Zumba. Most guys have heard about it, but few know exactly what it is.
A quick summary of what buzzes is not:
- A rumba model but faster
- A brand of bath salts
- The Brazilian football team's front top
This is a dance exercise program, which would be the easiest way to say it. More precisely, Zumba is the Huffington Post (famous online newspaper) of cardiovascular exercises. This without apologies added to other training dances in this line, covering all. A single zumba class can include salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, arabic rhythms, country, samba, cha-cha-chá, belly dance, bhangra, soca, martial arts, belly dance, hip-hop, world rhythms and, possibly, the "ickey shuffle".
Zumba was brought to the United States in 1999 by Alberto "Beto" Pérez. Pérez invented training as an aerobics instructor with 16 years of experience in his native Colombia when he forgot the music for a class and instead used a tape with an eclectic mix. His students loved it. In 2001 he and his business partners from the USA. UU They launched the Zumba Fitness in the country. Today Zumba Fitness is said to be the most popular fitness brand program in the world and is being used in more than 125 countries by more than 12 million people each week.
Although there has not been any external study of the breakdown by gender of the classes, I am willing to bet that 95 percent of them are women. The women I spoke with while doing this article said that they never or rarely see men in their Zumba classes. A spokesperson for Zumba Fitness said the official figures are 80 percent women and 20 percent men, but at least one of the owners of a studio in Los Angeles agreed with my 95/5 assessment on the basis of the assistance.
The reasons for this are not only specific to Zumba, since men in general prefer to work alone, while women make up the majority of most cardio classes. But it buzzes, in opposition to dance classes like hip-hop and breakdance, in which at least they get a handful of guys, it seems especially unpopular among men.
The question is: why? Why do not men do Zumba? I started looking for the answer.
As a result, there are several reasons. And one of them consists of mustard stains.
I signed up for Your Neighborhood Studio in Culver City, where the halls have hardwood floors, ballet bars, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors that offer a great opportunity to see all the mistakes you make during each routine.
The instructor began each song in silence by introducing a series of dance steps that no American man has ever performed other than a NFL touchdown celebration.The typical routine was as follows: two steps to the left, kick-pivot, two steps to the right, kick-pivot. We repeat the steps a couple of times. I did the movements better. Ready. Awesome.
But then, wait a moment, what?, the instructor presented a completely new sequence. Some women, like my wife, magically caught the dance steps as they happened. Meanwhile, I tripped on my feet and said to myself (or, possibly, out loud, I can not remember it): "What was wrong with the last sequence? I was already fishing! to the right, turn, cross to the left, turn, why do we always have to change, why is no sequence good enough, why can not we just do the same two steps for the next 45 minutes? cross to the right-turn, cross to the left-turn is crap! Arghhhhh! "
In Zumba you make between 10 and 12 songs in an average class, so basically you just get more deranged with each new track. Despite my plea, pleading and asking for the return of the two steps to the left, kick-pivot, two steps to the right, kick-pivot, never returned. Instead, we ended up moving to a new walk-as-an-Egyptian-while-you-move-dreadful, which everyone seemed to love and be fully capable of doing.
So, that was the first thing I realized, that I think it would get to the heart of why many men avoid doing zumba. I had no idea what I was doing most of the time, I knew he looked like an idiot and every new sequence made me want to throw away the MP3 player. Why? The zumba took me out of my element and put me face to face with my insecurities.
Because of that giant mirror, it forced me to see every mistake I made. There I was, one step behind, turning in the opposite direction, or just giving a sort of leap up and down in my place, looking confused. (Teachers do not teach this step, but it is more or less the first step you learn and the only one you will do in each song.) It is crucial.). And for men, that stinks. Being a boy, you want to be the best of the place, especially if the room is full of fit women. When you're not, it's humiliating.
But here's the saddest part of everything and it did not happen until around my third class: it was my shame, my shame and an extreme aversion for my inability to move my body in sync with the music and the instructor, all that I came from inside. Not once did a teacher or a classmate tell me anything about how bad he danced. Nobody gave a single glance of criticism, of pity or ridicule. Nobody seemed to even notice my battles. However, I felt stupid.
As a result, I suffered what psychologists call "the effect of the reflectors."This effect is the tendency to overestimate the degree to which your actions and appearance are noticed by others. Most people do this, especially teenagers who walk around high school, while they keep their eyes on the ground.
It's only natural that everyone is watching you all the time, like when you're sure everyone at the party will notice the mustard stain on your jeans. But as the Cornell researchers concluded in a 2000 article in "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," chances are no one is watching you. No one is obsessed with that yellow spot more than you.
My classmates were between the ages of 20 and 60. His skills were all over the place. But they did not judge. At first, I felt almost paralyzed by the fear of what these people, these beautiful people that I did not know, and probably would not see again, would think of me. Even though science tells me that they probably did not even realize it.
When I asked the creator of Zumba "Beto" Perez how to increase the interest of men for Zumba, he said: "Men need only overcome their insecurities".
That's easier said than done.
Of what men miss
My shame and fear were finally nullified by an even more intense feeling: exhaustion. In Zumba, the movement is almost non-stop. There are five seconds of pauses between songs, enough time to dry quickly with a towel or drink some water, but there is no real rest. Sweat is poured quickly and largely because they are using all the muscles of the body. Perez says that zumba does not feel like a workout and he's right. It feels like a wedding reception where you never leave the dance floor and each song is dance choreographed by a deranged maid of honor with TDA.
This took two classes, but finally I began to lose my inhibitions. I started, borrowing a phrase, to dance as if nobody was watching me. I stepped on, I danced and I shook. I turned around and did not kick anyone else. Actually I was having fun. And I discovered what women around the world already know: zumba is a good workout. They burn approximately the same number of calories as you would on a treadmill, but there are more challenges and a greater variety of muscle movements. As you make the movements better, you will experience greater enjoyment of the class and a sense of accomplishment.
The greatest benefit of zumba: time flies.
A lot of training is monotonous, and when you're bored, time slips slowly. With zumba, you are learning dance steps, memorize them, combine them, pay attention to the instructor, keep your distance from the people around you and listen to the music inputs.Time passes quickly as you focus your mind and body on the movements and do not look like the comedian Don Knotts while you do it.
It is now that months later I still throw myself into occasional Zumba classes. Zumba instructor Alice Warchol of the YMCA of Chesapeake, Virginia, said classes pass quickly, even for the most experienced students. I am not yet what anyone would call an experienced, but I agree.
"The more you know a routine, the easier it will be to work on it," he said. "You get completely lost in it."
A full-body workout that is a challenge, that helps you be a better dancer, makes time go by quickly, and puts you in a room with 20 women? Maybe the real question is: why are not ALL men doing it?
So ignore the mustard stain.