Can you Dance?
Are you one of the lucky ones without “two left feet” and can let your hair down without a care for the world? People who can dance, even the ones who don’t follow a particular dance type, swear by the emotional and physical exhilaration they experience. Dancing has and will always remain an excellent form of expression for people, irrespective of their age, who wish to stay emotionally and physically healthy. Some perks from dedicating your skills to any dance form are balance and flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, and a sense of well-being. Dancing is a great social activity to bond with friends or fun loving strangers that contributes to high self-esteem and a positive outlook to life.
What is Zumba?
Consider this: To shed weight and to gain fitness- Given a choice between laborious cardio routines, hectic sessions of weight lifting, power-yoga or circuit workout, done within the confines of a air conditioned room with pretty (perfectly toned) people around and trainers to rap you every time you do a mistake AND a room filled with strangers who are least concerned whether you get your steps right and foot tapping music in the background…..what would you choose??
Before you take out your calculators and check what burns more calories, there is absolutely no contest when it comes to the “FUN” element that comes out of letting your body simply go with the flow of music and dance.
Zumba- the latest dance craze today is not a dance in the true sense, but rather a fitness program that includes aerobic dance movements on foot tapping Latino music rhythms. “Zumba” is a Colombian word that literally means “Move fast and have fun” and it sticks to its meaning to a T.
Zumba is an energetic, fun-filled dance form that enables you to enjoy the “exercise” without you knowing it. Zumba is an infusion of Latin and other dance styles, such as belly dancing, flamenco, cumbia, merengue, salsa, reggaeton, mambo, rumba, calypso and Salsaton.
What do they do in a Zumba class?
A typical Zumba class lasts about an hour and will have a mix (a better word would be “crowd” J) of body types and age groups. The music would toggle between fast and slow rhythms, allowing for a great cardio workout and helping people catch their breath once a while. Under a seasoned instructor, who experiments and tries to break the monotony, you may even get a taste of alternative styles like hip-hop dancing, bollywood …anything that adds to the fun element and gets people moving.
Why makes Zumba so popular?
Zumba is not intimidating and allows people to be themselves. There are no points to be in sync or to match the instructors move or style. In fact there are no right or wrong moves and all you do is follow what the instructor does to the best of your ability while gyrating to the lively music all the time. If you find a good instructor, there is no way to get you off the Zumba class. Want to place a bet on that? J.
Most Zumba classes are in large spaces that are not fully lit, with some disco ball spinning lights across the room, allowing the “shy” dancers to hide away from the glare….pretty smart. Another reason why people are not concerned about what the other is doing is because everyone is transfixed on the instructor and his moves, to avoid missing the steps, tempo and rhythm.
The sheer energy of the group dancing together under the spell of thumping music, oblivious of whether the other is getting it right, is an altogether different “high”. Between the music, the instructor and the other participants in a Zumba class, it really is a workout disguised as a party.
The fun element, the “privacy”, the energy… keeps you coming back again and again. The sheer enjoyment makes this one of the most addictive routines around with the least attrition rates. People stick to what they “want” to do…not what they “need” to do.
What to check before enrolling for a Zumba class?
One can be a certified Zumba instructor in a typical work day so you will find a lot of newbies out there. Research and check references to find the right one who can provide the intensity and fun to make it worthwhile.
A Zumba instructor who can switch routines and keep you on our toes, and experiment with different music genres is one you should try to catch hold of. If you aren’t sure or are starting off with Zumba, check for a free trial class to see how the instructor works with the class before you jump on board.
Ideally a Zumba instructor should be genuinely a fun loving person himself who takes the time to break down the moves so you don’t get lost, dance at a comfortable pace so everyone can stay abreast and not go out of steam in between the course. You will be lucky if the instructor is doing the routines keeping you in mind and not showing off his own skills and endurance levels.
Zumba at home:
If you don’t feel comfortable dancing around in front of strangers, you can always try the Wii Zumba Fitness game in the comfort of your own living room. But you won’t get the energy and excitement from being in a Zumba class in person.