If you ever look at my Facebook/Twitter, you might know from my updates that I am mildly obsessed with Zumba. I love it. I’d heard about it for the last few years, but had never tried it until I joined the Ann Arbor YMCA this fall. For those of you unfamiliar with the greatness that is Zumba, it’s a one hour class that blends Latin music with easy-to-follow dance moves. During the course of the class, you’ll do intervals of fast and slow rhythms, as interval training has been shown to be extremely effective at burning fat, and the dance moves you do are designed to tone and sculpt your body. Celebrity fitness trainer “Beto” Perez created Zumba in the mid-90’s and today over 5 million people worldwide do Zumba each week. The main reason that Zumba is so successful (and that I love it so much) is that it’s just plain fun! Consequently, if you enjoy a workout, you’re more likely to keep doing it, which is why it’s a great way to get in shape. Zumba’s tagline is “Ditch the workout, join the party!”, and it’s so true! We’ve all had that feeling of dragging ourselves to the gym, and then just absolutely dreading running on the treadmill (at least I know I’ve had this feeling, I’m hoping I’m not alone!), but I can honestly say, I never feel this way about Zumba; quite the opposite, I truly look forward to and get excited about going each and every week. And let me say, I am by NO means a dancer, I’ve actually never taken a dance class, and am pretty much the most uncoordinated person every when it comes to anything remotely involving dancing, and even I can do Zumba! The great thing about the class is that the focus isn’t on getting all the steps right, it’s about keeping your body moving for an entire hour and having a great time! I think that’s why I feel so joyful and exuberant when I’m in class, it’s my chance to just be totally free and dance my little heart out, and even though I probably look like a fool and don’t get all the moves exactly right, it’s ok! In the class I take at the YMCA, there is a wide age range of women from people my age, to women in their 50’s and 60’s, which I think is great, because everyone just tries their best to do the moves, and sure we all look silly, but we’re moving around and getting a great workout! My class includes a lot of Latin songs, but my teacher also mixes in things like hip-hop, world music, and even belly dancing! After my constant ravings about how great Zumba is, I got my sister, my cousin, and even my boss to start going, and they all love it! Zumba classes are offered all over the world, so I highly encourage everyone to find a class in their area and give it a try! You’ll be SO glad you did!