Zumba - Are You Ready for the Party?By Melikeyuk
Wikipedia cites it as “A program combining Latin and international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun. Zumba classes are offered through licensed instructors in more than 90,000 fitness centre locations in 110 countries with ten million participants!"
In an effort to lose some weight and put a bit of spring in my step I wanted to enrol in some Zumba classes in London. I had looked into buying a Zumba dvd and doing it at home (i.e. the cheats option) but I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the price.. £50 and knowing my experience of exercise dvds, It probably would not have been a wise investment!Like many others, I dread the thought of going to the gym and working on the same machines, going through the same motions day in, day out (snore, snore). Even the numerous TV channels cannot hold my attention for too long! I never quite understood people who claim to be addicted to the gym - clearly I must be missing something!I am a huge fan of Groupon and each morning I delve into my mails to see what treats they have on offer. A few weeks ago, there it was jumping out at me: "Groove Your Way to A New Body with Five Zumba Lessons and a Glass of Healthy Acai Juice at Malocafor £14.35 instead of £41".But how could I resist? A new body and a free juice all for £14.35! It had my name written all over it! I signed up immediately for it. The offer seemed very reasonable too. The classes are normally £7 and I think five lessons are enough for you to know if you are a Zumba converter or not!I was spoiled for choice for classes. I opted for the Monday afternoon class 1-2pm.Maloca is situated on Putney Bridge Road just up from and diagonally opposite the old Cafe Rouge restaurant– a 7 minute walk from Putney train station.On arrival there is a warm and friendly welcome by the lady who runs the cafe, she takes your details and shows you downstairs to the changing area.Five minutes later I’m back upstairs with my very revealing lycra pants (not to be worn outside!) in the Anaconda studio conversing with other newbies to the class – there are about 16 of us. The studio is large enough to hold us and we are all eagerly awaiting the instructor.Suddenly a very petite and slender looking girl enters the room with a huge smile to match her confidence. It becomes apparent that she is the Zumba instructor. She introduces herself as Marta and she looks as if she is about to burst with happiness. It is so clear that she loves what she does and her enthusiasm is infectious!After a brief introduction, she is getting us to warm up and she makes speed shaking her Zumba clad booty look so effortless – a skill I’ve yet to master!This is followed by a number of different Zumba workouts which have a combination of Samba, Rumba, Reggaeton and Salsa all performed to the tunes of Christina Aguilera, Shakira and other Latin artists (not forgetting the contributions of Marta – I did tell you she was enthusiastic). At some point I am convinced she is bouncing off the walls!
Is it difficult to follow? You know what they say “Practice makes perfect”. I am a bit slow initially as I feel as stiff as a board and I am not accustomed to moving my hips so vigorously! Eventually the routine falls into place and while I do not look like a natural, I have a good old giggle trying to mimic the moves of Marta!Every routine is preceded by a 1 minute demo in slow motion by the Zumba Instructor so that the class knows which moves to make. All too quickly we have come to the end of the class and we are performing some stretches and cooling down and I ask myself has Zumba met their objective;Do I feel like I have been exercising? Well judging by my knees and other joints - Yes!Did I have fun? Yes – all of the class are grinning like Cheshire cats!
I believe this is somewhat helped by the variety of routines, the enthusiasm of the instructors and continuous theme of everyone enjoying themselves.The proof? Lots of smiles on class attendees and the main question for the instructor – when are you next taking the class?Will I be returning to Zumba? You can count on it!
Before leaving Maloca, the offer entitled me to a free Acai berry juice. I had not tried it before so did not really know what to expect. It was just the ticket to pick me up! It was more of compote than a juice, packed full of vitamins and topped with banana and muesli. Scrummy!
If you have the time and fancy trying out some Zumba classes in London, check out Maloca’s website for the class timetable at the link below:http://www.malocauk.com/MALOCA/WELCOME.html
Tell them MeLikeyUK sent you!
Photo Credit :Zumba Class by Cimm & Acai Berry by Bruno Peck
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