Adventures in Zumba

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.

I’m not.

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.

My Zumba buddy is the one with the bandana on. Our instructor teaches at Pier 1 (Brooklyn bridge park) over the summer which is a fun venue change.

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


2 thoughts on “Adventures in Zumba

  1. I’m starting Aqua Zumba next week. It is offered twice a week at the local Y. Not sure how it will be in terms of teacher, itensity and cultural grounding. But I’m excited to maintain my commitment to moving through the water at least once a week. My local Bally’s had Zumba and it is in the heart of the Domincan community and those ladies were sashaying like pros, lol. It’s nice to find something you enjoy. I wish I had a gym buddy!

    • That is awesome! I forgot to add that I’ve done aqua zumba and I love it. It is actually a lot of fun doing water aerobics with good music pumping in the background. I would like to know how your class goes.

      I must get to zumba in your neighborhood. Sounds like a LOT of fun. Last night I took a Zumba class in the heart of Bed Stuy and I was so impressed with the GREAT GRANDMOTHER who was keeping up with the class. Also, the instructor had lost 45lb over the last year and regained a lot of health.

      Totally inspiring!

      Thanks for sharing.

      Typos, brevity and random word substitutions are compliments of an iPhone with a mind of its own.

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