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Health and Zumba: A Tangle with Mr. Shiva Kumar

Zumba has been around for long now, it has its own remodeling and improvements. But its benefits still remain the same. Here is what you need to know about Zumba before practicing it.

Zumba was born in Colombia in the 1990s and was inspired by Latin dance styles. Zumba has pitched itself as more of a party than a workout. Indeed, some research suggests it may be the very best workout for people who hate to exercise. This dance class features high and low intensity intervals that help improve cardiovascular fitness while also enhancing body balance stability, coordination, agility, and to some degree strength, through the application of beginner level  choreography. Classes typically consist of a series of Latin-inspired songs, starting with a slower warm-up  song, building intensity throughout the workout, and ending with a cool-down song. Latin music is light and makes you feel happy and good. Earlier it was inspired by salsa, meringue, rumba and reggaetón. Now there are Bollywood fusion mixes, bhangra for us to enjoy the fitness sessions more than ever.  

Even if you’re not a strong dancer, the choreography is repetitive and designed to be built upon, so most people will catch on to the moves as they go. Zumba tends to attract a large female crowd while all are welcome. But it seems to be an opposite case scenario for trainers. There are a fair number of male trainers in the field. 

Image: Zumba Practice via Shutter Stock

The workout-in-disguise has unique physical and mental health benefits. Some other benefits include: concentration on hips and abdominal region, complete body workout and includes warm up, workout for different muscle groups, safe for any age, improves body coordination and lifts up mood.

Zumba is not only popular among young adults but is also famous among the older generations who succumb to it.  A study linked Zumba’s hip-swinging, stomach-twirling movements proved  to increase core and trunk strength and better balance in older overweight women. More broadly, plenty of evidence suggests that dancing can help seniors maintain balance and coordination, lowering their risk for falls. 

A related study on Zumba’s psychological benefits found that people who practice it feel more independent and said that their lives seemed more purposeful. Small but positive benefits were noted for reducing body weight and other body measurements. Furthermore, other effects included social benefits on quality of life.  One of the most amazing facts about Zumba is that we can burn calories without feeling that you worked out. It gives you the time and space to implement steps and move with the music. If you aren’t interested in running, jogging or exercising you should definitely try Zumba. A lot of times you have to push yourself to exercise because it’s boring. But with  Zumba it’s different, it keeps you hooked. Zumba is like an electrifying shot full of refreshment and joy.

Image: Zumba Practice via Shutter Stock

Interview with Shiva Kumar, Zumba Trainer.

Since when have you been teaching Zumba and who inspired you to become a Zumba trainer?

It has been 5 years since I have been in this profession. Alberto Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba.

 How do you think Zumba has changed your life?

 It keeps me happy and creative.

 Is Zumba more of a dance form or a fitness routine.

It is more of a dance form.    

Image: Dance Academy Studio via Facebook

Do you think that people should learn Zumba and practice it regularly?

Yes, to create new choreographies.

Can anyone learn Zumba? Any tips for beginners?

Yes, enjoy doing Zumba without worrying about how to dance.

Are they programs aimed at various age groups? Are they levels?

Yes, there are different levels to master the form and get certified.

There are a few celebrities whom you have trained. So do you think Zumba helps them learn different dance forms and a better flexibility?

Yes it does help them.

How many calories an individual can burn in a session of one hour? 

 Depends on the individual. Approximately 500-1200 calories.

Studies show that Zumba can help in boosting one’s self-confidence. Is it true, then how ?

Yes, any dance form can boost confidence by relieving stress.

 How is it beneficial to women?

Zumba increases stamina, improves strength and makes women active.

Image: Dance Academy Students via Facebook

 How has your journey as a Zumba trainer been ?

As a dancer, Zumba became easier for me to learn.  I worked as a freelancer initially and took classes in various studios and classes. I created my own network of students who are like family now.  

Lastly. what problems did you face during the lockdown?  How did you manage your expenditures when the dance classes and gyms weren’t given permission for long ?

Initially 2 months it was closed,  I managed everything through my savings. Later in the 3rd month my savings ended and conditions didn’t seem to be in favor.  I didn’t have nay hope that it would open for a year also. The owner didn’t agree to reduce the  rent.  So I decided in vacating the place, the owner withdrew 3 months rent and paid the advance back.  So after that I started looking for a new place and found one in August. The funds from the advance were over by November and I had to take loan  to start off new. the student count has reduced from 20 per class to 7 or 8 per class.

Written By

An asocial ambivert. A dreamer, living life in a magical realm. Piscean on a quest for true happiness.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ravi Balan

    March 11, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Zumba from Shiva is special, becoz the way teaching is feels us it’s very easier and gets joys. Love dance. Thank you Shiva master. Am in ZAMBA now😉

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