Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are You Ready To Zumba?

I recently took my first Zumba class at my gym, the hot and sexy workout that incorporates spicy Latin beats with easy-to-follow salsa, mambo and other fun dance steps. It was a total party atmosphere and an upbeat, exhilarating calorie-burning experience.

At first, I was totally nervous. My mother does Zumba in New Jersey and swears by it. It sounded more like a new fitness fad you did out in the burbs. I preferred my workouts in the spin studio or on the tread mill. But when celebrity fitness trainer and founder of Zumba Alberto “Beto” Perez was going to be teaching at my gym, I decided to see what the fuss was about.

I made my way to the gym on a recent Friday night. The room was packed with about 70 women and a small sprinkling of brave men. What I noticed first of course was what most people were wearing. They were proudly decked out in head-to-toe Zumbawear and dance shoes. I was really out of my league. I asked the woman next to me if she had ever taken this class before and indeed she did. She confided in me that her mom urged her to go so I knew I found a partner. Not only that, she wore the same black tights and grey tank top as me.

Zumba founder Alberto “Beto” Perez

Then HE came, entourage and all.

The entire room stood up, parted like the Red Sea and applauded their master.

It was all very moving.

For the next hour I felt like a J. Lo fly girl.

We did our salsa, mamba, reggae, cha-cha-cha and tango moves, even some fun hip-hop ones, shaking and grinding our hips as if we were belly dancers to the rhythms of the music. I was feeling as if I were in some exotic beach, dancing with a cocktail in my hand, having the time of my life. I didn't feel as if I were exercising at all. While I can admit I dance with two left feet, I was dripping with sweat and was exhausted by the end of class. After the class, my fear of dancing in public is over and I’m ready to merengue the night away.

Click here to watch what a class is like.

Columbian native Perez started Zumba, a Spanish slang meaning to move fast and have fun, in 2001 and the fitness movement has since exploded. As of July 2009, Zumba is being taught in over 40,000 location in 75 countries, sold millions of DVDs and has created a legion of Zumba fanatics worldwide with roughly five million participants taking Zumba classes every week, one of whom is my fabulous mother.

Incidentally, as I walked home I ran into my gorgeous friend and entertainment blogger Kelly and told her about my Zumba class and she told me her mother also takes it.

Mothers always know best.

I really enjoyed this class. I think next time I'll bring a friend to add to the festivities.


  1. I am now picturing an entire Zumba class full of middle aged mothers. It's funny what catches on in the and of fitness.

  2. ...and by "and of fitness" I meant "land of fitness."

  3. Good for you! I have been wanting to take salsa or tango lessons for a while, but after looking at the Zumba founder -- I may have to start there! Hehe. Sounds like you had fun and it also sounds like a great work out!

  4. I just love Zumba. It's the highlight of my workout week. The music is great and you loose yourself in the dance and the music. My class is full of women of all ages, and you can zumba at your own comfort level. It's great high level aerobics and in fact a 2 water bottle class. oxoxRainie


    One Love,

  6. I was at the gym today and saw these ladies doing some sort of fast dance and wondered if it was Zumba. It was! It looks fun!