For the past year my sister has been singing “Zumba Zumba Zumba Zumba Zumba” whilst doing a Beyonce esque Booty Move at me, saying “Jenni You must find a London Class – You’d Love it”. While, Im pleased to say that Sister was right! I finally succumbed to her pleads and dance moves and have found a Zumba class that is 2 mins down the road from me and whats more, it’s in a PUB. It was high time that I shake those hips on down and see for myself the dance craze that has possessed my sister and swept the Nation! I can point out here that I am never looking back. I have found a new me. It may be a me with sore calf muscles and shoulders, but when that fades, Jenni from the Block move over – jenni from balhma is in town!
Alberto "Beto" Perez - a name that meant nothing to me until now.. In the 90’s Beto, a colombian dance invented this Zumba Whirlwind. It all stemed from him turning up to teach his areobics class and found that that he had forgotten his music to teach. So, I imagine to save face and to not look like a fool he used the only music he had in his bag which was Latin salsa and merengue music. Beto improvised the entire class on the spot – the class probably got the most revoultay class in the history of dance and and Zumba was born.
There are hundreds of Zumba classes across the county and being in london means that we are blessed with some of the best teachers. Zumba Ashley teaches at The Bedford and girls I tell you – he knows his ass from his elbow! He sure knows how to cut the Cuban Beats!
Crammed packed into the Bedford were a mix of ladies with no leg warmers or lycra in sight! All shapes – ages – sizes – backgrounds – all smiling laughing and not one “high kick splits in the air person” to be seen.. Also no need to come dressed up – okay you can buy the zumba gear (which I probably will – I do like to look the part) but most people are donning gym kit!
The class started – Zumba Ashley took his place at the front and the Cuban Rhythms kicked in. The rules are this : Ashley moves – you copy and let the music take control of your body (that you probably had no idea could ever move like that! )
Zumba is so refreshing and you do not and I repeat, you do Not have to be a dancer to be able to do the moves. I’ve spent many an hour step ball changing across a room with all eyes on me and a few much hated hours pretending to be “A Dancer” and blagging the moves at Pineapple. Walking out of Pineapple leaves you feeling more rubbish about yourself than you went in, with not even a sweat patch in sight just a jumbled un-co-ordinated brain. I’ve also spent many a night bopping to the latest tunes and getting that attention on the dance floor and feeling in the words of Kylie “On Fire Fire fire”- well - It was with that feeling that I strutted out of Zumba that night!
If you are looking for something fun and something that will burn those carolies –if you want to feel like you’ve just had a dance lesson with Johnny castle at Kellermans and all without being under the influence of alcohol and not having to carry any watermelons, then shake that booty on down to the Bedford in balham on a Wednesday night – 6.30 -7.30.
So, Sister was right – she really did have something to sing about – and now so do I – Girls, Grans, boyfriends, sisters – shake that body down to your Zumba class. I assure you in no time that you will be singing “Zumba Zumba Zumba Zumba” too (Oh, Dad if you’re reading this – Mums the word!) and I’ll see you on the dance floor!
If you would like to find out more about Ashely and to see where your nearest Zumba class is - Visit the link below