Zumba fuses Latin rhythms and cardio-intensive moves to create an addictive workout

It was inevitable. Now you can ‘party yourself into shape'. Given how short our attention spans are, this should work beautifully. After all, trudging endlessly on the treadmill is no match for dancing on a bar counter in Goa, or somewhere equally psychedelic. The only problem is potato chips and vodka shots tend to cause more problems than they solve.

Enter dancercise, which translates into dance routines taught at the gym, where you're surrounded by nothing more tempting than a muesli bar. It comes in various forms. The latest to hit the country is Zumba, a programme that fuses Latin rhythms and cardio-intensive moves to create a workout that's undeniably addictive.

At the launch of the Evolve fitness studio, set above Score gym, run by Ajit Shetty — trainer to the stars — Kirti Nagpal discusses why Zumba's going viral across the world. She's an instructor and marketing agent for the programme, which she teaches in Mumbai.

Contemporary music

“It's a combination of different forms of movement, all taken from Latin dancing — such as the samba, salsa, meringue and reggaton,” she says. The music, an important part of this workout, is contemporary and international. Although the programme is just 10 years old, it's become one of the world's largest dance-fitness programmes, with over 10 million people taking weekly classes in more than 110 countries.

The programme, taught by about 40 licensed instructors across the country, is making its debut in Chennai only now, although the city's already enthusiastically embraced all forms of Latin dance — from salsa to zouk. Unlike dancing, the focus here is on providing a challenging workout, and Kirti says Zumba — done correctly — can burn about 500 calories an hour.

Kirti will be teaching Zumba for a week at Evolve, before she heads back to Mumbai. After that, she plans to be back in May to look at training Zumba instructors in the city. For a trial class, drop by Evolve, at 265, TTK Road, Alwarpet. Or, call 4312-9869.

(Run by Dhananjai Golla, a martial arts master and fitness professional for 15 years, Evolve offers gymnastics, ballet and martial arts for children aged between eight and 16. There are also classes specialising in aerobics, dance and all-round fitness for adults, besides pre- and post-pregnancy classes for women. End your workouts with a chilled protein shake and raisin-crammed muesli bar at their café)