Well, to start at the very beginning, what does 'Zumba®' mean?
Nothing, actually. It's a sound, a feeling, a
wild sensation. It's a mixture
of hot Latin rhythms, moving to a Tumbao beat. It's new music, movement, dancing.
It's Montuno, Boogaloo, Salsa, Reggaeton, Cumbia & Merengue all rolled into
one delectable package.
Pronounced "Zooomba". Go
on, say it - slowly. Let it fill you up & fall seductively from your mouth –
do you see what I mean?
But the word ‘Zumba®' is derived from a Colombian word that means
‘to move fast & have fun' and I think
that pretty much hits the nail on the head!
It's a fast, fun dance-fitness workout that was brought to America by one Alberto
Perez, a Colombian dancer, in the early 1990s and then bundled up in bright packaging
and lovingly sent over to us here in the UK.
Rebecca of ZumbaFunk, London meeting with Alberto ‘Beto' Perez, 2012
It is now enjoyed in over 125 countries
by more than 12 million people
every single week! Wowza!
And with very good reason…
- Between 500-1000 calories can be burned in a 1 hour Zumba class. Cripes!
- Zumba® mixes high-cardio with muscle toning for
- It's fun!
- It's social!
- No previous experience required.
- With the various Zumba® programs offered, Zumba® is truly accessible
Zumba® brings dance
and fitness together in a wonderfully dynamic
union and because of this, every instructor delivers a different style of class –
some more focused on the dance, some more on the fitness, but with over 30,000 registered
instructors, you're guaranteed to find a handful you
love who'll float your boat and boogie you
into shape without you even noticing!
Personally, I've always been passionate about dance & fitness. I've enjoyed
my fair share of ballet, Greek, tap, Ceroc, jazz & even disco dancing lessons
over the years, I've been a wall climber, tennis instructor, event cyclist and runner
and so, when I threw myself into my first Zumba® class on a whim approximately
a year and a half ago, I was immediately smitten. Everything I'm bonkers about seemed
to come together. Not only was the class a ludicrous amount of
fun, I was loving the impact it was having
on my body.
For a woman, dance creates elegant lines, strong yet feminine muscles and improves
general posture. We tend to hold our heads a little higher and our backs a little
straighter. I have met so many fabulous women who have managed to lose unwelcome
kilos and develop muscles through Zumba® they didn't even know they had and
the best part of all is the beaming smile that, honestly, seems to be a constant
theme with every single Zumba® dancer.
Now, that's what floats MY boat!
To me, exercise shouldn't just
be about trying to get into a bikini or summer dress now that winter's behind us &
the sun's shining, although I won't deny that is, without a doubt, a common &
important incentive – but exercise should be a way of life and I don't subscribe
to the notion that it should be painful or hard work.
It shouldn't be a competition either, we all have different body shapes and we
should be striving to achieve what suits
us. We really don't need to waste
energy beating ourselves up by comparing our bodies with our friends or airbrushed
magazine models – no, instead we need to find that comfortable shape &
size that works for each of us – that's what's attractive, confidence &
comfort in our own body.
I believe we should all find activities in our lives that we find fun, workouts
that make us smile and teach us something new in the process. Cross-training is
important: running in the park, cycling along the river, joining a sporting team
perhaps – and, at only 1 hour a class, Zumba® can easily be squeezed in
to our busy schedules to provide an all-over body sculpt. It also opens a big,
colourful door to a wonderful, infectious and
happy community of like-minded folk & new friends. It's a Zumba® party train.
If you love meeting new people, come on your own, many do, if you feel a little
more self-conscious, grab a friend and bring them along – trust me, they'll
thank you for it afterwards!
Remember, stepping out of our comfort-zone by trying something new is good for
both the mind & the soul. Come on, give it a go! I promise you'll be welcomed
with open arms & will leave grinning!
See you in the Zumba® zone – love Rebecca x