Zumba has go to be one of my favourite classes to do since I discovered it a year ago. I had an amazing teacher called Bianca Blom– a Dutch Native. It was her enthusiasm and interpretation of Zumba that really had me hooked. Zumba was started by a ‘Beto’ Perez- a Columbian Genius who brought flavours of Salsa, Samba, Merengue, Hip-hop and other styles of dance together which was mixed with an aerobic component which literally caught on like wild fire across the globe.
I started with one class a week, but quickly moved up to doing 3-4 classes a week. I then decided that I wanted to burn even more calories and endured the gruelling Zumba Toning classes. Zumba Toning incorporates the use of Toning sticks, but you can substitute these sticks with light weights but you may need to adapt the movements as a result (toning sticks were meant for shaking, but weights are not).
Even though the pace is tough, the love of dance withe benefit of a workout makes Zumba one of the best exercises you can do!
Unfortunately (actually, probably not so unfortunately) Bianca has been away on maternity leave which has left me a bit stranded! But I have joined a gym and attend other Zumba classes however I don’t really get the same vibe. Every Zumba class is so different. Most people get used to a particular style, and thus it is harder to change- or you simply just might not want to change.
Some Zumba’s have more of a African-dance-feel and/or a Spanish Flow- which is what I was used to. Bianca used to flip it with a little Raggaeton and crazy beats that just made you feel you could exercise for hours. In other classes with other instructors- they may not be so good with doing the moves themselves, or the music isn’t up to par. Sometimes the moves are overcomplicated or the teacher just cannot reach out to the class. I also found some Zumba classes had more of a pop-influence in terms of music, which wasn’t fully to my taste.
Either way, I am learning to adapt and the sweat is still pouring, which is a good thing!. Least I know, I am still getting the workout in. Sometimes you just want a change from the four walls of the gym and repetitive treadmill or cross-trainer use.
My advice is definitely give it go. You may want to try several different classes or instructors until you ‘feel’ you have the right one for you. Once you’ve made that connection and you learn to balance your exercise with what you are putting into your mouth, then there will be no doubt that you would achieve the more healthy version of you.
- Dont worry about getting the moves perfect!- No-one is watching you! Just do your thing
- Take a bottle of water or two- you will need it!
- Good footwear are essential you might want to invest in dance shows or really good supportive trainers
- Where a head band/bandana so the oils of your hair don’t leach onto your skin
- If you can’t get to a class, buy or borrow the DVD. You can get this on Amazon.com- they are also really good and easy to follow