Zumba: fun trumps technique in dancing calories away

Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:07am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - There's a party going on next door. While you're dutifully pounding that treadmill, the Zumba folks are dancing their calories away.

Taking a class in Zumba-high-energy aerobics workout performed to a fusion of mostly Latin dance rhythms is a bit like going to a short, sober, and very hip wedding.

"Zumba is very accessible, really fun, and all ages participate," Carol Espel, spokesperson for Equinox Fitness, said in an interview.

"You get a really nice cardiovascular workout and walk away sweaty and smiling," Espel, group fitness director for the national chain of luxury health clubs, explained. "It's not like you have to think about every single step."

At a recent Zumba class in New York City, fun trumped technique as a merry band of exercisers danced the samba, merengue and rumba to a mix of Latin, hip hop and oldies.

"If the teacher is motivational," said Espel, "they create this environment that gives you permission to let loose."

And let loose they did. shimmying with abandon to "Rockin' Robin," cooling down to "Chain of Fools."

"Some work hard and others not as hard. You can go all out if you want to," said Espel.   Continued...