More than 14 million people have danced their way to fitness with Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance fitness program.
For many people exercise is a chore, and a large part of Zumba’s appeal is that it makes a workout fun. As part of their goal of evolving curriculum, the SLCC Department of Health and Lifetime Activities offers Zumba dance fitness classes.
“I went to a class and loved it,” says SLCC instructor Sue Roquemore. “The very first time I went I was lost, like most people are, but loved it. Within just a few months I had people tell me I needed to become certified and I did, and became an instructor.”
Roquemore is a longtime fitness instructor, and has been a certified Zumba instructor for the past two years.
“Zumba started over ten years ago by a guy named Alberto Perez ‘Beto,’” Roquemore says. “He taught aerobics and one day he forgot his music. He went to his car and grab his tapes did all kinds of Latin music and told people ‘this is my routine for the day’ and they loved it.”
One reason Zumba is so popular, according to Roquemore, is that it is not so much like an exercise program as it is a party
Zumba is not as regimented as many fitness programs. Participants follow the instructor as best they can and they get to add their own flair to all the dances.
“I think that (people) love to dance, especially girls,” Roquemore says. “I think that girls, from the time they are tiny, love to dance and it just kind of gets your grove on to get in there and just get to dance and have a good time.”
While popular, many people are daunted by Zumba’s initial learning curve. A beginner sometimes finds the fast pace, unfamiliar music and moves hard to follow.
“People get really intimidated. It is fast, it’s music they are not used to hearing, a lot of times it’s moves they are not use doing,” Roquemore says. “I think people get discouraged. Don’t. Go and have fun.”
Roquemore says that many people leave a workout and wish that it would go on longer.
“I think [SLCC] added it because it is such a fun way to exercise,” says Roquemore. “Come Zumba. Come party.”