Run by BSUH senior physiotherapist Natalie Opoku, the first class gets grooving on Thursday 25 July at 5.30 pm at the Kaizen Suite, St Mary’s Hall, Brighton.
“You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome in a Zumba class.,” Natalie says. “The classes emphasise moving to the music and having a good time, no rhythm is required. Grooving to the beats of Salsa, reggaeton, merengue, cumbia and flamenco, feels more like a party than a workout, which is exactly what makes Zumba so popular.”
The Latin-inspired high energy classes are set to upbeat music and feature choreographed dance numbers. It’s an interval workout, switching between high and low intensity dance moves, and designed to get your heart rate up and boost cardio endurance. If you enjoy moving to music, then Zumba is for you, whatever your fitness level.
“I love it as it’s a fun way to exercise without really realising it,” Natalie says. “It’s sociable, it’s inclusive and it’s a laugh. It’s a great way to relieve stress. Zumba makes me happy.
“It really helps people to de-stress. Turning your attention to dance and away from the daily grind is a great way to relieve stress. Studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, and boosting alertness and concentration, as well as enhancing overall cognitive function. The more you enjoy your exercise routine, the more likely you are to stick with it. Many people say they have so much fun dancing that they actually forget that they’re exercising.”
As well as boosting wellbeing, Zumba can also help you to lose weight, lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Natalie says: “Zumba is for everyone. You follow the instructor, who uses hand signals for you to follow, so you’re not expected to learn the routines. But the more regularly you attend, the more you’ll recognise and remember the moves and the routines.
“You don’t have to be fit to do it, but hopefully by attending regularly you’ll increase your fitness levels. You can burn 300-400 calories per class, and you can start slowly if you need to, or you can dance your heart out if you’re in great shape.”
The tag line for Zumba is “Ditch the workout, join the party!”. Feel like joining? Classes will be on Thursdays at the Kaizen Suite, from 5.30 to 6.30 pm, price £6 per class (£5 for student with valid ID). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.