That’s what I’ve been doing, learning about Zumba workout videos. I’ve been a ‘dancer’ since I was very young, when my mom enrolled me in ballet classes. Dance is, in my opinion, one of the most glorious things about the human body, and one of the most fun activities I’ve ever done.
Early dance lessons imparted in me a sense of rhythm, grace, balance, and control; it is said that dancers are the most fit of all athletes, and I’d have to agree. I believe all that early training has impacted my entire life – we dancers have a certain way of walking that gives us away if you know what to look for: erect. smooth strides, often with toes slightly turned outward, and not much hip-sway (unless it’s intentional).
Dance workouts are not particularly new, so what is it about Zumba dance videos that is so attractive to so many? I mean, 15 million people in 185 countries are doing it! WOW! How is it I never heard of it? Zumba started in 2001, and hasn’t slowed down at all since then.
Of course, dance workouts have been around all of my life; I even have an old vinyl LP record of dance aerobics from way back in the 70s!
What is Special About Zumba?
Well, it uses Latin rhythms, which I seriously adore, for one thing. At least in the beginning that’s what they were, and anyone interested in dance and Latin culture knows how sultry and sexy the moves are. They aren’t easy, either – years ago I tried to get the hip-roll thing going, and it was difficult for me. But then, I have a history of back and hip problems which only recently have been treated successfully by a skilled chiropractor.
Dance and Me
As much as I love dancing – I have some limitations that I’m forced to work around. Turns out my spine has an extra lumbar vertebra and it is fused to my pelvis on one side. This is not really a rare condition, but it is congenital and most people who have it don’t even know. And it makes it impossible for me to do things like back-bends. My hips tend to become unbalanced, with one higher up than the other, also. So, no matter how much I want to learn certain moves, my body does not always cooperate.
Still I did fairly well as a gymnast and a ballerina growing up, and even kept up with dance through college and beyond. When I first heard about Zumba dance videos, I was excited to try them, and I still am. While my life has been fairly busy I haven’t had a gym membership, and it’s been years since I took any aerobics or dance classes or did any strength training. Zumba dance video workouts look very promising, indeed.
I have always loved watching dance movies, too, and have been known to dance along with them, so it won’t be hard at all for me to get motivated when I get started.
Do Zumba Dance Video Workouts Use Only Latin Music?
No – it turns out that as they’ve grown, Zumba has adopted other styles of music also, and in fact are now world-music more than just Latin. There are now Hip Hop numbers and regular ‘pop’ music offerings for those who’d prefer it, even Bollywood and soca (calypso – one of my absolute loves). To be honest, Hip Hop has never done much for me, so if it were Hip Hop only, I would have no interest in Zumba fitness workouts at all. But since I love Latin music, Zumba immediately piqued my interest. (I’ll skip the Hip Hop tunes, though, thanks all the same.)
Okay, so that’s a big plus – if you love the music, if it makes you want to dance – even causes the toe-tapping, hip swaying, arm movements, etc., then how can you go wrong using it as exercise? Seriously, don’t you have at least a few songs that make you stop everything and dance? I know I do! A Zumba fitness workout full video lasts about an hour, and after an hour of dancing, who wouldn’t be nice and exhausted and sore in that ‘good way’?
Zumba’s Dance Video Workouts Include Different Latin Dances
Salsa, samba, merengue, mambo, soca – all of them are included. (I wonder if they offer couples dancing like the Tango and other ballroom dances? I’d sign up, for sure!) I’m really looking forward to learning what all those dances are. For a while I was very interested in country line dancing, too – and a class is like that – line dancing. Fun.
So – in summary, you can find Zumba dance video workouts in every musical genre. Pretty cool, eh?
Now – back to me and my challenged spine. What I have learned from my chiropractor is that activity is the very best way to keep your spine in good shape (once it’s properly aligned), and also what sort of shoes to wear for maximum posture benefit. Guess what ladies? High heels are NOT good for you, and I personally tend to fall off of them, so the idea of a nice flat shoe sounds great to me, and will make my chiropractor happy, too!
(I’ll be talking about Zumba shoes in future posts; I need to go try on a few and assess them for my particular needs – I know that the closer to barefoot, the better, despite all the ‘trendy’ special shapes that have been introduced in modern sneakers.)
Free Zumba Online Workouts
One of the videos I watched was of a class (found here) for intermediate Zumba – obviously the people already knew the moves and even knew what piece of music was up next while doing it. Too advanced for me to keep up with (reminds me of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality being thrown into the pageant dance with no clue what she was doing).
So I need to start at a beginner’s level. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try all of the ones I can find online, borrow others from the library (including the book that contains dietary tips, too), and decide if Zumba is for me. After that, I’ll start making the investments into shoes and DVDs of my own.
Keep up with me as I embark on this journey into the world of Zumba fitness workout videos – a Jenny-come-lately, for sure, but hey, at 56 years old, I’m still very limber and I still love music and dancing, so why not? Who knows, I might even make a video or two of myself for you all to witness (laugh at) – starring in my own ‘dance movie’.
Shall we Zumba? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of Zumba, and my new adventure. Have you tried it, do you do it? What is your favorite and least favorite part of it all? Talk to me, and let’s dance!!