Even though it wasn’t yet Cinco de Mayo, the Student Recreation Center (SRC) hosted Zumba de Mayo on Wednesday, May 3. I had previously attended Zumba classes in the SRC but had yet to attend one of their special events. My initial thought was that Zumba de Mayo would be like any other Zumba class. Yet, it still hadn’t occurred to me that it would mean the room would be packed.
Walking inside the SRC, I was surprised to find that a line had already formed for people to sign in. Music was blasting from Multipurpose Room A, and it felt like we were waiting to get inside a dance club. When I finally got inside the room, I saw that it was decorated with paper decorations on the ceiling, mini red chili lights decorating the big stage in the front center of the room and an inflatable chili laying on the floor.
The instructors were wearing colors of the Mexican flag, which quelled my worries that there would be stereotypical costumes.
All five Zumba instructors were there to lead the class. Each instructor got two to three songs they led from their own repertoire. The dances ranged from hip-hop to jazz styles. I noticed some instructors who I had in the past and other new ones. It was like watching a superhero team up, seeing the instructors interact with each other and dance each other’s dance styles.
As I learned, you don’t need to be a dancer to take Zumba classes. The only thing you need is to be willing to have fun and be okay with sweating a lot.
Even though I attended Zumba classes before, it still felt like this was my first Zumba class. I thought I looked silly as mostly everyone knew the dances, and I was lost as to what was going on movement wise. When others were leaning down, I accidentally jumped. When others were moving to the right, I moved to the left.
By no means, am I an amazing dancer. I have two left feet and can’t loosen up my body. But the energy that the instructors throw in the room makes you focus on the fun aspect of Zumba. But Zumba dance moves are simple and repetitive, so after a while I eventually caught on. As I learned, you don’t need to be a dancer to take Zumba classes. The only thing you need is to be willing to have fun and be okay with sweating a lot.
The songs were catchy. The moves were relatively easy, and we felt a sense of freedom as if we were dancing at a concert.
The smell of sweat filled the room, and at one point everyone was just covered in sweat. But you still keep going because the song is so catchy and you finally got that move down that is so hard but looks cool. That and the instructor also run around the room screaming in excitement as the song gets to an intense part. Of course, Zumba is not like a dance class. It is all basically copying the instructor, and exercises will be thrown into the choreography, from jumping jacks to squats. Additionally, no one judges you if you aren’t perfect at Zumba. Everyone in those classes started at a point of not knowing any of the songs or the dances. I also heard from friends in the past that, even though they didn’t know any of the dances, they still had a very fun time.