Exercise in disguise

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 July, 2012, 12:00am


Zumba is a dance-based fitness programme that is hugely popular around the world.

Originating from Columbia, it is a combination of Latin dance steps, an eclectic repertoire of music from a variety of dancing styles, including samba, hip-hop, merengue, flamenco, belly dancing and reggaeton, and standard aerobics routines.

'Zumba is exercise in disguise. With its great music, energetic instructor, party-like atmosphere and Latin-inspired moves, people have so much fun that they forget they're working out,' says Madhu Kashyap, managing director of Island Dance.

'It's a really good way to get into shape, learn the basics of Latin dance, release stress and have a really good time doing it all with friends after work.'

Island Dance (www.island dance.com.hk) offers classes at its studios in Happy Valley and Discovery Bay that run for one hour and cost between HK$170 and HK$190 per session depending on venue. Beginners can start at any time.

Classes include a 10-minute warm-up and five-minute cool-down routine as part of the safe dance practices incorporated into all sessions.

'Classes twice a week help your body adapt. First-timers should try to learn with the same instructor. This enables a person to get used to the instructor's style before experimenting with other instructors to learn different moves and develop their own zumba style,' Kashyap says.

Central Dance Studio (www.danceclassesinhongkong.com) offers regular zumba dance classes for people with different levels of experience.

'Zumba's simplicity and sense of fun is what makes it so attractive and popular,' says instructor Fabio Ellis.

'People quickly get hooked and want to learn more of the different rhythms and styles of dance.'

Packages of 10 classes, which can be taken over four months, cost HK$1,500. Single drop-in classes cost HK$200.

While regular classes run for one hour, Central Dance Studio also organises special zumba marathons and promotional zumba parties of up to three hours.

'Zumba helps tone muscles, burn calories, train your cardiovascular system, maintain strength and flexibility in your joints, improves balance and posture, and even helps to detox when you sweat,' Ellis says.

'It offers an alternative fitness workout that incorporates the fun side of dancing and the efficiency of cardio training.'