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Mother-Daughter Zumba Party!

By Mia Coen

My mother and I left the new club down the street with soggy shirts and dripping ponytails after our mother-daughter Zumba excursion the other night. “Wow,” said my Mom. “That was a really good cardio workout! Too bad I don’t have any rhythm!”

It’s true. She’s not a dancer by nature, but I was impressed that she stuck out the hour of blood-pumping beats, shimmying, and booty-shaking that left everyone in the room soaked and stoked. In fact, I had no idea that I was capable of doing mambo, salsa, and belly dancing, all within the same routine!

If you’re not familiar with Zumba, you should be. It’s the latest group exercise phenomenon, and one of the fastest-growing programs in the industry’s history. It combines Latin, hip-hop, and other ethnic dance movements to the sound of pulsating rhythms from all over the world. It’s exhilarating! At least that was my overall impression as a Zumba virgin.

I have a friend who teaches it, as well as many friends who enjoy taking the class. They rave about how the dance-centric workout is not only effective exercise, but a great means of stress relief. When the instructor walked into the room, she said, “I’m in a funk today and I just need to Zumba!”

 After the simple warm-up, the instructor broke into a series of dance moves and we heard the words, “Okay! We’ve done this before! Now, step with hands, and turn and up, and shake for eight…” and so on. We realized that this was no beginner class. There were maybe 10 others in the class, including one brave young man, and we were all attempting to follow the instructor’s lead. Eventually she realized that most of us were not experienced Zumba-ers, so she toned down the dance combinations so that we could get the most out of it without looking like marionettes strapped to Slinkys.

Oh, and another thing: everyone in the class was wearing sneakers. If you’ve ever done exciting dance movements in sneakers, you’ll know the feeling: like your feet are cemented to the floor. Our instructor had jazz slippers on, which made her look graceful and light—unlike the rest of the class, including my Mom and I, trudging around like sumo wrestlers in clown shoes trying to keep up. (So I recommend bringing the right footgear, if you’re going to take up Zumba).

But aside from the inexperience and sneakers, it was so much fun! I had to chuckle seeing my mom do the Shakira booty shake, complete with shimmies and steps. By the last rep, I was definitely feeling “upbeat,” happy, and healthy—just the effect Patricia Glynn said Zumba would produce in her recent blog post about happiness.

I’ve tried and tested Zumba and it gets two thumbs up in my book! I’m looking forward to the class next week, and this time, I’ll be ready!

Here’s a fun Zumba tutorial you should check out:

Have you tried Zumba, or is there another workout experience you’d like to share? Please “Post a Comment” below…

Reader Comments (2)

Mia, you make some great points here. I've done Zumba a handful of times and never before have I had such a great workout and had fun at the same time. Love your comment about "looking like marionettes strapped to slinkys"! Great post!

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan Lynch

Awesome post! I'm intrigued! Zumba sounds like so much fun. I'm going to check out my local gyms and find a class. Thanks Mia!

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Lozeau

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