Zumba is an “an aerobic fitness programme featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance“. As someone who is rubbish at dancing it was out of my comfort zone but the joy of Skype means you can literally dance like no one is watching. I spoke to Zoe Folbigg about her love of this movement class.
When did you discover Zumba?
I knew about the Zumba concept and brand and always thought it would suit me as I love Latin music (which I sing badly to) and dance (and I am a bad dancer). But I didn’t try it until about three years ago when I noticed a class at my local gym and it fit around my schedule. And I loved it!
Have you done it every since?
I don’t do it every week – although sometimes (pre-lockdown) I went to both classes (Tuesday and Friday) at my gym. My work is erratic, so when I’m on deadline it’s harder for me to go, but I certainly notice when I don’t do it for a few weeks because one Zumba class lifts me mentally. And I start actually missing the songs. So much so that I had to make my own Spotify playlist of the songs in the classes.
How often do you do it?
Well I aimed for once a week, then lockdown happened and the gym closed. I knew the mental health boost of Zumba would help me in lockdown, and the movement obviously too, so I searched online and found a Zumba video on Amazon Prime led by Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba. At one point in April/May I was doing that hour-long workout every day. If I didn’t, I just didn’t feel as able to manage with homeschool or all the stresses that lockdown threw at me. So I was doing it a lot! Then my Zumba teacher from the gym started running her class on Skype and that was wonderful. I’m now doing her weekly Skype class and the Beto Perez video once a week.
What other forms of movement/exercise do you do?
I run two to three times a week, I do circuits with Anna, and I do Pilates with Guro Eide. So I move quite a lot.
How does it compare in terms of what you get from it, what you feel it’s working?
Running is hard on my legs and hips; Pilates stretches and offsets the running; and Circuits keeps everything fresh and interesting. So I think Zumba is best for the freeing feeling of joy I get from it, while getting an all-over aerobic workout.
Why do you love it?
I love that the mental health benefits of Zumba are as strong as the physical health benefits. I am so happy and joyful in a Zumba class that I’m always a bit disappointed when it’s over. That never happens with running!
Who else is in your class?
At the gym it’s a mix of women of all ages – in their twenties to some in their seventies. I have only ever seen one man at a Zumba class which is a real shame. Every week I wait for Ricky Martin to walk into the studio
Which class do you go to?
Pauline Tsang-Goodwin is the goddess who changed my life at the gym (and now on Skype). She just emanates positivity and vitality, which is what the Zumba ethos is all about.