Wikipedia defines Zumba as:
"a Latin dance-inspired fitness program...
Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba's choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included."
So, this month I am a lucky girl - I was invited to a month's worth of free Zumba classes (30 mins each, 2 times a week). I have never Zumba-ed in my life. I'm totally NOT a dancer. I'm NOT quick on my toes, and I don't work out at all - so combined with asthma and heart problems, I was PRETTY SCARED to try out something like this in front of a bunch of other people.
Fortunately the classes were not in an actual GYM. We were in a church basketball court. No one else around except the Zumba victims. No body builders, no membership fees. Awesome.
We also had the MOST amazing instructor in the world! She is going to start offering weekly Zumba classes at the church, to give more people an opportunity to Zumba without having to buy a gym membership. This month, while the schedule and class sizes and prices are being worked out (I believe they will ultimately be an HOUR long!), she is offering the classes for FREE. I have only been to two classes so far, but they KICKED MY BUTT...but in a fun and sexy way! And Miss Awesome Zumba Instructor makes it SO MUCH FUN that it's hard NOT to enjoy yourself!
Exercise is not something I love to do. But, when someone is funny and cool and excited about what they are doing, it is not too hard to get into it along with them. Especially if you can't resist moving to a good Latin beat or African rhythm! Also ATTITUDE goes a long way!! I could barely keep myself breathing through some of the songs, but our instructor's humor and attitude with different moves kept me giggling (and her reminders kept me breathing)! Exercising has really never been more fun......I have to admit, even though I felt like falling on the floor afterwards, I really HAVEN'T had more fun exercising!
Those are some of the cute shoes I saw at Zumba class. I am always interested in exercise shoes - since I'm not really an exerciser I almost never have a pair of tennis shoes (unless you count grungy converse sneakers). And as a lover of shoes, boots, and high heels, I always thought of the tennis shoe and running shoe as the ugliest most useless shoe of all. Now that I'm truly enjoying Zumba, I'm starting to show an interest in cute "exercise" shoes....
All in all, it's been the most wonderful experience. Personally, my favorite part of Zumba is the cool-down. Not only because it means things are almost over and I succeeded in NOT falling flat on the floor, but because our instructor has a REALLY great song for cool-down. It makes me feel like a Russian dancer and I love it! I'm hooked. I'll admit it. Only two classes and I'm HOOKED ON ZUMBA! But I really have to attribute that to this particular instructor as well, the environment is perfect for me, and I don't feel any pressure, embarrassment, or stress, just FUN! Even after what felt like a CRAZY workout last night, I was so pumped and happy that the Fuzband and I were both inspired to bike down to the grocery store (first time ever!), just to pick up some feta cheese for dinner. (and then FETA was ON SALE, TWO for ONE! - Thank You ZUMBA!!) Silliness. :)
Conclusion: I think I may just be Zumba-ing for life!
(I've already created a Zumba station on Pandora... I even recognized a song and remembered part of the choreography for it! Fun at home in the living room, hooray for Zumba and dancing in general!)
Love & Latin Dance,