Dancing your weight off through Zumba

It could be that you want to shed some weight, tone up, or just simply want to pick up an extracurricular activity. Whichever your reason may be, Time Out recently discovered Zumba Dance Fitness classes, a  fitness class with a bit of funk, fun and lots of attitude.

Zumba fitness has been around since 2012, and has since become a popular fitness activity amongst Botswana’s  increasingly health conscious working women, says Tiyapo Graves, the founder and dance instructor of the sassy fitness class based in Thornhill Primary school hall.

Graves says she was inspired to take up Zumba classes while staying in America and it has changed her life in many ways. “After giving birth to my kids, I got really overweight, on top of that I was a stay-at-home mom, so that didn’t sit well with me. I had to keep my sanity.” So she started attending Zumba classes and never stepped back.  For her, it has been and still is a way to kick back and release all stresses from the mind and body.

As s a certified Zumba instructor, she established her own class in the city centre, and is joined by  over a hundred women every Tuesday, Thursday, and on Saturdays for an hour long of healthy fun. The fitness dance incorporates urban music of different genres including fast-paced funk, Carribean carnival jams, Kwaito, hip-hop, mosakaso among others.

Zumba Fitness is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness program which brings an  arty-like approach to average work out,  with anywhere between 400-800 calories being burnt  in an hour long class.
While Time Out joined in on the dance fitness, we observed most of the participants were middle aged women who had just knocked off  from work and came  straight to the class to either unwind or to get in shape. Everyone is welcome, as men, kids and teenagers turned up for the fitness jam session. For P30 per class, Zumba is affordable compared to the monthly gym fee, and not only that, the environment is certainly more exciting and less rigid  in comparison. “What makes Zumba unique is the fact that exercise in done in a group, but mainly it’s fun, like a party where you don’t need to worry about getting the steps right. We just moved to the rhythm and change step as the beat changes,” Graves explained.

For those in the quest for weight-loss, she says it is especially effective in shedding kilos because of its cardio-vascular nature. “It gets your heart rate up so it’s more like a cardio exercise, hence  good for weight loss. You can’t lose weight unless it’s a workout related to cardio exercise.”