THE lights flashed, the music started, and the enthusiastic dancers sauntered to the floor of GIG Discotheque in Garapan to sway to the beat of the island’s latest fad in fitness dancing — the Zumba.
The event was to officially introduce Zumba to Saipan and at the same time raise funds for the ongoing relief efforts for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami last month which claimed thousands of lives and left thousands more homeless in Japan.
“I am very excited about this new page in my life that can lead me and everyone who would like to try this new style of fitness to better health and happier days,” Zumba Fitness instructor at said Gold’s Gym, Elly Stoilova, who initiated the “Zumba for Japan” event on Friday night .
Stoilova said a friend introduced Zumba Fitness to her four months ago.
“A friend asked me to help purchase a Zumba Fitness DVD set online. I checked some videos to see what I was about to purchase. I fell in love with the music and the movements from first glance and ordered two sets, one for my friend and one for me,” Stoilova said. And thus began her enthusiasm for this fitness dance that has been becoming more popular all over the world.
Stoilova said she began doing the Zumba Fitness program at home as part of her personal weight loss program in conjunction with enrolling in the Gold’s Gym Challenge.
“As Zumba Fitness movements are dance-inspired and introduced at the basic level with step-by-step instructions, it took me several repetitions to start moving and getting the flow of the various dances,” she said.
The more she repeated the dance steps, the better she felt about how she moved and grew more confident in her Zumba Fitness dancing.
Last month, there was a Zumba Fitness Basic Training for instructors on Guam, and she attended the training together with Samantha A’ani Birmingham-Babauta. The two are the first Zumba Fitness instructors on Saipan. Stoilova also attended an Aqua Zumba Fitness training so she could teach Zumba in the pool.
Easy for beginners
Beginners or shy individuals need not worry because all the classes Stoilova and Sami will be teaching at Gold’s Gym are designed for beginners.
“For the first month, we will practice the basic steps of Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Reggaeton together with some other international dance rhythms, and introduce some easy combinations and choreographies,” she said.
Stoilova said she already conducted one test class last week and she was happy to see that most of the students learned the steps quickly.
“Even the shiest people in the class started smiling and enjoying the dances by the end of the session. Mastering the steps involves continuous repetition and adding some personal flair, based on mood and allowing the body to groove to the bustling Latin sounds,” she said.
There is no standard way to do Zumba Fitness as everyone will add his own personal style in time, Stoilova said.
“I truly believe that if we create a Zumba party one month from now, those students who participate regularly at the Gold’s Gym classes will let loose and go wild on the dance floor!” she added.
How many times one needs to dance to keep fit depends on the individual’s personal health and fitness level. To stay fit, Stoilova said she would recommend mixing Zumba Fitness with other types of exercise along with eating healthy.
“Doing Zumba Fitness twice weekly for 45 minutes may be a good start for someone who is new to fitness, as this dance-like exercise provides cardio and works all muscle groups at the same time,” she said.
Compared to other forms of dancing for exercise, Zumba Fitness is an “effective, exhilarating, Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning dance-fitness party that has taken the fitness industry by storm.”
“Zumba Fitness creator Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez says that Zumba Fitness is a way for people to exercise and to not know that as they dance and they have fun together. I would add that one doesn’t need to know how to dance in order to do Zumba. Follow and enjoy!” Stoilova said.
Benefits from Zumba
Stoilova said that Zumba Fitness was the perfect addition to her Gold’s Gym Challenge program.
“I did weightlifting, cycling, strength training using free weights and various machines at Gold’s Gym, stretching and pilates. It all worked as I could see myself losing pounds and shrinking in size each week. Zumba Fitness made my exercise routine fun, helped me lose weight and brought a lot of positive energy to my days,” Stoilova said.
If she does Zumba Fitness in the morning, she feels like she is dancing all day long!
“I smile, I laugh more and I feel alive. I haven’t been in a discotheque for about 8 years, as I thought I am a little old to enjoy the dance floor with teenagers. Zumba Fitness brought back the pleasure of dancing to my life and because of that, I love it!” she added.
Classes at Gold’s Gym
This week, Zumba Fitness classes will officially start at Gold’s Gym. Stoilova said a lot of people have already been inquiring about the classes.
“When something new and positive appears in our life, it usually brings excitement and gives us additional power to go through challenges. Use Zumba Fitness as a new platform that will help you become fit, learn to dance and enjoy dancing, overcome your shyness, meet new people and make new friends. Zumba Fitness made my life much more enjoyable,” Stoilova said.
Try it and see for yourself!
(This article was originally published at Zumba Fitness: Moving toward a new beat | health-matters)