here for 6 Easy Steps to bring Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness to children in your local hospital. 
b) We require instructors to complete the New Volunteer Questionnaire.
c) Review and sign Volunteer Dance Agreement with electronic signature.
d) Submit two Professional References. We encourage you to secure recommendations from a Supervisor at a gym or studio who knows you and your work, a ZES™ or ZJ™, a Supervisor from another field who knows you and your work, or a Supervisor from a non-profit organization where you have volunteered.
e) After you have identify your local hospital with a pediatric population and connect with the appropriate hospital professional, then customize Hospital Documents.
f) Visit Hospital Page to download Soaringwords Activities and to read Hospital Visitor Guidelines.

3. Volunteer at the office or remotely
Help coordinate Soaringwords + Zumba  Initiative. Click here to learn more.

4. Organize a Zumba® Master Class or Zumbathon® Charity Event 

58800_10151875638304199_1969716884_n (1)

Planning a fundraiser is a great way to support Soaringwords and gain exposure in your community. Download Soaringwords + Zumba Event Planning Guide to get started.  See photos from events around the country to get inspired.  

5. Shop at the Soaringwords store
Proudly wear your Soaringwords T-shirt to show your commitment.

SOARINGWORDS’ MISSION is to inspire ill children and their families to take active roles in self-healing. Soaringwords is unique as it is the only organization to motivate ill children and families to “pay it forward” to help others. Studies show that when a child does something kind for another child it accelerates transformative healing. Soaringwords provides fun, creative and educational activities both in person and online based on positive psychology concepts.