K. Jeshi dances the zumba and comes back feeling the zing
“Let’s do Cumbia,” instructs G.S. Edwin and to the count of ‘one, two’ ‘one, two’ I move my right leg front and back rhythmically and swing my hands to the beat. That is the first dance step, which seems like a Tamil dappakunthu style. “Cumbia, the first level in Zumba workout, is a set of Colombian folk dance moves. That’s why you have the tribal style,” explains Edwin.
Zumba is a dance fitness programme created by dancer and choreographer Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez in the 1990s. It has a set of fast and slow rhythmic steps, and the music originates in the Latin-American styles as well as reggae, salsa, merengue, samba, flamenco, belly dancing, bhangra and hip hop. “Once Perez forgot his tape for the aerobics class. So he took traditional salsa and merengue music that he had in his backpack and conducted the class. And, called it zumba,” explains Edwin who is a licensed instructor in Zumba, certified by Perez. Every single move in the dance fitness programme is certified and patented. This also includes the 10-minute warm up, and a cooling down session at the end of the workout. Zumba should be ideally danced on a wooden floor, as it cushions your feet as you perform the high-intensity dance steps. “It’s a total body workout”, says Edwin as he teaches the second step. I put my right foot forward, move my legs, hips, and stretch my shoulders and swing my arms. I do the same with my left foot. The shoulder stretches improve flexibility and builds stamina in upper body. Weight loss and toning up are the added perks. A one-hour dance workout is believed to burn about 600 to 1000 calories.
While Cumbia, a set of low intensity dance steps, sets the pace for a Zumba workout, Reggaeton, the second level is full of high-intensity moves. You thump, jump, and throw your arms around ( a great cardio workout!).
There are several Zumba training programmes for toning (done with dumbbells), for kids and for the old. “Since the dance involves a graceful movement of hips and waist , it is a big hit among women,” says Edwin. The ‘Zumba fitness party’ has caught on in a big way in the West. They serve low calorie food, non-alcoholic drinks, and then hit the dance floor.
After a short training session, I mentally rehearse the steps and confidently join in for a live workout. As the Latin-American beats fill the air, there is no stopping us. We jump, thump, stretch, move, loudly yell haa and dance.
Zumba classes are on at Footloose Dance Academy located at D.B. Road, R.S. Puram. For details, call: 98422-22467.
Keywords: Zumba workout