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Testing UTrain: Zumba

Do the workouts really work?
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MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY
MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY

With the new year comes a new UTrain schedule, and that will require re-registering in the program. I am so excited for what’s to come this semester with new classes and a new schedule, letting me try out classes that I could not before. 

To be honest, I stopped working out over the holidays, so for this week’s workout, I was looking for something fun to get me excited about getting back into it. In addition, with the new state of emergency and lockdown guidelines, I find myself missing dancing with my friends a little more than usual. Zumba looked like a perfect excuse to dust off my slightly embarrassing dance moves that have also been locked up since March. 

The Zumba class is hosted by Hart House on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm and Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. I attended the Wednesday evening session — and, surprisingly, I loved it. It was the perfect end to a busy day and ensured that I fit in some movement after hours of online classes. 

Hart House described the class as incorporating “hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves,” promoting itself as “an exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movement with life-long health benefits.” 

While I wasn’t exactly left sweating, I definitely felt energized by being able to let go without fear of being embarrassed by my dance moves — one definite benefit of working out from home.

Sandani, the instructor, began the session by describing the class. She let newcomers like myself know that it will be more routine- and choreography-based than other dance classes we might have taken in the past. The routines stay the same for six to eight weeks, so you can see yourself progress each week. 

Throughout the class, Sandani gave non-verbal cues to let us know what moves were coming next. It took a moment to adjust to these, but they definitely got easier to follow throughout the class, and I am confident that after spending eight weeks with one routine, you would know exactly what moves were next.

But don’t worry: it’s a virtual dance class! If you get lost, just have fun with it. No one will know.

We started with two warm-up songs and ended with a stretch song. Between these, there were routines to lots of fun songs, like “Me Gusta” by Shakira and Anuel AA. There was a squat routine to “La Tortura” by Shakira, another workout set that featured a bachata song, and more! 

Overall, the class left me in a really good mood, and I learned some new moves for when lockdown ends and I get to dance with my friends again! I highly recommend this one.