Man, oh man! As a student at the University of Memphis, I've rarely taken advantage of the on-campus fitness center. I decided to check out what group fitness classes they're offering this fall. Since this is my last semester at the U of M, I figured I might as well take advantage of the free yoga, pilates, kickboxing, etc.
I was stoked when I saw that they're offering Zumba FOUR times a week! I keep seeing ZUMBA signs in the lawn of just about every other church in the city of Memphis, and I was just so curious about this whole dance workout craze.
|After 1 hour of Zumba... I'm lovin' it!|
Yet again, I recruited a buddy, Cristin, to join with for my first Zumba experience. Exercise is always more fun with a friend, y'all! I wasn't too sure what to expect, and to be honest I almost
chickened out didn't go. Not gonna lie... I was kinda nervous that I would walk in and end up looking a lot like Aunt Viv from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when she decided to take a modern dance class.
I decided to youtube a Zumba video to understand what on earth I was getting myself into, I took one look at this video... Zumba - My Hips Don't Lie and I was sold!
I LOVED it! In fact I can't wait to go back on tomorrow morning! Zumba combines salsa, african dance, belly dancing, hip hop, and I swear at one point we were doing a bat mitzvah dance (disguised by Shakira's latin music.) This is an excellent workout! Seriously! I was sweating before the end of the second song! This form of exercise really requires you to use all of your muscles, which I love! Plus, I truly didn't feel like I was exercising! It's so true, it felt more like a dance party than anything else.
|Check out Cristin's blog to read about her thoughts on Zumba!|
For those of you who may not know, I'm currently interning with Shelby County Schools - Coordinated School Health. CSH focuses on "eight (8) areas of interaction necessary in coordinating the health needs of our schools and communities." One of those components is "Health Promotion for Staff." The Shelby County Schools recently opened a Minor Medical clinic for it's staff, faculty, and administration. It's pretty amazing. This means if a teacher needs to run to the doctor they don't have to go to the local Baptist Minor Med and wait in the lobby for 3 hours. In addition to that, they also provide free group exercise & fitness classes at the central offices after the school day ends. So teachers, staff, etc can come from all over the county to take a kickboxing or boot camp class. It's a pretty great opportunity for those employed in the school district who don't want to join a gym, or may not feel like they have the time to head over French Riviera Spa or 24-Hour Fitness.
At work yesterday, I was relaying my first Zumba experience to some of the ladies in my office. They were all about trying out some Zumba moves. The response I got... "Girl, you need to learn those Zumba steps and come up here and teach us! Girl, I LOVE to dance." It was then that I told them that I know ALL OF THE LINE DANCES (no, not the grab-your-partner-dosey-doe line dances!) I'm talking about "The Cupid Shuffle," "The Cha Cha Slide," "The Homey Twist," just to name a few. And yes, I did say "The Homey Twist." These ladies were crazy excited, I might as well have just told them that I personally choreographed Beyonce's last tour. They urged me to talk to my supervisor about teaching some classes to the staff.
I first discovered the world of line dancing when I started working at Church Health Center Wellness. Let me tell ya a little known fact about moi... while working in Childhood Education & Movement I taught a class called "Movin' & Groovin'." In essence, I was teaching "hip hop aerobic dance" to my kids at work every Thursday night. Laugh all you want at the mental image, but during the family edition of "Movin' & Groovin'," Travonte's mom told me straight up, "Girl, I was watching you dance... and sister got soul!" That my friends, was the ultimate compliment for a little white girl from the suburbs. I will say that I have all those Britney Spears & Destiny's Child music videos I watched back in middle school to thank for that. :)
All that to say, it looks like I may have just added another element to my current internship duties, and I'm not complaining! Hey, anytime I can get paid for dancing to fun music, helping people get healthy, AND have a good time... sign me up! Who knows, if I keep up with these Zumba classes at Memphis, maybe I'll go ahead and just get certified as an instructor! Apparently there's an instructor training happening in Memphis in November. I'm kinda tempted...
If you're looking to try out Zumba,
check out Zumba Fitness to find a class near you!
|You might even be lucky enough to score a FREE Zumba bracelet!|