A Zumba® Fitness class was the very first class I ever tried at Columbia Association’s (CA) fitness facilities. My family had been members with CA for 14 months and except for using the pools in the summer, we hadn’t used the membership at all. We had all the best intentions, but it just didn’t happen. Finally bored of using by old video cassettes in my basement and lonely in my new Columbia home, I decided to try the gym and the class I decided on was a Zumba® class.
I had heard a lot about Zumba® Fitness from various sources and I was curious, so off I went. I still remember my very first class at Columbia Gym. I went to the back of the gymnasium and scoped everything out. The class filled quickly and everyone staked out their places in the gym. Then this ball full of energy instructor came in and we got started.
The music made you want to dance and the instructor smiled and jumped and grooved and made me want to be a dancer, even though that’s hopeless. I was so thankful there were no mirrors in the class as I didn’t want to see how silly I looked as I tried to follow along. The moves were simple enough, but it changed up quickly and I felt a bit lost. What I did see though was that the room was full of people just like me. They were all sizes, in all levels of fitness condition and ranged in age from teenagers to men and women in their 60s. I didn’t look out of place and I didn’t feel out of place. I just moved and broke a sweat and had fun, which was the whole point of taking the class.
I quickly learned that to make it easier for me, I should watch someone in front of me who was a good dancer. The next time I went to the class, I positioned myself behind a good dancer and it helped me get the steps better. It was fun, so I decided to keep going.
In the next several weeks I tried several Zumba® Fitness classes and at each of the three fitness facilities. I was shocked at seeing the mirrors at first at the Athletic Club and Supreme Sports Club, but once I got over the horror of seeing my imperfect body in the mirror, I was able to use those mirrors to help me move better.
Going to Zumba® class was not like anything I had done at home. While I had done some dance aerobics videos, it was the same video that I did over and over again. I was able to get the steps after the first few tries and I knew the whole routine. While there was comfort in knowing that I was learning the routine, I also eventually tired of the routine, which then meant I needed to buy a new video. Going to a live class like Zumba® was always fresh.
Zumba® instructors receive new music to choose from every month and they receive new videos with new dance moves every other month. What I found is that most instructors mixed things up every class. So, I might hear a few repeat songs from the time before, but a new song or two would be added just to mix things up. That was such a nice change from doing aerobics in my basement.
Zumba® Fitness classes are very instructor driven. I learned that some instructors played a majority of songs with more athletic moves, others with more dance moves. Some focused primarily on aerobics while others added in more songs with toning emphasis. So, I quickly found that I preferred some classes to others, but I was always thankful that there was a choice.
It was from gaining confidence in these Zumba® classes that I decided to try other classes through CA. If I could do these routines, even if I looked silly, what else could I do? And so I ventured out to other classes.
I cannot deny the fun factor of Zumba® Fitness. The classes are fun, dance packed, energy filled and the instructors are amazing. I’m totally impressed with their energy and enthusiasm. It was their energy that made me fall in love with taking classes at the gym. I haven’t done a single video in my basement since taking a Zumba® class 16 months ago.
Zumba® Fitness classes are so popular that at CA they are taught six days of the week and are available at each fitness facility. Better yet, they are free to all Package Plan Plus and Package Plan members and there is no need to pre-register. Just drop in and come join the party!
Melissa Sinclair works in the Communications & Engagement Division at Columbia Association (CA). Melissa recently moved to Columbia with her three-generation family. She has lived in more than a dozen cities and is looking forward to making Columbia, Md., her permanent home! Click here to read more of Melissa’s Getting to Know CA series.