You must have heard by now about the Z-word; it’s the latest, trendiest, coolest way to keep fit and have fun as you do – didn’t you know?
I had been meaning to jump on the bandwagon for months, until I came to Mexico, joined a gym, and saw the perfect opportunity to go for it. Where better than in the very heart of Latin America itself?
Because yes, Zumba comes from this part of the world, where hip-swinging, toe-tapping, and body-spinning is performed with a sensuality and rhythm that is innate only to the wonderful Latin American people. Dances such as salsa, cumbia, and merengue are second nature here, and it is a combination of these that gave birth to the official workout version, Zumba.
Now, the first thing to do is to not be afraid. The first, second, even third time will be a challenge, because your body has never moved like this before. DON’T GIVE UP! Let your body give in to the music and just go with it – being a natural is of no importance here, it’s all about dancing, getting into shape, and above all enjoying the experience.
Zumba is the most fun you will ever have while doing exercise, very decent exercise, too. You will tone up every part of your body, you will sweat, and you will learn something new every time. You will see your level improve as quickly as after just one week, you’ll feel stronger and you’ll become familiar with all the moves. This is one of the most rewarding things about taking up Zumba: getting to learn to dance in a totally different way.
Here in Mexico, salsa bars and clubs are all over the place, because it is something that is integral to the culture – simple as that. I don’t know about you, but at home in the UK, you have to search very hard for such a thing; the ‘dances’ we have just aren’t the same. So Zumba is a great way to get a taste of salsa without looking any further than your local gym.
So, what are you waiting for? Track down your nearest Zumba class and go for it, I guarantee you won’t regret it. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a towel – you’ll be needing it!