Fitness class review: Zumba

By in Sports & Health

Zumba has garnered a intensely popular following and is one of the classes that always seems to fill up quickly. Going into the class, the only thing I knew about Zumba was that it is an aerobic-dance exercise of some sort.

After being overwhelmed by spin in the last iteration of this series, I was apprehensive at the thought of another cardio-based class. This feeling continued when the the instructor walked in — a picture of intensity and fitness — wearing a Zumba-brand T-shirt.

However, this apprehension was quickly quelled the moment the instructor introduced herself and stated that her only rule was “no sitting.” Other than that, each participant was free to take the course at their own speed.

After subduing my anxiety, the instructor started us off with a Halloween-themed warm-up. As a complete sucker for anything Halloween, I was pretty excited to get started. As I quickly found out, Zumba is essentially a series of aerobic exercises done to music. Unlike the music used in spin, however, the music for Zumba is unmodified.

As we finished our spooky warm-up set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” I found myself having way more fun than I thought I would. The choreography was not demonstrated or explained thoroughly, and while that may sound intimidating, it was still a fairly approachable class for a number of reasons.

Firstly, many of the other participants weren’t experts in the choreography, and while some were better practiced, this did not make those without the same experience stand out.

Secondly, all of the moves switched at a fairly rapid pace, so if a certain move gave you trouble, you could be reassured that you wouldn’t have to struggle for long.

Thirdly, even when done perfectly Zumba still looks a little absurd, making it easy to feel comfortable — even if you’re the worst in the class, everyone looks a little weird.

Not only was the class welcoming, but it was also incredibly fun. As pop tunes played over the speakers, I danced around in circles, doing my best to follow the instructor.

At the end, the instructor split the room in half to do a sort of mock dance battle — the icing on the cake for this enjoyable exercise class. Overall, I would recommend the Zumba fitness class to anyone who likes to have fun with their workout.

Jack Thompson / Sports & Health Editor

Graphic: Oklanica / Flickr