I think its pretty well known that Ducky is a ZUMBA FREAK! to put it mildly. I fell in love with it about 4 years ago and for a long time it had me at the gym 5 days a week -its the only form of exercise that actually changed the shap of my body. Since having my child I have reduced the amount of time I spend away from home (ie at the gym) but still love Zumba as much as ever.
Many have asked questions and expressed interest but are still unsure as to what Zumba is (it's not a drink...sorry). The above widget is a sample of some music you might find in a Zumba class. Below is a description of Zumba and a few common Q&A's. The information comes via my Zumba instructor Mandi (thanks a million!!!). You can google Zumba videos if you'd like to see samples of what you may find in a class. Remember that each instructor will be adding their own flare to the class so it may differ a little, or a lot, from what you're watching. Get moving people!!!!

What the heck is Zumba anyway?

Zumba is an international dance inspired (mainly Latin inspired) aerobic interval training, meaning it alternates between fast and slower paced rhythms in order to get the maximum calorie burning benefit. It combines fun Latin moves from dances such as salsa, merengue, and cha-cha with an aerobic workout.

What is the history behind Zumba?
Zumba, originally known as “Rumbacize”, was created by accident in the 1990’s by Alberto Perez (a.k.a. Beto) in his native country Colombia, South America. Beto was getting ready to teach his aerobics class and realized he forgot his regular class music. He improvised his class by using his personal music he had in his car and combining his dance moves with aerobics and moving to the music! His class fell in love with his music and the dance moves he used, and thus, Rumbacize was born!

In 1999 Beto brought his class to the United States, and by 2001 he was approached by entrepreneurs, Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion, to form a company that was based around Beto’s fitness program. The name was officially changed to Zumba.

How is Zumba different from other aerobic classes?
One is not necessarily better than the other; they are just different!

Zumba is dancing TO the music while aerobics is moving WITH the music. That means that each song in a Zumba routine has its own choreography as opposed to just doing some basics steps to one steady beat of music. Zumba uses different types of music which makes it more fun! Plus, Zumba has a lot of different moves as it uses a lot of actual dance steps. This makes it more challenging for your muscles AND your mind!

Zumba teaches you to hear the music and to move to the music. Zumba is not a dance class, so don’t worry about not being able to dance, or how you look, or if you are doing the steps just right. There is no “right.” It doesn’t matter! Just keeping moving, keep the heart pumping, and have fun with it! That is the “right” way to Zumba!

A Little Q & A

What kind of shoes should I wear to class?
Something without a lot of tread - possibly a worn out tennis shoe. Dance sneakers are great. Running shoes are not.

Sometimes my knees start to hurt in class. Why?
Three things can cause this: 1) If your shoe has too much tread, then your not able to pivot on your feet as easily. Your knees are having to compensate for your feet sticking to the floor. 2) When you are pivoting/twisting you are probably not taking your knees where your toes go. Knees and toes should always face the same direction. 3) Ever hear me say, "Stick your butt out!"? It's not because I'm trying to get you all nasty!!! Keep your hips back and your knees soft (bent) so that whenever you make like a leg-squat motion your knees do not go past your toes. Never let your knees go past your toes. (If you need a visual on any of these, let me know!)

Can I do this? I'm not very coordinated.
Yes. Yes you are coordinated. Can you type? Can you tie your shoe? Do you walk, talk on the phone, vacuum, do the dishes? If you answered yes to at least one of these then YOU ARE COORDINATED! You may not get the moves exactly how I do them, but that's ok. That's what's great about Zumba. Add your OWN flare and style even if it isn't intentional! You'll get the moves. I promise you!

Will I look stupid?
No - exercising does not make you look stupid - your face does. (I kid! I KID!)

Where do you get your music and choreography?
All over! Zumba gives its instructors music and choreography every other month. We can choose what to do with the music and choreography. Some music I find on iTunes and some choreography I make up on my own.

check out:
http://www.livestrong.com/, search Zumba


adrienzgirl said...

Great post Daff! Thanks for the Zumba lesson!!

That One Mom said...

I wanna Zumba.... As long as no one is looking....

Dual Mom said...

I move like a white girl...seriously. It sounds like a lot of fun though!

Sandra said...

I absolutely love to dance, even if I'm not good at it. I've always wanted to try Zumba but I thought it looked too complicated to even try it. Your post has helped me see it a bit differently and now I've got see if I can find it held somewhere here so I can try it out.
Thanks for posting this.

Just Another Momma said...

This sounds really fun!! I much check this out. I need a figure other than a pear LOL

Big Boops said...

I LOVE zumba. When I was getting in shape (the first time) and I had hit a wall with jogging, I added in Zumba and it totally got me over the hill. And you feel sexy dancing and grooving, I thinks it a huge confidence booster for women.

Anonymous said...

When I get back from Blissdom I am totally buying the DVD set!

June said...

Zumba might just be a good thing for me to do by myself where nobody can see just how uncoordinated I really am!

Alex said...

Do a vlog of you doing Zumba...

I will do one of the 30 Day Shred...challenge is on!

Quixotic said...

I'm still working up the courage to get my fat butt to the local Zumba class... but now I have a bit more info, I'm getting closer... maybe I need to find a buddy...

Tracie said...

I'm going back tomorrow at 2. So excited!!!!

Another fact about knees: If you have high arches and they aren't supported in your shoes this will cause you to tork your knees. It's very, very bad for them.

You can buy a Birkenstock insert for your shoes that is wonderful to support your arches. (Same footbed as Birks. About $50.)

jules said...

I"m off to my first zumba class this morning. Funny I found your blog. Keep you fingers crossed I'm coordinated enough to get a good workout and not just stand there looking confused!

gayle said...

That sounds fun!!!

Tara said...

Zumba is HANDS DOWN my favourite form of exercise. I love it!

3creativechics said...

I know this post is older but I had to comment. I went to my first class last Wednesday and LOVED IT. Talk about a white girl who is so uncoordinated, but I have to say anyone can do it and will love it.