The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Dance Yourself Fit

Amy Bowden on why Zumba is the most exciting and efficient way to slim down this season

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Looking to find an exercise that is fun, different and absolutely crazy? Would you like to burn 500-1000 calories per hour? Then look no further than your local Zumba class! There is nothing more enjoyable than getting together with friends to have a laugh and a boogie. Zumba is also a good opportunity to exercise your vocal cords as you shake, jump and shimmy to the music. Who needs alcohol and an overpriced venue to have a good time?

Never danced before? Don’t really do much exercise? Not a problem! You don’t have to be a pro to follow the simple step-by-step moves, and it doesn’t matter what fitness level you’re at. The instructors (who are usually bonkers, but in a good way!) will walk you through the routines and once you’ve got them there’s no going back, you’ll be just as hooked as I am! Zumba is a combination of different styles of dance: Afro-Caribbean, Contemporary, Bollywood and more, as well as the incorporation of total body toning, i.e. lunges and squats. Zumba is Latin-inspired and involves a fusion of dance moves like Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, and Flamenco.

But be warned! The music is incredibly infectious and you may be prone to breaking out into spontaneous dance whenever you hear a song from the class. Let me tell you, you get some pretty odd looks when you’re in the middle of the Arndale Centre popping and locking to MJ’s ‘Beat it’ on your iPod.  Also, Zumba is a great way to relieve stress, so after a torturous day of lectures, studying, reading (I’ll stop there before we all have a mini breakdown) why not use it as an inexpensive therapy session?

Hopefully I have tempted you into trying some local classes. If so, bring some friends to the party!

Here are some of the many classes to join:

The Armitage Sports Centre– Monday 18:00 – 18:55

Soho Gym Manchester– Monday 13:00 – 13:45

La Fitness Manchester– Wednesday 13:00 – 13:45

Virgin Active Manchester– Wednesday 19:30 – 20:15

Sunshine Studios– Wednesday 20:00 – 21:00