ZUMBA. A household name. A worldwide fitness phenomenon. Everyone’s heard of Zumba, but what should you expect if you’ve never been to a Zumba class before?
Zumba is a dance fitness class like no other. It came along and completely changed the way we look at a workout. Beto Perez created Zumba way back in the 90s by accident when he forgot his usual aerobics music and instead taught his class using a cassette of latin dance music, improvising the steps as he went. He realised his participants were having much more fun than usual and the concept grew from there.
Zumba’s basic rhythms include salsa, merengue, reggaeton and cumbia, with many more world rhythms also thrown into the mix. With both low and high intensity steps, Zumba is an effective high-energy cardio workout which can feel more like a party than a class and is often referred to as exercise in disguise!
Zumba routines are designed to be easily followed and instructors are trained to use visual cues such as hand gestures, when required, rather than speaking over the music. One of Zumba’s most common catchphrases is “less talk, more dance”, allowing participants to fully immerse themselves in the music, have fun, enjoy the atmosphere and maybe even forget they are exercising!
Zumba even hosts fitness concerts, with masses of participants joining in and following the steps being demonstrated from the stage. Our regular classes won’t quite be like that – especially under the current circumstances with Covid-19 getting in the way of everything! But we’re not going to let it spoil all our fun – we can still enjoy Zumba dance fitness classes in a socially distanced way, complying with group exercise guidelines, with a limited number of participants. We’ll have the doors and windows open to allow adequate fresh air circulation (it might be chilly to begin with, so layers are a good idea!) and each participant will have at least a 3m square to dance in, marked out with colourful rubber discs on the floor.
The format of a Zumba class
A Zumba class begins with a couple of warm up tracks; a cardio pulse-raiser and a muscle preparation and joint mobility routine with plenty of dynamic stretches to get the body ready for the main workout. In a Zumba class, there are no break-downs of the steps and no stopping and starting between the tracks, in order to keep the body warmed up and to maximise the non-stop party atmosphere. However, participants are encouraged to have a bottle of water nearby and grab a drink whenever they need one. Although the routines are designed to be easy to follow, don’t worry if you don’t pick up the steps straight away – after a few weeks they will begin to feel more natural. One of the principles of Zumba is to keep moving, even if you’re moving in the opposite direction to everyone else – no-one is judging you, they are all focusing on what their own bodies are doing! As long as you are moving, you are doing it right, even if you are freestyling your own routine! You get out of a workout what you put in to it and as long as you keep marching, wiggling, shimmying, shuffling with enthusiasm, you will reap the benefits, both physically and mentally, and hopefully leave the class with a huge smile and a little bit sweaty! We will of course finish with a cooldown routine, bringing the heart rate back down and stretching out the muscles.
Want to Party in Pink at a Zumba class in Hampshire?
Join ‘en Joy dance fitness for a 40 minute Zumba class at 6:15pm on Friday 30 October at Colden Common Community Centre, with all proceeds from this first session going to Cancer Research UK. Each participant will receive a goody bag upon entry to the hall, containing a whole host of ‘pink stuff’, including LED (yes, reusable) glowsticks and bracelets which you are welcome to use in the class (we will have low level lighting so you will still be able to see the instructor and the space around you clearly), an official Zumba rubber bracelet and an official Cancer Research UK pin badge. It would be amazing if participants could also wear something pink, but this is of course optional! This is an official Party in Pink Zumba class approved by Zumba.com and funds will be donated to Cancer Research UK by ‘en Joy dance fitness via the Party in Pink Giving Page. ‘en Joy dance fitness still requires participants to book for the class in the usual way via this website, to ensure each participant has completed a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire and that your details are on file in case they are required by the NHS test and trace system. Book your space here!
Zumba classes in Colden Common will continue weekly on Fridays at 6:15pm and booking is essential.