One of the items on my 30 Before 30 list was to try out Zumba. It is offered at my gym and I've been wanting to give it a try for years now. Many of you are probably already familiar with it, but for those that aren't, I will just say that it is basically Latin dance aerobics, with high impact and fast-paced moves that are based on salsa, merengue, hip-hop, etc. You can watch a few videos of Zumba here and here .
Last Thursday I finally psyched myself up enough to give it a go. I'd like to thank my 30 Before 30 List (and my boyfriend) for convincing me to let go of the fear and do some of the things that I'd been putting off for ages. Turns out a lot of people LOVE Zumba. There was a line of people waiting to enter that winded halfway around the gym. The room was warm--very, very warm--and very crowded. The teacher entered and immediately began playing some reggaeton-type music. When she started dancing, it looked like the world's best hip-hop dancer fused with a Latin dancer and then put on fast forward. For the first half hour, I was mostly trying to keep up and not get run over by the people around me. Once I got the hang of it, it was a lot of fun!
Upsides of Zumba: It was quick and high impact, so I was definitely sweating and burning some calories. Unlike many other group classes, it was a lot of fun and didn't feel like I was in a workout class. The music really keeps you going. Some of the women in my class said that some songs have defined moves, so if you learn those, it will make future classes easier. If you are one of those people that likes to work out with mostly women, this may be the class for you. There wasn't a single guy in the class of 40-50 students. And lastly, you could probably use some of these moves out on the town.
A few downsides: It can be difficult to see what the teacher is doing. The dances move so fast that by the time I got one down, we were already on to the next one. The fact that it is high impact can be hard on your joints (my ankle, knee and back have been hurting since Thursday).
If you are thinking of trying Zumba: Wear supportive sneakers, take a water bottle and a towel, and stand where you can get a good view of the teacher's feet. Do not try to hang out in the back because you won't see the moves and won't get in a workout. Most importantly, be able to laugh at yourself. A lot.
Have you tried Zumba? What did you think of it?