“What I Love about Zumba”

“What I Love about Zumba”

 A Shared Experience of Fitness

Instructors and Exercisers

What is all the noise going on about ZUMBA? Zumba fitness, choreographed aerobic dance to mostly Latin music, started in 2001 and has grown to 90,000 facilities in over 100 countries teaching more than 10 million people weekly. Everyone is saying what I love about Zumba loud and clear – it doesn’t feel like a workout although dancers can burn between 400-800 calories in an hour-long class. The focus is on having fun, dancing to the upbeat music and shaking it.

There are many stories of exercisers saying “what I love about zumba” by attending regular classes for years and even becoming certified instructors so they can teach what they love to do. Many others comment that the Latin music inspires them to move their hips more, burning more calories. Zumba classes are also great places to socialize and laugh while learning some basic dance steps.  The challenge of learning to move to the music, the playfulness of the instructor and exercisers all contribute to the popularity of the programs.

As Zumba has grown in number it has also grown in variety of classes. There are programs for baby boomers (Zumba Gold) and as well as ones held in the pool (Aqua Zumba). Classes are held in YMCAs, fitness centers, weight loss facilities health food stores, school gyms, malls and cruise ships on mornings, evenings and weekends – just about anywhere and anytime you can imagine. All this availability and variety has exercise students saying even louder “what I love about zumba”.

Fitness instructors and exercisers suggest several ways for someone to get started. YouTube video showing zumba steps to various popular songs are available and can help beginners get comfortable with coming to a live class.  The videos are also shared among fitness instructors to keep the program enjoyable and challenging for dancers. The big step is just to try some classes, relax and get use to steps and guides that can take up to five or six times to feel natural.

Fitness instructors may face the audience and mirror the steps or use a mirror and have their backs to the students.  An instructor will often say “what I love about zumba” is facing the students and providing mostly visual guides to the dance steps to keep the flow from feeling like a workout routine. The goal is for all to be hootin’ and hollerin’, sweating and dancing together to the upbeat Latin rhythms.  Students often laugh during class, especially if the fitness instructors wear zumba exercise pants with tassels and fringe that swing around during the dance moves.

The truth about “what I love about zumba” is the feeling of community expressed in the programs. People are engaged in a dance sport without the stress of having to be dancers. They are moving their arms, legs, hips and buns to the fast-paced music that makes an hourly class pass without the stress of a mundane workout. They can go to a store, conference room, gym, pool, cruise ship, street carnival and find a zumba class just about to start. They can be any age, shape, social strata and fitness level and as long as they hear the music and can shake it – they are creating their own “what I love about zumba” story.