Have you tried Zumba? I have zero rhythm and NO Shakira hip shaking, but I have a blast in Zumba. So don’t think for a second you have to know how to dance to get started. Case in point: Dani Salomon, Zumba instructor extraordinaire at Mountainside Fitness Pavilions and Mountainside Fitness North Scottsdale. Dani had been a group fitness instructor for 20 years before she took her first Zumba class. “It took me awhile to move my hips in a Latin fashion,” says Dani. Now Dani shakes, shimmies and wiggles, teaching 3 Zumba classes a week. But booty-shaking aside, Zumba has some real benefits, from the physical to the mental. Here Dani runs down her top 5…
Benefit: Build confidence
There’s a woman who comes to my Zumba class who wouldn’t go to a group class at first; she was too embarrassed. We worked one-on-one learning the moves, which gave her enough confidence to try a group class, where the participants encouraged her even more. She’s now a class regular!
Benefit: Built-in camaraderie
My Zumba class is full of loving and open-minded participants who wanna have fun. They like to laugh, talk and get to know each other before and after class. There’s definitely a social aspect to it. As one student said: It doesn’t matter if you’re zigging while everyone else is zagging because no one is judging you.
Benefit: Fun, fun, fun!
I dare you not to have a hip-shaking good time! Zumba is like going out and dancing with your friends. The music is infectious, and every 3-4 minutes we’re changing up what we’re doing, so an hour goes by in a snap.
Benefit: Burn a ton of calories
Disguised in all that fun is a cardio workout that also integrates interval training. You’re varying intensity levels just by the rhythm of the music. The result: You can burn up to 1000 calories depending on how much you put into it. The more you exaggerate your movements – the more umph you put into it – the more calories you burn!
Benefit: You’ll want to keep coming back
Committing to exercise is a challenge a lot of people have, but with Zumba it’s easy. Because of the fun, the camaraderie, the fitness benefits, it’s easy to look forward to your next class. And no two classes or instructors are the same, so it never gets boring.