Zumba Gold® here we come!
So a few weeks ago I packed my family and my Zumba gear into our old banger and travelled the 4 hours to the glorious West of England. A land of cider, cheddar cheese gorges (if only!), immensely beautiful landscapes and the home of the magnificent Clifton suspension bridge designed by engineer supreme, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
I was excited and a little apprehensive, I was finally on my way to Zumba Gold® training with ZES Hender Corredor-Escalante. King of Zumba Gold® and Zumba Education Specialist extraordinaire. Eek!
I kiss my family goodbye and creep out of my friend's Bristol house (it is very early!) and get into my trusty motor ready to hit the M4. I have to add here that this is my first ever time driving on a motorway. I have avoided it for years as the thought scares me s**tless, but this was the only way to get to my Zumba Gold® training in a small town outside of Bristol, unreachable by public transport due to it being silly o'clock on a Sunday morning! Gah!
So with my lycra clad buttocks well clenched and nose nearly touching the windscreen I set off. Bloody Zumba® love!
To my relief I make it in one piece albeit a little shaky to the venue, a large school hall full of bleary eyed participants. Some are holding their coffee tightly to their chests, some are chatting excitedly to old friends, but ALL of whom are clad head to toe in a rainbow mashup of Zumba Wear - colourful leggings, neon tops, sparkly trainers covered in Zumba logos; TURN IT UP, FEEL THE HEAT, bandanas, even Zumba denim jackets'. The stuff to make your retinas hurt at 7:30am! This is my clan, I am home!
I smile nicely at anyone who catches my eye and I sign myself in, scout the hall for 'good spot' and make my way to the front left wall where I spot a school bench, the ones used for P.E. and assemblies and plop my sleepy self down.
Little did I realise what a bad idea this was. Damn me and my hatred of standing and love of sitting my butt down everywhere! As I try and get up I realise to my horror that I am stuck to the bench which I now notice is covered in old duct tape which has melted as the benches are next to the radiators! I manage to peel myself off as inconspicuously as possible and thank the heavens I am wearing a longish top which, if i keep my arms down (impossible during a Zumba class), will hide the murky strips of duct tape glue across my black lycra covered butt. I curse the decision to stand at the front. This is what I get for being a Front Row Diva!
I confide nervously to the person beside me, maybe in an attempt to be friendly, maybe my ADHD and my oversharing mode is on, who knows? Oh God, am I talking too much, maybe she thinks I am a weirdo, gah!? I stop babbling, concentrate on listening to Hendor and convince myself that no-one is gonna be looking at my butt, but looking at him and his beautiful tanned arms and engaging smile.
The day goes well, I prance around for many hours and that's cool with me, I wish I'd brought more food though - Zumba® trainings are hard work! During lunch someone compliments me on my flamenco technique and insists I break down some moves/technique for her. Midway Hender, the ZES (Zumba Education Specialist) pops over to chat to us and the others in our lil clump of multi-coloured lycra Zumba wear and catches me mid demo, arghh! A tad embarrassing! He is lovely of course and my new friend then offers me a banana which makes it all fine as I am ravenous and quickly forget my embarrassment! I will repeat - take loads of food when you attend a Zumba training they are non-stop!
I was excited but yet apprehensive that maybe I had made the wrong choice in spending my hard earned cash on a certification that I may not enjoy. I had pre- conceived misconceptions in my head. What if Zumba Gold® was just boring Zumba®? What if it was too slow, how was I going to enjoy teaching something I didn't enjoy doing myself? But oh my was I wrong!
First of all ZES Hender is totes AMAZING (and I am not a fan girl - believe me). We were taught that low impact does not have to mean low energy or boring. The pace of Gold gives you time to focus on technique and form. The additional rhythms such as Tango, Swing and Flamenco are all included for a reason too. Flamenco for optimal wrist movement (good for arthritis) and arm extension (something that with age can dramatically decrease), Tango for balance co-ordination and memory (fantastic results have been shown in older adults with dementia and alzheimer's), these are just a few examples of this carefully devised program.
The program is designed to cater for those who may have injuries or medical conditions that require modifications to specific dance movements/steps. It includes moves that would benefit students with for eg- arthritis, joint trouble, even those with knee and/or hip replacements. The beauty of Zumba Gold® is that anyone can come along and access the class at their own level. If required participants can sit for parts or even all of the class, moving and grooving to the beat alongside the rest of the class but from a seated position.
In a world where fitness classes for adults over a certain age and for people with intellectual and physical disabilities are few, Zumba Gold® is a fantastic idea. I am so excited to bring Zumba Gold® to Brighton. I simply can't wait!
Find my Zumba Gold® timetable as well as my Zumba® class times here:-
ZUMBA GOLD® & ZUMBA® WITH MON - TIMETABLE
Spreading The Zumba® Love,