After a long day at work some people wouldn’t be caught dead adding on to their levels of exhaustion.
But other people don’t really mind this, all in the name of shedding off a few kilograms. But these people also have fun while they are doing it in the name of zumba; a salsa-like workout routine. It is fast growing in popularity in Gaborone especially for people who have a phobia for the gym or who are not comfortable with other people looking at them when they are dancing their calories away.
The word means “fast moving” and it’s also fused with the word “rumba” which means “party.” Zumba apparently originated from Alberto “Beto” Perez in Columbia during the 1990’s. He was a choreographer who was said to have forgotten his tape of aerobic music for a class that he was about to teach, and ran out to his car to get a Latin music tape and began …and from it, “Zumba” was created.
With so much lifestyle diseases these days it is not surprising that this fitness programme is growing more and more popular in the country. Zumba instructor Tiyapo Graves reveals that more instructors have gone into some of the towns in recent years whereas before they were not there. Gaborone alone has more than 10 instructors.
But not just anyone can wake up and become a Zumba instructor, she says. One has to first register with the Zumba franchise, then do a course with them and wait to get licensed. It is then that a person can become an instructor. Furthermore, there is a Zumba website where all the licensed instructors are in including their credentials therefore anyone claiming to be an instructor can be looked up in the website.
Tiyapo sees Zumba as one of the programmes which empower women because a big number of its instructors are women which is something uncommon as a lot of gym instructors and personal trainers are men. For her it is a place where women can also work out without feeling self-conscious of males looking at them as a lot of people who take place in it are females.
“Because it’s a workout routine which involves a lot of dancing, it is easier for people to even forget that they are working out,” she explained. However, she cautions that there are some disadvantages that come with doing Zumba. As an instructor, she has had people complaining about painful knees. This is due to the fact that Zumba contains a lot of squats, twists and turns so if an instructor doesn’t show her clients how to do them properly then it ends up affecting the knees thus making them painful.
One Kgaodi, a young woman who takes part in Zumba has no qualms with doing Zumba. She feels a sense of belonging at her Zumba class which is something she never felt during the many gyms she has gone to. She explains that unlike her gym sessions where it felt like one was in a competition, in her Zumba classes everybody wants to help out where one might be experiencing difficulties. She enjoys her classes very much which take place every day of the week apart from Friday and instead on Saturday morning.