In Nov 2011 I started taking Zumba classes at my local Y. I had tried it two years earlier and didn’t like it. It felt fast, crowded, and I kept feeling like we rushed through every movement and I felt like I was going to trip half the time.
Ironically, I tried Zumba again when I was having terrible tooth pain (I didn’t realize that I needed a root canal) during the Thanksgiving holiday, and I realized that for that one hour I was dancing, I felt great. I was back to the miserable tooth pain once my post-zumba sweating stopped.
I then tried a few different instructors and I realized that the ones I liked the most were ones who had a firm dance background. Either they were formally trained dancers (different genres) or they were deeply immersed in dance culture- by taking classes, attending conferences and very clearly- dancing a lot.
And so began my love affair with Zumba. I take classes consistently each Saturday & Sunday and I try to get a third class in during the week when I can. I’ve taken Zumba at different Y’s, a local gym, on the pier by the Brooklyn Bridge, at a master class with 2 different instructors, at a dance studio, in upstate NY when on a family camping trip, and most recently, in Florida.
Now that I wrote that all out, I’m realizing I sound
obsessed like a Zumba expert.
Yes I’ve lost some weight (there’s more to be lost!) and gained some coordination, but trust me, how I look when I’m dancing versus how I feel when I’m dancing are two very different things. But that’s ok! I’m burning calories, building strength and enjoying good music so that’s all that matters. It’s a great way to relieve stress.
I have a friend who’s also a neighbor and fellow mom (our sons go to the same school) who is my “Zumba buddy”. We support each other, take classes together and encourage each other to be active despite our busy lives. More than once I’ve been tired and tried to talk myself out of going to class & my Zumba buddy has helped me rally and get my behind in gear.
I’m planning to take a Zumba class in Atlanta and DC in the next few months as I’ll be traveling there so if you have any good recommendations for classes, please leave them in the comments.
That’s Zumba in Florida with my mom on her birthday! The instructor is Ronald Burton and he was FABULOUS. I especially loved the “Hot hula” and the gospel song we danced to (very respectfully).
This gorgeous woman, Monica Ortiz Rossi, does an amazing faaaast paced Zumba class at Cumbe