Anyone can dance. Everyone needs exercise. Zumba™ gives us permission to do, move, feel in outside-the-box ways, with side effects like better mental, emotional, and physical health and resilience. My dance students have treated and healed from conditions from depression to neuropathy to ADHD, and of course so many have lost weight and built muscle and confidence through a practice of happiness.
I love sharing interesting, weird things about the songs I teach and the moves I use, sometimes talking back to current events with my playlist so we get a chance to work out our feelings as well.
My motto is “Sweat Yourself Silly.” My other motto is “Fun First, Fitness Follows.” My class is called “Happy Dance with KRS-10” and yes, we actually do the Snoopy Dance.
What’s Behind my Dance Evangelism…
A big fan of ballroom dance and Broadway & Hollywood musicals. Songs in my head, dancing while cleaning house. I taught a few generations of teens to swing, was a founding member of the DecoBelles (bathing beauties/femmes fatales/pinup girls), and was honored with the first Miss Art Deco sash & tiara.
Before I was 30, I achieved a lifelong goal of dancing with fruit on my head, and spent hours in rehearsals, performances and at parties. The mom thing kind of put the kabosh on that, until the fateful day I discovered ZUMBA™. You mean I can party daily, without cocktails, high heels, or hangovers?
When I made a commitment to myself to exercise well, and often, I determined to keep that commitment by leading others in the most enjoyable workout ever. (Here’s an article about how Zumba helps with writing.)
With Zumba, I was able to play for a living. I released my inner hip-hopper, and evolved into KRS-10. I began teaching classes to moms, dads, seniors and high school students. I let myself and my students take up space with Zumbathons and Dance Playshops and parties. I still love to go swing. And I found ways to bring swing into Zumba.
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My Classes get Literary
Zumba features in my travel memoir, Ten Days, Ten Pounds.
Sometimes I wonder: Is Zumba the Bandaloop come to life?
An excerpt from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins:
After exposing corruption and chicanery in two governing bodies and three major industries, the program focused on a new dance craze that was sweeping Argentina.
“They call it the Bandaloop,” said the announcer, “and everyone is doing it.”
Priscilla sat up in bed.
On the screen, the dancers were skipping and bounding about the floor in a kind of exaggerated polka. Every once in a while, they would stop, execute a little backward and forward jitterbug stop, then, yelling “Bandaloop!” they would jump straight in the air, up and down, five times.
Priscilla sat more erect. “Morgenstern,” she whispered. “But the bandaloop is more than just another dance fad,” the announcer said. “It is a health fad, as well. Supposedly, it can add years, even decades, to your life.”