This Week We’re Obsessed With… Zumba!

By, Sammy Caiola

Native Foods Cafe

I’ve found the key to happiness: it’s Zumba. Now I know
you’ve probably all heard that it’s a crazy fad designed to embarrass women who
lack Latin dance hips, but I promise you, as a fellow health-positive
veggie-lover, Zumba is the best way to get in touch with your purest, fittest,
most confident self. Just hear me out.

Zumba, created in 2001, is a blend of Latin dance, hip hop
and aerobics taught by a certified instructor to a large group of people
(typically women). The instructor stands at the front of the room or on a
platform and you, the zumba-er, follow his or her moves step by step for 15 or
16 songs (classes last one hour including warm-up and cool-down). The music
pounds, the booties shake, and the energy buzzes as dozens of women get into
their Zumba groove. It is a truly magical experience that you really can’t
understand until you try it. You’ll get so excited about learning the
choreography that you won’t even realize you’re burning 600-800 calories.

It has blown up over the past two years, but that’s because
the more people discover it, the more it grows. Zumba claiims that there are
140,000 Zumba-ers globally. The world record for largest Zumba class is
currently 1,294 at Clemson
in South Carolina. Here they are:

Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of

I was never someone who worked out. Really, it had zero
appeal to me. I wouldn’t run, wouldn’t lift. I felt self-conscious at the gym,
positive that I was doing it wrong. And when I could get myself onto a
treadmill, I just couldn’t stay engaged. I just wanted to be doing something
else. Anything else.  But when I first tried a Zumba class with my
mom, it opened up a door. I fell in love with the upbeat Latin music, the
intricate choreography, the supportive environment. There’s no judgment in
Zumba. Everyone’s there to have a good time and get a good workout, and nobody
cares how you look. But the truth is, you’re going to look good. And even if
you don’t you’re not going to care. You’re going to feel good, because
everyone’s going to be whooping and shouting and clapping like it’s one big
Zumba party- and who cares how you look when you’re having that much fun?

Zumba is for all shapes and sizes. If these ladies can do
it, you can too:

Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of

Since Zumba-ing for the first time, I now do it twice a week
and have plans to get certified as an instructor. I’ve Zumba-ed in three
countries (it’s taught in 185). I’ve Zumba-ed at community fundraisers and in
my own living room. I’ve Zumba-ed with strangers and with my closest friends.
Anytime I’m feeling down or insecure, I just head to a class or pop in the Wii
Zumba disc. So don’t worry about putting on weight this winter. Just eat your
veggies and get yourself to a Zumba class. And when you’re done, feel free to
whip up chef Kendall’s Raspberry
Beret Smoothie
to refuel on energy!


11 thoughts on “This Week We’re Obsessed With… Zumba!

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