How I discover Zumba and why I am still loving it after over 10 years of teaching it

I am super passionate about health and fitness. I spend lot of time searching for the new trends and ideas that come out. In 2006, I found a DVD set on amazon and ordered it. It was Zumba’s first dvd set, Beto, the creator of Zumba couldn’t even speak English. He only spoke Spanish on the dvd. I loved it right away. My bellydance and fitness background made me feel like Zumba was the perfect combination for me. There was nothing like it on the market and its not a surprise Zumba became such a popular dance fitness revolution because it blends so many styles of music.

The following winter, in 2007, I saw a Zumba teacher training at a Can Fit Pro conference in Montreal. I registered right away and did my training in Montreal with Beto himself. When I started teaching Zumba, I realized how much people loved it. The music variety and the fitness aspect disguised into a dance party were the perfect combination. Over the years Zumba expended it’s musical repertoire a lot. At first it was mainly latino music; Salsa, Batchata, Merengue, Cumbia, Quedradita, Reggeaton, Calypso, Samba… Since then, many new styles of music have been added, from Funk to Afro- Cuban, Brazilian, Flamenco, Bellydance, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tango, to name a few. I have now been teaching Zumba for over 10 years. I taught Zumba to seniors, in high schools, in elementary schools, for fundraisers, for university students; I love that it get so many people together that simply have a love for music and moving. Dance is also good for your brain to, it increases coordination, balance, agility. On top of being good for your brain and body of course it feels so good for the soul. Each time I teach a class, it brings much joy and happiness to me and the participants. I often hear people telling me how they didn’t feel good before coming to class and how the class completely changed their moods. In the last fews years I’ve been enjoying adding more pop songs into my Zumba repertoire. I love that we can relate to a song we hear on the radio and can sing to it. I you feel intimidated by a Zumba class, just know that its purpose its simply to move. There is no right and wrong, and no dance show to perform to. You are only there to move your body, sweat and smile. The advice I give to participants its to start from the ground up; try to do the steps, then add the hips, the arms, then the hands. Make sure you add your special flare to it, after all we all have different bodies and we all move differently. Simply have fun and move your body!!!

A fews Zumba videos I took over the years. Hope you enjoy!

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Click here for my calendar of current classes and click here for more information about dance classes I offer. 

You can also check this article: Bellydance help understand how your hips and torso can move; 5 basic movement explain. Simply click here.

Bellydance help understand how your hips and torso can move; 5 basic movement explain.

Bellydance help understand how your hips and torso can move; 5 basic movement explain.

I am really grateful for all the bellydance teacher I had and their impressive knowledge of human body. Bellydance helped me to create some body mind connection and engage accurately specific muscle I want to engage. For example; squeezing my glutes at different rhythms or just squeezing one at the time. I also learn to isolate different body part while stabilizing others.

Bellydance definitely helped me to understand how my body can move, from 5 simple movement to all the complexity of movement combination that can happen from theses basics. I want to share theses basic movement with you.

Your hips and torso can move into 5 basic movement pattern:

  • Sliding side to side: keeping the hips or torso parallel to the ground moving them side to side.
  • Sliding forward and back: keeping the hips or torso parallel to the ground moving them forward and back.
  • Tilting: you can tilt your hip while bending the knee. Your torso can also tilt side to side while going into side bend. One side will extend while the other side lengthen.
  • Twisting: this action require lot of core activation. When you twist your hips, I also call this washing machine. When you twist the torso and speed it up, it can become the famous shoulder shimmy. I highly recommend you to practice this one while being immobile in your car and holding the steering wheel. Making sure you are not leaning back on the seat and the hip and well anchor on the seat.
  • In & out also call tucking: this movement of the hip mainly use the lower abs to be able to tuck pelvis in while lengthening the lower back. Its such an important movement to understand especially to be able to do any core exercise safely. Same action is possible with the torso and it will mainly use the upper abs to create this movement. I highly recommend trying a Pilates class to help you better understand theses movement.

All the 5 movement basic describe above need the right mind body connection to be able to active the right muscle require while keeping the rest of the body stable. Try all of them slowly at first, in front of a mirror to see what you are doing. Sometime what we think we do and what we do are two completely different thing. Standing in front of a mirror will also help you to see the imbalance between both side of body and try to create symmetry. While I practice theses movement, I used to rest my hands on chair placed beside me so I could fully rest my upper body and created good posture. Make sure the breath is fluid, and that you can relax the rest of the body. Adding a smile to your practice might help you to relax more and remember it take time to master any art form, so be patient.

Check my Zumba bundle to practice all theses movement.

 Click here for my calendar of current classes and for more information about the dance services I offer click here.