If you haven’t heard by now, Zumba is the dance fitness class that’s currently making waves across the country. It was created in the mid-90s by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez (a choreographer for pop stars like Shakira) by accident, when he forgot his usual fitness music and used Latin music instead. But what makes it so unique is that it uses a variety of different dance styles including salsa, merengue, belly dancing, samba, Bhangra and hip-hop, set to Latin, African and Caribbean-based music – and it’s actually fun, making working out seem like, well, not working out.
The enthusiastic and energetic teacher of the Zumba class I went to at the O2 Esporta stressed to us that we should just have fun and not worry about getting everything right, which was a change from the usual ‘no pain, no gain’ ethos you get from some instructors (the ones who think they’re actually drill sergeants). Meanwhile, the fear of actually doing yourself an injury from bad technique is also erased, leaving you to just enjoy yourself. The moves themselves make you feel sexy, powerful and feminine (it’s a class that’s targeted at women) and you can’t help but smile and woop as the music builds momentum and you lose all inhibitions, sashaying across the room, waving your arms, shaking your bum and feeling like a dancer in an MTV video. This is definitely an exercise class for people who don’t like exercise -and for more info visitwww.zumbauk.co.uk. (Words: Priscilla Ayres, Pic: SaySandra)