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Why Zumba Is Hot Right Now
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!
Zumba is FUN! It makes a great alternative to the gym or other studio classes if you enjoy dancing. The music is based on Latin rhythms so if you like this style of music you will find it motivating. People often say that they forget they are exercising when they do Zumba. For me it just brings a big smile to my face.
If you have ever felt curious about Zumba this lens gives you the lowdown on exactly what it involves, what the options are and how to get started. Don't be put off thinking that it is just for fit people, this is NOT the case. Anyone can do Zumba, and my classes are testimony to this (see some pictures of my classes at the bottom of this lens).
If you already a dedicated Zumba follower this lens has some bits and pieces that will keep you going till your next Zumba fix :-)
So get stuck in and enjoy.
(image from Amazon)
A Very Brief History of Zumba
How it all started
The story goes that one hot day in Columbia 'Beto Perez' (the creator of Zumba) went to teach an Aerobics class, and on arrival he realized he had forgotten his music. Rather than cancel the class he decided to use a CD that he had in his car, which happened to be Latin music. And the class LOVED it. And so Zumba was born.
Zumba consists of four main rhythms 'Merengue' from the Dominican Republic, 'Salsa', 'Cumbia' from Columbia (Beto's favourite) and Reggeatton (which is like reggea but a little faster). Instructors will often add in other rhythms like Calypso and Bellydance to add more variety to a class.
Like a mish mash of fitness and dance, with lots of shaking, shimmying and 'flavor' as we Instructors like to call it. You know that Latin mojo that makes it hot! ;-)
Don't be put off though, anyone can do Zumba. If you are new to Zumba follow the steps in this lens and you will be shimmying along with the best of them in no time. So go shake some booty!
(image is the Zumba logo - which I am licensed to use as a Zumba Instructor)
Zumba on the Wii - Ideal if you are nervous!
Zumba classes are organized so that they are easy to follow, however if you feel nervous about going straight into a Zumba class without knowing any of the steps, then an ideal solution is to learn them in the comfort of your own home. There are two ways you can do this. The first way is using the Zumba games on the Wii.
Here are some WII game options for you (note - children LOVE playing Zumba on the Wii too).
Do You Zumba?
Have You Tried Zumba Yet?
Zumba and me
How I came to love Zumba
I used to teach Aerobics classes and then a couple of years ago I started hearing about a new fitness craze, in fact they called it a 'dance fitness craze'. They said it was based on Latin music and included Salsa. Well I had done Salsa before and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I decided I wanted to try this Zumba.
I went along to a local class, and it just so happened to be one of my friends from the fitness community teaching it. And - it was SO FUN! Totally different to any fitness class I have ever tried before. If you have done Zumba you will know what I mean by that. As I was shaking and twisting at the back of the class, in the middle of a turn to a Bollywood track, a big smile spread over my face, and I thought 'I have to teach this' and so my career (love affair) with Zumba Fitness began.
(image is my own)
Don't worry if you don't have a WII, you can get a Zumba DVD and follow along at home. You can buy single DVDs or a set including handweights.
This is an ideal way to learn the steps and Zumba rhythms in the privacy of your own home without the pressure of others around you. You will soon gain enough confidence to join a class.
What To Wear For Zumba?
You can wear any type of comfortable clothing and either trainers or soft, flat shoes. Just make sure that your trousers are loose fitting and that you can move easily in what you wear. Fitness clothing is ideal.
if you don't have anything suitable, or you would like to treat yourself to something a bit special, Zumba offer a special, purpose made, line of clothing. I have included some examples below.
Dance Shoes For Zumba
To get the very best out of your Zumba class it is important to wear the right footwear. Don't feel that you have to shell out lots of money straight away, trainers will do just fine for the first few classes, however if you enjoy it and you want to continue, you will probably want to get some purpose made dance sneakers sooner or later. Most of the regulars who come to my classes make the switch over to these at some point and they always report finding it easier to move once they have the dance sneakers.
Wearing the correct footwear also reduces to risk of knee and ankle injuries. Ordinary trainers can get 'stuck' when you are doing your twists and turns in your Zumba class.
I wrote a whole lens advising about the best footwear for dance fitness classes, which you will find in the 'Related Lens' tab at the side of the page.
Now You Are Ready For A Zumba Class!
For most people I would recommend just go for it. Go to a class. They are usually friendly and easy to follow and the atmosphere is great! Some classes are harder and more energetic than others, so you may have to shop around and try a couple before you find one that suits you. But don't be put off. You will find the one for you.
The style of the class depends a lot on the teacher For example I run friendly community classes and I like to make them accessible for everyone. My classes tend to be a little gentler. Some of my colleagues run classes that are much harder and faster. Do your homework and ask around to find a class that suits you!
Click on the link below to go to zumba.com (Zumba's main website) where you can do a postcode or area search to find classes local to you. Zumba is global and is in most countries so you will likely be able to find a class near to you!
Zumba Accessories, Bells and Whistles
If you want to do it in style, there are also some accessories available that people like to wear to classes. I have included some of these below.
Some people like to wear a 'Belly-dancing skirt' with bells on. It just adds a little something when you are dancing and makes it all super hot. You may see some people in your class wearing these.
Feel free to come back and have a look after you have been to a couple of classes.
"The Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, dance fitness-party. Moving millions of people towards health and joy. Feel the music and let loose"
Some Photos From My Zumba Classes - (Used with permission from the participants)Click thumbnail to view full-size
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