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October 5, 2010 - Jennifer Brookens
After being a busy gal all summer, then hitting a case of the autumn blues, I forgot how good it feels to get out and get moving again. I remembered this last night, after my first Zumba class of the season.

For those not in the know, Zumba is kind of like an aerobics class meets dance party with a Latin flare. It was created in the mid-90s by a Colombian aerobics instructor who one day forgot his regular aerobics music, but all that he had for music with the needed beats-per-minute were some of his personal salsa and merengue CDs. He played them for his class and it was a hit! Now Zumba is all the rage, even in Martin County.

I first learned about Zumba from a friend in Utah who has been on a fitness kick the last few years. When a class on Zumba was offered last spring, I did a feature on it and was hooked! Unlike the aerobics classes from the 80s, the dance steps are more simple, no high kicks or pretzel-twisting shapes, and the moves aren't meant to be perfectly in sync with the instructor. More like a free-for-all dance party.

The best part is, you don't need to have the hip-gyrating power of Shakira or Beyonce to look and feel great! In this most recent class, there was a mix of all types, from a few high school girls to an 89-year-old woman. The moves are simple enough, even seductive, yet give a good workout. And everyone has good humor about it, no worries about missed steps since everyone - even our instructor - sometimes goofs. Ellen de la torre, our instructor, is certified through the official Zumba network to teach Zumba and Zumba Gold (light impact) and is such a fun woman - it's very tough NOT to catch her enthusiasm.

But coming home after that workout, I felt better physically than I have in months. I also sadly realized that might have been the first time I got some legitimate exercise since the last class ended in May. Since I'm still feeling that exercise high here the next morning, I think I've learned my lesson never to go so long without again. In fact, I happen to know there is another Zumba class being held in Sherburn on Thursdays this fall. Hmmm... :)


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