Have you heard of Zumba? No, not the lesser-known sibling of Simba the lion cub, and not the language of people originating from Zumbabwe, but the dance-exercise craze which was created by Alberto “Beto” Perez a few years ago and has hit South Africa hard.
Ladies are flocking to Zumba classes to get their ‘hit’ of pure endorphins. At first, the more conservative ladies may be a little self-conscious for Zumba.
You may be used to exercise classes that have a certain rhythm or structure, and while you are used to having legs in the air or bottoms clenched in floorwork, each position has a purpose and a corresponding muscle to work so it still seems rational and not too embarrassing to be doing.
Now, in Zumba, the moves are a little wilder, a lot sexier and, at times, even just plain silly. There are cowboy moves, reggae moves, clown-like steps and much hip-wiggling, bottom-shaking and general frivolity.
The key is that while one is concentrating on getting all these ‘moves’ right in the dance sequence, all the various body bits are being worked. It may take a class or two to catch onto enough of the steps to work up a sweat, but there is a lot of repetition, so even the most co-ord-challenged can pick up a good enough interpretation of the step to call it exercise.
The great part is that everyone doing the dance looks the same amount of silly. The other great part is that you are so busy watching the instructor that you really can’t spend any time looking around at how others are doing. But the best part is, once you have been to a few classes and start recognizing the dances, perhaps even anticipating the moves, then you can really just “go mad”!
There is nothing better exercise-wise than a room full of women all doing the same awesome moves at the same time, like above-ground aqua aerobics, without waiting for the instructor to call the next move, but rather each in their own mind-space relishing the sweat, the synchrony, the simple chemical reaction taking place in their body which results in a mood-altering high.
I dare you to Zumba and not get hooked!
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