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Friday, may 7, 2010

12 | health & fitness.

Zumba fitness craze sweeps the valley By Michelle Camerlingo Press-Banner

Zumba is more of a party than a workout. There’s swaying, shimmying, pumping and hip shaking, with scattered whoops and cheers. It definitely beats the monotony of the elliptical machine. A far cry from step classes and kick-boxing, this fitness craze integrates Latin rhythms with fast-paced dance routines and is gaining momentum in fitness centers and dance studios across the nation. “We started offering Zumba a couple of years ago,” said Shari Scruton, group fitness director for Club One in Scotts Valley. “People are often hesitant to try new things, but this gained momentum really quickly.” Scruton said Club One initially only offered one class but soon added three more because of high demand. Club One also offers a summer Zumba with the Stars class starting in June. “It’s going to be an evening class that takes place outside, so it should be really fun,” Scruton said. A typical Zumba class lasts an hour, and participants can burn between 400 and 500 calories. The sweat-inducing moves are easy and repetitive, combining hip action and cardio. Zumba relies on mainly Latin influences and can include moves from tango, salsa, cha-cha, flamenco, meringue and samba dancing, as well as hip-hop, belly dancing and African dance. Dora Solinas, 57, a certified Zumba instructor

Feel the rhythm:  Valerie Mooney joins about two dozen other participants as she follows the instructor during a Zumba exercise class Monday, May 3, at ClubOne in Scotts Valley. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner

Zumba now offers trademarked outfits (bright colored pants and tank tops), music, DVDs and accessories. Instructor training classes are available nationwide and across the globe. Michelle Bjorkman, 39, a Zumba certified instructor, teaches nine classes a week in Scotts Valley at Skylight Ballroom and Scotts Valley Fitness Club. “People generally like to dance, but there aren’t a lot of outlets

“It’s popular

because you get a really good workout while you’re having fun. The music is really motivating.” — Dora Solinas Zumba instructor

who teaches all over the county, said her classes are generally made up of women and a few men. Solinas, who has taught fitness salsa dancing for 20 years, said she’s riding the Zumba wave of popularity. “It’s popular because you get a really good workout while you’re having fun. The music

is really motivating,” Solinas said. “I really try and encourage and focus on newcomers to make sure they are having a good time.” While classes usually attract women, the founder of Zumba is Alberto “Beto” Perez, a former aerobics instructor from Colombia who produced the exercise under Zumba Fitness LLC in Miami, according to the Zumba.com website. Perez forgot the usual music for his aerobics class one day and had to improvise with Latin music, according to the website. What started as an accident grew into his official mantra: “Ditch the workout, join the party.”

for it as we get older,” Bjorkman said. Bjorkman, a former dance instructor, said the music in Zumba is different compared with that of a general aerobics class. “Aerobic classes usually have a steady beat, where Zumba really draws on the flavor of the music,” Bjorkman explained. Bjorkman said she taught Zumba while pregnant with her youngest child and saw a significant difference compared with her earlier pregnancies. “My husband called it a non-pregnancy,” Bjorkman said. “I had more energy, less nausea, and didn’t gain as much weight — it was really tremendous.” Zumba, continued on next page

A local guide to Zumba Classes with Zumba’s trademarked mix of Latin music and dance moves and aerobic exercise can be found at a number of gyms and centers in Scotts Valley: S  cotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road, 438-2324 or www.scottsvalley.org W  orld Gym, 105 Whispering Pines Drive, 439-9400 or www.worldgym.com S  cotts Valley Fitness Club, 59 Mount Hermon Road, 438-6778 or www. scottsvalleyfitness.com  Skylight Ballroom, 4652 Scotts Valley Drive, Studio 203, 408-761-7921 or www.skylightballroom.com S  cotts Valley Tae Kwon Do, 5004 Scotts Valley Drive, 438-6068 or www.svtkd.com C  lub One, 100 Enterprise Way, in Scotts Valley, 4312202 or www.clubone.com

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who teaches all over the county, said her classes are generally made up of women and a few men. Solinas, who has taught fitness salsa danc-...

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