Step to the right, step to the left, two steps back…

This is not about the politics. This is Zumba.

Chances are you’ve heard about Zumba— the latest aerobics craze sweeping the athletic world. Zumba is a fitness dance program, a more cultural form of ‘dancercise’, a ‘feel-happy’ workout that is great for both the body and the mind.

Zumba is a party. It emulates being in a nightclub without the drinking, the smoking and the bad pickup lines.

Zumba means ‘fast moving’ in Colombian. So you move fast with fascinating percussion-based Latin-style music. Your fast–moving body simulates the saltations of flamenco, salsa, merengue, cumbia, belly dance and other boogie-woogies. You pump your legs, windmill your arms, gyrate your hips, clap your hands, dip, slide and spin — all to a frenzied beat that leaves you with flushed cheeks and dripping in sweat. It’s Zumba!

Some may say: “It does not feel like real exercise”. That’s right, it feels more like a party, yet being a no-kidding workout. It is sure different from pumping metal and chasing the ball, but vigorous dancing is proved to burn more calories per hour than riding a bike or swimming. Plus, dancing requires using muscles that you may not even know you had.

Fact: dancing provides cardiovascular conditioning, builds endurance and stamina, helps with weight loss, relieves stress, increases flexibility and balance, improves posture, strengthens bones, loosens and tones muscles.

Some may say:”It is not real dancing”. That’s right, it is aerobic dancing. Normally it takes two to salsa; it requires high heels for ladies and breath-freshener for guys. In Zumba you are unattached, wearing sneakers and sweating proudly without a fear to wet your partner. And still, you are dancing.

You don’t need to be a dancer to take pleasure in Zumba. And, yes, you can dance. Yes, you can. If you can operate you body – you can dance. “I have two left feet” is a not a valid excuse. Two right feet will not help either. Everyone can dance. Danceability is like a sixth sense, we are born with, but may lose in process of development.

Fact: all babies can dance.

Baby hears music and starts demi-plié-ing and shimmy-ing the diapered booty. Nobody teaches babies these authentic dance moves. It is an unconditional reflex ‘hear-music-move-your-body-parts’.

Fact: humans are born with a predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music.

Some individuals are severely rhythmically challenged (also a fact), however this condition is treatable. And Zumba can help.

Zumba class is typically a ladies’ playground. Most guys are reluctant to engage in activities, associated with dancing.

Some may say: “The majority of men are unable to dance”. Baloney! Yes, they can. And, yes, they can move their hips if they want (I mean sideways).

Some may say:”Dancing is not the most masculine avocation”. Really? And what is the macho-est one? Fighting?

Fact: there is a link between male dancing and male fighting ability.

To dance well, one needs good health, poise, coordination, stamina, strength, athleticism, rhythm, balance, suppleness, speed, an ability to predict and react to the movements of others, and style. All these things are also what make a good fighter. Yes, even style. Did you notice that great fighters are also very elegant? All the best male dancers had done martial arts. Patrick Swayze was a karate black belt. Bruce Lee was Hong Kong’s Cha-cha champion.
Historically some male tribal dances re-enacted mythological fights. Watching these recitals, women evaluated men’s ability to fight for them and the children (without putting the guys through a real test that could leave them with bleeding noses and broken ribs).

What can be manlier than earning woman’s trust? It takes some bravery to ask her to dance and make her surrender control of her body to your lead and her auto-pilot. Bottom line: becoming a good dancer is a sine qua non for a successful guy – an athlete, a fighter, a womanizer. Zumba can help.
“Ditch the workout, join the party” – Zumba’s motto. Have fun at the party, relieve anxiety, melancholy and stress, and elevate your mood.

Fact: good workout, as well as dancing, triggers elevation in transmission of neurochemicals like dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin.

So, Zumba can be a great alternative to drugs, alcohol and sex. Or, better to say, it is a great addition to sex sans drugs and alcohol.

Step left, step right, step it up and dance. It’s Zumba!