Zumba dances into fitness realm

The recreation center has been heating up twice a week to a Latino fitness dance style, Zumba.

According to the Zumba Web site, it is a high energy workout based on the principle that exercise should be “Fun and easy to do.” Zumba is also designed to allow participants to stick with the program longer to achieve good health. This workout is targeted to give participants a good feeling while they are working their bodies.

“Zumba is really fun and it works every muscle in your body,” said Northern Kentucky University Zumba instructor Ana Alza Rodriquez, “You get to learn how to dance, and it’s always a good time.”

WebMd, a medical reference Web site, reiterated that many college students have a hard time sleeping a good eight hours each night, much less time to get a good workout in a couple times a week. Zumba was created as a routine that can be stuck to.

NKU’s Zumba classes are held at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Beginning Oct. 1, the Tuesday evening class will be moved to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Rodriquez turns up motivating Latino or international music to get everybody’s heart pumping. She teaches effective choreo graphy that sculpts participants’ bodies while they are having fun.

“The classes are going very well,” Rodriquez said. “Sometimes people get discouraged and don’t come back, but there is always a good amount of people who attend.”

Classes last for 60 minutes with loud fast-paced music and attentive participants. All participants pay close attention to every one of Rodriquez’s moves because each dance has difficult techniques such as the cha cha and horizontal movement of the hips.

Zumba is new to NKU’s campus but has been around since the mid 1990s, when it was invented in Colombia by celebrity fitness trainer “Beto” Perez.

Perez walked into his fitness class and realized he had forgotten his traditional aerobic music. He grabbed whatever he could find in his car. Perez had to then step up to the challenge of improvising an entire dance class, which is where Zumba was born.

Rodriquez was introduced to Zumba by a friend in Miami, and was so interested, she took a workshop on it.

Rodriquez has been dancing Zumba for six years now.

Each semester, Rodriquez teaches a different dance such as Flamingo, Salsa, Hip-hop/Latino, Regueton, Cumbia and belly dancing.