Is Zumba a Craze or Here to Stay?
Local Instructors of the Latin-based dance classes share their thoughts on the benefits and longevity of Zumba.
According to the official website, "Zumba Fitness is the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music and contagious steps to form a fitness party that is downright addictive."
Although it seems like the phenomenon recently sprouted in local gyms and dance schools, the company Zumba Fitness been around since 2001. According to the website, it was accidentally created by Columbian Aerobics instructor Alberto Perez, who in the mid 90's forgot his regular music and had to improvise by using his own mix. It was the idea to let the music move you instead of counting repetitions over the music that inspired Zumba.
Since then, it has exploded onto the workout scene, and many Tewksbury fitness clubs, dance studios and the United Methodist Church offer Zumba classes. There are many types of classes, and what is offered, as well as the cost may vary.
Local Zumba instructors weigh in
Michelle Silverio a dancer who teaches at Evolution Fitness believes that Zumba is here to stay. “The (mostly) Latin music is upbeat, and with four basic steps, you can take it to many different levels. It is a lot of fun,” she said.
Kelli LaVita, a dancer and former Patriot cheerleader, agrees, and pointed to its longevity of 11 years. She explained that her classes at Dance Expressions are increasing in size. “People just love the party atmosphere.” LaVita even uses black lights on the ceiling for effect.
She sees herself in a cheerleading role and said the energy of the instructor is what motivates students. “They are really there to focus on fun,” she said. A real benefit is that her students can burn up to 600 calories in 1 hour.
Rebecca Yenowskas who also teaches at Dance Expresssions does not think Zumba is temporary. “There is something in it for everyone, and you can go at your own pace,” she explained.
Kerry Lewis owns Elle-fit studio in Keri Plaza next to Luna Rosa and Tuk Tuk. She explained, “Zumba is so popular and has surpassed being a fad because it is fun. It feels more like an hour with friends than a traditional fitness class.” But she added that it is “hard work, burns calories and tones your body all while you laugh and smile and dance around.”
Estee Murray Ross, Fitness Training Manager of Gold’s Gym said they have recently added a Zumbatomics class for Kids. Ross said Zumba is here to stay, and it reminds her of the choreographed group fitness of the 80’s. Although it was replaced by the more athletic classes in the 90’s, she sees the trend returning in the form of Zumba because of its popular appeal to all fitness levels.
Nicole Mills of Mind Body and Soul has a different view. Her studio will be closing at the end of September and will no longer offer Zumba classes. However, even though she sees it as fad or fitness trend, she agrees it is a fun workout and is for most everyone of all levels, “I still love it! The music wants you to get up and shake your hips,” she explained. Mills also warned of potential injuries, and the importance of proper shoes and the right flooring.
1.Dance Expressions , 855 Main Street, 978-861-8640 offers three Zumba classes-Tuesday, 7:15-8:15pm with Kelli LaVita, Wednesday, 7:30-8:30pm with Brian Considine, Sunday 9:30-10:30am with Rebecca Yenowskas and Collin Victorine. Class prices vary by instructor. Some instructors offer a discount with a package.
2. Gold’s Gym, 540 Main Street, offers a Sunday Zumba Fitness class 10-11am and a Zumbatomic class geared for children, Saturday, 11am-noon. The classes are free to gym members. There is gym use fee for non-members.
3. Evolution Fitness, 1830 Main Street, 978-863-9761,Monday, Wednesday, 7:30-8:30pm, Tuesday, 6:30-7:30pm with Michelle Siverio. There is a drop-in fee.
4. Elle Fit Studio at Keri Plaza, 1699 Shawsheen Steret offers Zumba fitness, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7-8pm with Kerry Lewis. Fee per class or class pack.
5.United Methodist Church, 2335 Main Street, 978-658-9551 offers Zumba Fitness, Wednesday, 6-7pm with Erica Lindstrom.
6.Tammy's Dance Connection, 500 Shawsheen Street, 978-858-0209,offers a Zumba class 6:30-7:30pm and a Zumbatomic class on Saturday, 12-12:45pm with Stacey Wong. Classes are on a drop in basis.