I admit, I love Zumba.
I attempted this new-found type of dance a few years ago at my gym at home, but I didn’t really appreciate its epicness until this past year up at school. At home, I was in a class with a bunch of older ladies; don’t get me wrong, it was fun and all, but I barely broke a sweat, and if I’m going to spend my precious time working out, I better be burning copious amounts of calories.
So, for the most part, I strayed away from the Zumba scene until September. Hungry for a fun workout, (running on the treadmill just doesn’t do it for me, and Vermont gets too cold for outdoor activities in the late fall), I strolled into a Zumba class on a Tuesday night, thinking it was going to be the same old, easy peasy routine.
Woah-ho, was I wrong. Really wrong.
Within the first five minutes I was utterly lost.
My dance moves rivaled that of a monkey who had eaten too many space cakes.
Within thirty I was drenched. I guess I got my calorie-burning wish. By the end of the class, I had the moves down pat — my 12 years of dance training paid off — and I was actually able to enjoy myself. I pretty much fell in love on the spot. That, and the fact that I had developed a bit of a girl crush on my Zumba instructor.
When I tell people I’m into Zumba, the response is usually one of two things: a confused look or a snicker. For some reason, those who have heard of Zumba believe it is silly. To that I say, so what? Poo-poo on you if you can’t get into shape via a little fun. According to their website, Zumba is “an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health.” Who doesn’t love the sound of that?
Basically, Zumba is an opportunity to simultaneously rage/dance, listen to spicy Latin tunes, and get a killer bod.
The funny thing about Zumba is that it came about by accident. In the mid-90s, Alberto “Beto” Perez forgot his traditional aerobics class music and subbed his own mix of salsa and merengue music that he had on hand. Thus, Zumba was born! From then on, instead of counting reps over music, you let the music move you. In 2001, Zumba Fitness was created, and by 2010, Zumba was the first branded fitness program to launch a video game on all three major gaming platforms: Wii, Xbox, and PS3. Killin’ it.
I strongly recommend that you at least give Zumba a try. If you’re worried about looking silly in front of a few people (who all will be doing the same exact thing), then maybe start with the video game version and work your way into the real world. There are more than 1,000 classes within 25 miles of Boston, so opportunities are plentiful. In fact, Boston’s first studio dedicated to Zumba Fitness, Z-Spot, is practically across the street from the Dig office. Don’t be afraid to let your inner Latino dance mambo out of its cage!
As far as Boston Zumba events go, there will be free Zumba at Boston City Hall Plaza as part of Fitness on the Plaza every Monday evening throughout August. Also, tonight at 6pm at the Esplanade there’s another free Zumba event as part of the Health, Fit and Fun series. For more events, go here; and remember, don’t be afraid to take advantage of the free fun things Boston has to offer.
I’ve got an appetite for the unique. Oh, Hobby Dearest is my quest to shine some light on the overlooked and abnormal hobbies that exist out there.