Thursday, December 11, 2008

Impressions of ZUMBA: A Dumb Jock's Point of View

This is Matt writing. This is my first entry on this blog. Since Autumn has created this blog, nothing noteworthy enough to feel the urge to write about it has happened with me. Until tonight. If you don’t know already, Autumn teaches fitness classes part time at the YMCA. She specializes in ZUMBA – a high energy Latin dance fitness class. I finally had the chance to participate in her class tonight. She’s been on board about two months now, and I knew she was passionate about it, but I had no idea she was as good as she is! But before I get to how much I liked the class, not to mention her as a teacher, here are some initial impressions of ZUMBA:

- First of all, I love the music. Catchy rhythms, rich chords, and intricate piano cadences…just the type of stuff you want to get up and dance to! I especially liked the improvisational vibe solos, and the jazzy scales they were based on.
- Second, the foundation of how one moves in ZUMBA is similar to the foundation of one moves in basketball, which is something that I am much more familiar and comfortable with. This may be difficult to believe for some of you, but check this out. Both require a high degree of agility, or the ability to stay light on your feet. Both require the ability to know how to pivot, or moving up to a 360 degree circle without lifting up the foot in the radius of the circle. Both require the ability to squat down for extended periods of time, and shuffle the feet (i.e. playing defense in basketball). I honestly believe that ZUMBA is more similar to basketball than any other type of aerobics/dance/fitness class.
- ZUMBA is very low-impact. Great for the joints! That means you can prolong not having to drink nasty collagen lubricant when you get older! (I once taste-tested that stuff at Costco, and it tastes like motor oil!!!)
- ZUMBA is a great workout. It works all the muscle groups, and it is a great balance between cardiovascular consistency and intervallic muscle toning. The only muscle I didn’t work was my obliques, and according to the teacher, the only way you can work those well is if you really know how to shake your hips. Not my forte…yet. So you combine this with the fact that ZUMBA is fun, the time really flies and before you know it you have a cute little sweat ring on your shirt.

Autumn was spectacular. She is at the point where she is good enough to do the moves and add her spunky personality to them. Her enthusiasm for ZUMBA is very contagious. She interacts with people and cracks jokes, and she is the center of attention. When you walk in to a classroom full of people, and she’s teaching ZUMBA, you feel an immediate sense of energy and enthusiasm. How therapeutic is that! I think the main thing that influences all this, though, is the fact that she is smokin’ hot.

I wonder how my baller buddies would feel about me hanging up the bball shoes and converting to ZUMBA…

7 comments:

Scott | Callie| Mia| Ava said...

Autumn- this makes me want to take your class! How fun! Also, I think I got your email wrong because I tried to send you an invite and it came back to me. Let me know what it is again and I'll invite you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Zumba instructor as well and my husband takes my classes. How refreshing to read another man's excitement for this form of fitness! My husband is the only male in my classes, and has been since I started teaching Zumba back in May. The Texas "gents" haven't gotten over the stereoptype yet...I live in a VERY,hmmm, how can I put this..."Old Fashioned" town that lives every stereotype you can imagine. (We LOVE it here though, I'm not complaining...with those old fashioned ideas comes the old fashioned generosity, sweetness and compassion that we don't see anymore) Hopefully there will be more men seeing the TRUE benefits of Zumba, just as you and my husband see them. Zumba on, baby! Congrats on finding such a FUN way to get and stay in shape! And if you and Autumn are ever in Texas, come see us! - Heather in Texas

Kristi said...

I know Autumn has been overloaded with request for fitness instruction, but I have another. I miss the early morning Zumba classes at the church. I was looking forward to zumbaing it up after I had the baby. Perhaps she could mix up her Wednesday instruction with Zumba too, or add a realistic Tuesday/Thursday 8:00. No, I know that she is already stretched thin. I suppose I will have to attend the YMCA evening class to catch the Zumba.
Matt, I am so impressed that you attended Autumn's class. I know some jocks wouldn't like to take on something that would challenge their coordination.

SevenVillageIdiarts said...

Matt, I'll pay you money if you can talk Damian into a date night activity at a Zumba Class. .. I'll send him to your post to try and help you out. .. loved it! She really is a great teacher and dancer, it's true!

Autumn said...

I don't know if you are aloud to comment on your own blog, but here I go...Wow, talk about a validating blog! Honey, you are amazing - both for attending, doing amazingly well (most guys would not be able to even FIND their hips, no less move them), and then bragging about me! What can I say - my guy is the best. I stopped Zumba at the church because I had quite a few people complain about it - though really they just hadn't give it enough of a chance (there is a 3-4 class learning curve - most of these moves no one has ever done!). But, maybe I can alternate. However, I love the idea of a Zumba date night - the people who have had the best time in my class were a husband and wife because they had someone to laugh with if they didn't get it and someone to show up when they did (they were even sneaking in butt slaps between moves - very cute!).

Kelly McCue said...

Wow!! Very few men take dance exercise classes at my gym and it is encouraging that you did, you have to be an inspiration to men out there who think that they cannot dance exercise because it's macho. Question is would you have dared to take the class if you lovely Autumn was not instructing? Does this make you want to take more classes how about this one that I found on YouTube?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRaS10x-uUk

Ira and Claudia said...

Wow! really cool. As a latin girl, I thought I knew all the latin dances, but to my surprise there is Zumba which I've never seen before. Good job Matt and Autumn. If I was in Oregon I would be one of Autumn's students for sure. Keep up!