Zumba: party all the way to fitness

The dance craze that swept the world in the 90’s is steadily making a comeback and Steve Rowley, the Editor of Sevenoaks Sports magazine, caught up with local instructor Amy Cable to discuss what exactly goes on in one of her classes.

Group of fit young women dancing and exercising

So, you have probably heard about Zumba, the exercise class with a kick in it, if you haven’t, where have you been?

Zumba is basically one giant party where you spend the entire time dancing, forgetting that you’re actually working out, burning a crazy amount of calories and blasting fat.

Zumba originated in Columbia in the 1990s, when a guy called Beto Perez forgot a CD for his aerobics class. He used one of his personal CDs (traditional Latin music) and taught a dance-style aerobics class on the spot. Zumba was born!

Since then, it became a crazy booty-shaking world phenomenon, with millions of participants taking classes each week. However, since its meteoric rise, Zumba has started to fall off the exercise radar, and it is now difficult to find local classes that fit in with most people’s timetables.

Amy Cable runs her own Zumba classes – Zumba with Amy – twice a week at Amherst School and Riverhead Church Hall respectively. She has been careful to tailor her classes, so they fit in with people who have children, or those who have to commute.

Amy Cable, founder of ‘Zumba with Amy’

Amy graduated in Advanced Dance at the Miskin Theatre before moving into the world of fitness, working at Nizels Golf Club in Hildenborough. Amy has been teaching Zumba since 2012 and has taught at many venues in and around the Sevenoaks area. Amy told us: “I try to make the whole experience fun for people attending my classes and I change the routines each week. We all have immense fun and the atmosphere is electric, with disco lights throughout, I encourage participants to whoop and cheer!”.

Many of the people attending classes with Amy do so in groups or pairs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on your own. “Everybody is welcome at my classes, and I understand that some people may feel nervous attending alone, but after five minutes of pumping the blood, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before”.

Amy also mentioned that Zumba is not just for the able bodied, but for all, adding that she has on occasion had people in wheelchairs taking part in her class. She continued: “We teach traditional Zumba which is a Latin-style dance class (including salsa, merengue, cha-cha, cumbia, soca and samba), however we also combine it with hip hop and reggaeton, as well as international styles of dance like bellydancing, flamenco, Bollywood and African. Most classes should be about 70% Latin dances with 30% for the rest of the other fun stuff”.

“Many of the classes will utilise an interval style of training – combining slower dances with faster upbeat songs and songs dedicated to toning movements (arms, abs, legs)”.

In the New Year, Amy is also planning on introducing a ‘Street dance’ class for adults due to popular demand from her Zumba participants. This is something that Amy plans to work on to ensure maximum output for people attending.

Do you fancy going to a Zumba party?

Zumba with Amy are giving you the chance to win a free Zumba class with a friend to kickstart your New Year off in style.

We have been given three pairs of free classes, to be used in January 2018, and all you have to do to win this fantastic prize is email us at win@sevenoakssports.co.uk with your name and contact phone number.

Competition rules: All entries must be received by 12.00pm on Sunday 31st December. All abilities are welcome however you must be in reasonable health and answer the instructors questions on your arrival. You must be at least 16 years old. The winners will be picked at random and notified by email or phone on Tuesday 2nd January. The editors decision is final.

Duke of Edinburgh Award
Amy has also had a number of particpants come to her who are doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) as the Physical section of the Award requires participants to take part in an extra-curricular activity for an hour a week outside of the normal school timetable. This means pupils can use after-school clubs and weekend activities to count towards their award, and Zumba classes are included.

What to expect
The best thing you can do is pick up the steps where you can, laugh, shake and have fun. It’s one of those things that the more often you go, the easier it gets. Remember, no one is there to judge you. Everyone participates for a common goal and is usually too worried about what they’re doing to think about anyone else.
Some instructors will go over the movements before each song. Other instructors (like Amy) will just dance the entire time and yell stuff out to the class.

Calorie counting
Zumba is an absolute blast and a lot more fun than running on the treadmill. Amy typically burns around 400-500 calories per class, while some of her participants, with heart rate monitors, have burned upwards of 1,000 calories.

One great tip is to always wear comfy clothes and shoes, take a bottle of water and a towel. Happy shaking everybody!

To find out more about Zumba with Amy or for contact details please visit www.amycable.zumba.com or find them on Facebook at /amycableszumbaclassesinsevenoaks.

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