Last week, the Greatist Team headed to New York Health & Racquet Club on the Upper East Side for a rousing, hip-shaking good time. Some of us were Zumba veterans familiar with the dance-inspired aerobic sensation, but others — especially yours truly — were a bit skeptical about the whole thing. Would we get a good workout? Could we keep step with the rest of the class? And, most importantly, could we make it through the entire session without tripping over ourselves?
Luckily, even the least coordinated among the group soon learned the finer points of dance weren’t vital to the experience. Instructor Alicia Harris let us know finding a personal rhythm took center stage, while grace — which I most certainly do not have in droves — wasn’t nearly as important. So when the music started up (mostly Latin beats mixed with contemporary favorites) we moved where the beats took us, following along as best we could with our energetic instructor and the rest of the class.
The 45-minute class flew by as songs and steps changed quickly. (We had a particularly fun time learning how to wave off imaginary suitors and shouting “hoochie coochie!” during a rendition of “Hotel Nacional.”) Those with experience definitely worked up more of a sweat, while the newbies spent a lot of energy simply trying not to fall too far behind. Though I’ve heard Zumba can be a fantastic workout, I’ll have to wait until I’ve got some smoother moves before I can really take advantage in another class.
A special thanks to New York Health & Racquet Club and Alicia Harris for having us at their class. Find Zumba class schedules on the NYHRC website and follow the NYHRC on Facebook and on Twitter!