by Chrysa Smith

Yes, the Wii Fit has lost its thrill. In early winter, it was great to head down into the basement and do some salsa, yoga or aerobics with the digital crowd on the screen. But now, I’ve had about enough of being house-bound. I’ve headed out to the yard on decent days: not decent enough to really do any gardening or sunbathing of substance—-yet.
So, when a friend asked me about joining her in a Zumba class, I gave an immediate YES. Going dancing? What’s not to like. I rarely do it anymore—-and with moves that burn between 800 and 1400 calories/hour—-yes, you heard it correctly, who couldn’t stick out an hour of continuous hip thrusting, pulsing and twirling? My God, I could have that chocolate cake and not worry about blowing anything. What a great exercise routine.
So great, in fact, that the next morning, I felt fine. No burning, no swelling, no aching muscles. Well, at least the first time. So I went the following week and did it all again. This time, the teacher added some weights and squats (I hate squats). Well that time, I did feel it; enough to postpone my next thrilling class till tomorrow night.
So what exactly is Zumba? It’s a combo of musical styles and dance moves that keeps you hyped and moving constantly—hitting most every part of your body. From what I could decipher, there’s Latin (ChaCha and Salsa), there’s Belly Dancing (with abdomenal and hip thrusts, flowing hand movements) Hip Hop (something you might be able to sing along to) and even some African sounding tunes. Through it all, there are familiar box steps, grapevines, side-steps and other aerobic moves. In fact, it might be described as ‘aerobics on steroids.’
Want to give it a try? There are classes throughout the country. Just do a search for Zumba, put in your zip code and check it out. If the adrenaline alone doesn’t motivate you, the clothing that the very fit instructors are able to wear, just might.