Did You Say Zumba?
By Mary Miller Cullins
Most of us have heard the word Zumba. My daughter took a zumba class at the Y, a friend asked if I could zumba, and last weekend I saw a headline that read “ZUMBA-The Hottest New Exercise Craze”. Then I had an opportunity to take a class.
As part of the City of St. Louis’ Bee-Fit Program a Zumba class was added to a host of other choices offered to help you “Be Fit”. Matt Meyers, the Director of the Bee-Fit Wellness Program for city employees, does a great job helping us get healthy. Meyers instituted the city’s Weight Loss Challenge, motivating 100′s of city employees to lose 1000′s of pounds. In addition to offering a marathon challenge this Fall, many of us got moving this past summer by joining his “On the Move” challenge, increasing our daily steps to well over 10,000 per day.
So now, due to the latest “craze” and popular demand Matt Meyers has hooked us up with a Zumba class! The Zumba program mixes hypnotic Latin rhythms with easy-to-follow moves (usually 4 different steps per dance), creating a program that is fun, healthy, and a calorie burner all at the same time. A typical class burns anywhere from 500-1, 000 calories!
The music includes fast and slow rhythms and comes from the following dance styles: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, samba, hip hop music, and bellydancing. In the 1990′s trainer “Beto” Perez stumbled upon the concept of Latin inspired dance-fitness. One day he forgot his aerobics music for a class he had to teach and grabbed whatever music tape was in the car. The tape was traditional Latin salsa and merengue.
After the initial success of Perez’s Zumba Fitness Party in Columbia, he brought the Zumba to the United States in 1999. In the past few years the Zumba program has been spreading like wildfire. As of last October, the Zumba Program was being taught at over 90,000 locations in 110 countries.
So every Tuesday and Thursday, for the next month or so, some of us will be having a Zumba Party on our lunch hour. Our instructor, Nancy Trail, from BJC Wellness, keeps us motivated and moving with her fun dance moves and her positive energy. Thanks Nancy!
If you have been asking yourself should I try to Zumba? Can I do it? Is it too hard? Yes, you should try it, yes, you can do it, and no, it is not too hard, just too fun! It’s a fun class, with a fun bunch. And like my dad always said, “It must be jelly, cause jam don’t shake like that”. You got that right, dad!
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