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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Enter the Zumbaverse

Ditch the dumbbells, get a full workout in comfort of your room

With the suffocating stress of school and daily life, it’s hard to find time in the day to fit in exercise. There are people who will try to convince you that running or lifting weights will make you feel better, but finding the motivation to move is a lot harder than telling someone they should. When you do have those bursts of motivation, without the equipment of the ARC, it’s easy to feel lost.

Luckily, there’s a form of exercise that only requires an internet connection, space to move and the will to push forward. Dance exercise, known as Zumba, takes the daunting task of working out and turns it into something enjoyable. YouTube is home to thousands of free Zumba videos. The simple dance routines rely on repetition and routine that cement themselves in your mind, ensuring that even the least experienced dancer can find some rhythm through Zumba.

Even if you’re not familiar with Zumba, you might know its predecessor, Jazzercise. Both are fitness franchises that use group dance and strength training to provide a full-body workout. While Zumba videos on YouTube dont have the same uplifting energy of a studio environment, each channel attempts to relay the steps as entertainingly as possible.

 Many videos come from Zumba studios with full-time employees who teach the dances in matching tank tops and leggings. LIVELOVEPARTY.TV has easy choreography coupled with pop songs you probably know and a crew that makes you feel like you’re in the studio with them. D’Hype Fitness Crew is another channel that utilizes this format. They use more complicated moves, but once you master them their dances, these videos are some of the best you can find.

Other channels mimic the classroom style that Zumba classes are traditionally taught in (if you’re quarantining with other people, have them join!). Usually with a leader in the front and 10–20 people dancing in the back, these videos make you feel better about your own lack of skills. The Fitness Marshall is led by one instructor who shouts motivating (and slightly personal) anecdotes as you try to keep up with his dramaticized movements. His intense moves seem too hard,even for a seasoned Zumbanator to master, but his commentary and pure dedication keep you following along; after just a few watches, you’ll get a grasp of the moves.

The world of online Zumba has been hidden too long. Ditch the dumbbells and get a full workout from the comfort of your room. If a song has a good beat, look it up: There’s a Zumba for it! If the moves are too complicated, dumb them down! No one’s watching! Bored of all the videos you’ve already danced too? Make up your own! Become so talented you must show it off? Teach it to your friends — Zoomba! Hone your dance skills, get exercise and generate some dopamine in our current state of purgatory.

If you want to get started, check out this playlist my sister and I have carefully cultivated during our Zumba journey. It is organized by order of difficulty and always growing!

Written By: Livvy Mullen — arts@theaggie.org


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