Fitness athletes and professionals around the world have knocked dance and dance fitness for decades claiming that dance is not a workout nor is it exercise; yet hen you actually see what a dancer endures (and lets admit dancers’ bodies) how can one say it’s NOT exercise? That said, how can anyone stake claim in the idea that Zumba is not exercise?
I’ll admit, I’ve taught at gyms of varying degree wherein some members would blatantly poke fun at myself and my participants while in the throws of an awesome Zumba jam session – mocking our thrusting hips or shimmying shoulders. And, more often then not I’ve wanted to just stop my music and blast them so hard verbally that they leave my presence either crying or drop their dumbbell and actually join me. So ok, yea a typical Zumba class doesn’t involve heavy weights and 1000000 burpees, but that’s what makes it the FUN exercise that people actually don’t mind doing. I mean let’s face it, when was the last time you heard someone say “Wow I can’t wait for the intermittent workout where we do 15 minutes of burpees and mountain climbers!” Umm, never.
What brought this argumentative side of me out was the discovery of this article “Zumba ‘Burns More Calories And Makes You Fitter Than Salsa’ (But Both Will Make You Happy)” written by the Huffington Post UK. They talk about the differences between taking a traditional Salsa class and then compare it to a standard Zumba class. In my opinion, there is no comparison. Traditional Salsa classes are a formulated dance class wherein you are stopping mid session to learn form, technique and stylistic movements unlike Zumba where you are combining basic steps with intermittent fitness variations (squats, lunges, small jumping jacks, hops and skips). I don’t see any comparison. Heck even the form that Zumba instructors are taught is different than a traditional salsa step.
Long story short – Zumba AND dance are both exercise no matter how one looks at it. It’s just a matter of how you practice your art and perfect your form!