Guest Post: Zumba®

Monday, April 2, 2012

It probably feels like it's been pretty hard to miss lately, with TV ads, news items, and classes springing up just about everywhere. So what is all the fuss about?

Zumba® is a Latin dance-inspired fitness program created in the 1990s by Colombian fitness instructor "Beto" Perez. Classes are attended by millions of participants in over 125 countries, and it continues to grow in popularity, with new variations including ‘Toning’, ‘Aqua’, ‘Gold’ (for older and less active participants) and ‘Zumbatomic’ (for kids). Millions more experience Zumba® in their own homes, through DVDs and chart-topping games versions including X-Box, Wii and Playstation.

Zumba® is a fun and exciting form of exercise, providing a really effective workout for people of all ages and fitnesses, as each participant can work at the level that suits them. A wide variety of different dance styles (no prior dance knowledge or skills required!) – including salsa, cha cha, merengue, belly dance, reggaeton, hip hop, flamenco and bollywood – are used, combining great music with a proper fitness workout (classes always include warm-up, cool down and stretch sections), based on slow and fast interval training. So Zumba® provides a total body toning routine along with a heart-pumping cardio aerobic workout - a great way to get toned, benefit the heart, and burn calories all at the same time. But most importantly ... IT’S FUN!

I started attending weekly Zumba® classes in October 2010 and fell in love with it straight away. I’ve always loved dancing of all sorts, and very quickly knew that Zumba® was for me, and decided I wanted to run my own classes, even though I’d never done anything like that before. I found out I needed to complete “Zumba® Basic 1” instructor training before being certified to teach, and it took a while to find a course that wasn’t either fully booked within days, or being held at the other end of the country!

I’ve been teaching Zumba® since January (and have lost 7kgs in the process!) and now teach four times a week; twice in London where I still have my ‘day job’ (as a University Manager) and twice where I live in Huntingdon. In April I am training in Zumba Gold®, which gives a slightly gentler level of workout (but without losing any of the fun!), aimed at older participants or those less used to exercising, so I’m really looking forward to teaching Zumba Gold® too.

I try to make sure all my classes are fun, and encourage everyone, even complete beginners, to throw themselves into all the different routines. With Zumba® it really doesn’t matter if you don’t get all the steps right, or go in a different direction … so long as you’re moving about it’ll be doing you good, and as I always tell my students … if you’re laughing while you’re moving, it’s doing you even more good! :)

So if you’re still wondering “What’s the fuss about?” I say, “Find a class and see for yourself.” Try it once … what have you got to lose? Apart from maybe the odd kilo or two!!

For more information or to book for one of Debra’s Zumba® or Zumba Gold® classes, phone or text 07891375954, email, or via Facebook page “Debs Zumba Huntingdon”.

ZUMBA® and the Zumba Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.

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