Don’t be alarmed if you hear loud chants and tongue rolling at your local gym this weekend. It’s just a highly charged class in a Zumba® session.
Followers of the popular exercise class will commit to the hour-long fitness party on Saturday morning, while others shop in overcrowded malls for post-Thanksgiving sales.
Known for breaking the rules with spicy Latino and colorful International music, Zumba (pronounced “zoom bah”) is a spin off of traditional aerobics classes. Participants get the cardiovascular component and also tone and sculpt in the process. Unlike mall walking, a person can burn between 250 to 600 calories without ever realizing it.
Candice Craig, a front desk and sales agent at Liverite Fitness Center, said their Zumba classes are usually packed.
“People get very disappointed when they hear about a cancelled Zumba class,” Craig said. “We’ve had to accommodate them by making it available three days a week, but the biggest session is always on Saturday.”
Fitness instructor Kaitlyn McDonald teaches at three locations in Indianapolis. With a passion for dance, the 21-year-old became intrigued when she learned that she could fuse it with exercise. McDonald said it’s the “feel good” atmosphere that keeps people coming back every week.
“I believe the fitness dance classes tend to draw a more diverse crowd because it’s simply fun,” she said. “You’re definitely going to sweat, but also have a good time doing it.”
McDonald, who also teaches hip-hop classes, said people are able to maintain and lose weight without pressure or guilt. It’s a lot better than a normal workout because it makes you more comfortable, you can feel like you’re actually getting a full workout and the rule is to have fun with it.
Rachel Harris agrees wholeheartedly.
Harris attends a newer version called “Body Gym” at Lifestyle Family Fitness on the city’s north side. Since May, she has lost 18 pounds. Harris credits dancing to 90s hip-hop and meringue to helping her achieve the weight loss.
“I love to dance and it’s really good cardio,” she said. “I have burned more than 500 calories during Body Gym…it’s so cool because it doesn’t really feel like I’m working out!”
Zumba classes are included with membership at most gyms, and are free at area recreation venues like Broad Ripple Park Family Center.
Visit www.zumba.com to find a class near you.
Aside from the savory authentic Mexican dishes at Adobo Grill, Saturday night salsa is the next best thing. Marcus Gunther of Salsa Indy pairs beginners with each other and teaches a variety of popular Latin dances.
After the lesson, you can practice with partygoers who are eager to dance the night away. Warning: this scene isn’t for the wallflower!
Where: Adobo Grill (Downtown), 110 E. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
When: 10 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Admission: Free before 10 p.m.; $5 cover charge after 10 p.m.
Street and garage parking available.
Did you know?
As of July 2009, Zumba® has been taught at over 40,000 locations in 75 countries. (www.zumba.com)