Every week night, around 6:30 pm, I open the doors to my apartment and jump in joy. Immediately, I blast my favorite song of the moment, Odd Look (A-Trak remix) by Kavinsky, and break it down in my living room to celebrate another day of hard work at the office. When I'm alone at my house, I am the Dancing Queen, but oh boy... when in public, body coordination is not my friend.
I love dancing. Who doesn't love dancing? However, if you're like me, you only dance in private because you think you look silly. Zumba is one of those activities you've decided you'd try one day when you're able to drag your dance-challenged buddy with you. Don't get stuck in this trap of thought! Although Zumba uses dance moves, you don't have to be a dancer in order to enjoy and feel the benefits of Zumba. Remember, Zumba is a fitness class, not a dance class! It's about sweating, not the dance moves.
What is Zumba?
Zumba, a free group exercise class at the YMCA of Greater Boston, is an amazing cardio exercise that works out every part of your body. It combines styles of dance from around the world into one great workout session with Pop, Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Salsa and other Dance music in the background. There is no equipment necessary for this class - just your dancing shoes! It's a fun way to work up a sweat while learning some simple dance moves.
All Zumba classes begin with a warm-up where the instructor introduces all of the dance moves which will be used during the class. Think of it as a little preview for your session. During the class, the instructor will give you frequent water breaks because you will work up quite a sweat in no time! Your body may become tired at times, but with energetic instructors and other participants all around you, you'll have a blast. Each session ends with a cool-down and group stretching session.
Who participates in Zumba?
Zumba is for everyone of all fitness levels. The instructor begins each session explaining the steps, so no experience is necessary! If you're like me and don't have the best memory in the world when it comes to remembering dance routines, don't you worry either! Since the instructor models all the moves in the front of the classroom during the session, it's super easy to follow along. Plus, the best thing about group exercise classes like Zumba is that you can blend into the crowd and learn by watching others in the group as well.
Just because we say it's for all levels of experience, don't take Zumba lightly. Expect to work up a sweat with the ability to adjust the difficulty of the class. The instructor can give you options for modified moves to make the class more intense.
What should you wear to Zumba?
- Wear clothes that are cool and comfortable to move in
- Sneakers - no traction shoes
What Should You Bring to Zumba?
Zumba Reviews & Tips from Others
Angela, Colleen & Shawna, Charlestown YMCA
Be laid back by bringing with you a sense of humor. Don't get stressed out about the moves, just get your sweat on!
Anne, Oak Square YMCA (Brighton, MA)
Expect it to take a few times before you catch on to all of the dance moves. I've been going to Selena's class for several months and am still learning new things. It's great exercise, even if you don't do all the steps perfectly.
Jennifer, Waltham YMCA
Zumba is the most fun I've ever had while exercising. The music is great, the moves are fun and it makes you feel super agile! Hannah, the instructor, is terrific - high energy, enthusiastic and great with choreography. Try Zumba for a couple weeks!
Kricket, North Suburban YMCA (Woburn, MA)
People of all levels and abilities take the class and nobody judges you if you're out of step. It's a lot of fun and the hour flies by. Don't be nervous to try it and don't be shy.
Lisa, Oak Square YMCA (Brighton, MA)
Give this free group exercise class a few tries before you decide if Zumba is for you. At first, it can feel a little fast-paced while you are learning the steps, but after a few classes you'll be more comfortable. Most Zumba classes use the same kind of steps, so once you have them down, you can take classes anywhere and pick up the routines really quickly!
I highly recommend this group exercise class. It's easier to get myself to class, knowing there will be great music, fun dance routines and a lot of other people working out alongside me who give the class a lot of great energy. I'm able to burn a lot of calories without it feeling like "exercise". Being in a group atmosphere also pushes you to give it your all and stick it out for the whole hour.
Sarah, Oak Square YMCA (Brighton, MA)
Make sure you can see the instructor and yourself in the mirror.
What Makes Zumba Great
Here's what our members said were their favorite parts of Zumba:
- Having fun while getting a cardio workout
- Great activity to do with friends
- The music
- Great choreography
- Makes you feel agile
- Being able to watch some of the class participants whom are very good dancers
Now it's time for you to try Zumba!