Zumba, As popular as ever?: A Q&A with Zumba instructor Lachlan Holt
Zumba is an exercise fitness program that involves dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music. It came into popularity in Australia around a decade ago and is still being actively pursued as a popular alternative method of exercise.
The industry is still growing though it has been around for over a decade in Australia and there have been other, newer forms of dance exercise come into existence in Australia. So how does a fitness class stay so popular? One reason could be the personnel running these classes which helps bring new motivations and different outlooks on exercise. I was able to sit down with one such instructor who is doing things a little differently.
Q: What is it about Zumba that differs from other styles of alternative forms of exercise?
A: It attracted me because it meant I could still remain somewhat fit and get out of the house occasionally but still do something I enjoyed. I tend to find that a lot of my clients are people who are very hesitant around gyms, who don’t like gyms, who don’t like the idea of exercise, so, Zumba is something that allows them to still exercise without scaring them away.
Q: Do you do anything different in your classes than would usually be taught in a regular Zumba class?
A: There tends to be two different types of people (instructors), one who is entertaining to watch and you kind of try to copy them and the other ones who actively try to teach you the steps as you go. I tend to incorporate a lot of Ballroom or Latin styles that aren’t necessarily ‘Zumba’ or using styles that aren’t necessarily ‘Zumba’, so, I tend to put stuff in there that people haven’t heard before and tracks that aren’t exclusively ‘Zumba’ tracks. Which makes me slightly different.
Q: Do you have to know, prior to a class, and Latin or Ballroom dance moves?
A: Most of the people I’ve been with have never been dancing before, most of the people have never done Zumba before. It’s a gateway drug to dancing. Which is quite useful because there aren’t enough gateway drugs to dancing.
Q: How popular, in your opinion, is Zumba in Canberra?
A: It used to be very popular, a decade ago when it started it was massive. Since then there’s been a number of competitors such as Sh’bam and Les Mills has started up its own dance style of exercise.
Q: Is there anything you do to keep it fresh and appealing then?
A: They give me a number of tracks every month or so to teach and then you can find your own ones as well. I haven’t been using the Zumba tracks for a year at least because no one likes them. They’re boring, they’re all electro-Latin because the original Latin is not at all exciting enough anymore and people are trying new things.
Q: Are there many Zumba classes being run in Canberra?
There’s a lot! There’s almost any age or demographic of teacher out there. There are women who are 70 who are teaching and there’s women who are my age and teaching, pretty much anywhere around Canberra, if you want to look up a Zumba place. And almost once every 4 to 6 months there will be a Zumbathon where you’ll get about 100 or so people coming together to dance.
If you are interested in giving a Zumba class a go you can find a class for you here.