Thanks to my mum, my sister and I found ourselves in tutus and ballet shoes pretty much as soon as we could walk. Growing up we spent many a Saturday at dance school doing formal ballet, tap and modern lessons, while evenings and holidays were spent making up our own choreography and putting on dance shows for anyone who would watch.
There is something so very liberating about throwing yourself, heart and soul, into a dance, and something about the combination of choreographed movement and music that really holds you in the moment.
Regretfully, as I’ve gotten older, the opportunities to dance have depleted somewhat and while I’m apt to do a little bop on the tube or during my walk to work if the right song is playing through my headphones, in more recent years full throttle dancing is often only brought about by the deadly combination of gin and late ’80s/ early ’90s hits (as shown above). Or at least that was the case, until I discovered Zumba.
Those of my male friends who have heard tell of the recent Zumba craze regard it with the suspicion of a cult. I can only chalk this up to the sheer addictiveness of the classes and the unmitigated euphoria that follows.
Having been focused on more traditional running, weights and circuit training I came to Zumba with a degree of scepticism (heathen, I know!). I questioned whether it would be high intensity enough and what it would add to my exercise routine. It only took one class for all of my doubts to be quashed.
At Dancing Street we dance solidly for an hour going directly from one song to the next, with just time for a sip of water in between. With moves inspired by street, hip hop, Latin and contemporary, not only does it help with coordination and flexibility but also offers a killer cardio and core workout.
Pamela, our instructor, is amazing and manages to make even the stretch-down look sexy and while I’m all flailing limbs, vaguely in time with the music, she makes everything appear so effortless.
Nothing boosts my mood like a good Zumba class and I love the satisfaction of mastering a new routine. There have also been days when I know my resolve wouldn’t have got me to the gym after a long day at work, but will see me bobbing and wiggling my way to Zumba and burning off a good 600 plus calories in the process.
Read more about Dancing Street here and for now I will leave you will my favourite new Zumba song and challenge you not to dance!