New Update: I’ve been adding new ones as I come across ones that I like.
I’ve said a couple of times that I’ve been loving doing Zumba. It’s the only workout that makes me lose track of time because I’m enjoying it so much. Right now I go to a Monday night class with the awesome Abby Todd (it’s in Schenectady, but she also teaches in Guilderland), and when I can, I go to a Zumba class followed by a wonderful yoga class at the Schenectady JCC on Sunday mornings (Gold’s Gym, in Niskayuna, has some great Zumba classes, too–anyone else have recommendations for readers who don’t live near me?).
My delightful husband Cute W ordered me a Zumba DVD set, and while it was a wonderful gift idea and before I owned it, I was tempted to buy it myself (and I’m sure that he scored an excellent deal on in, because that’s how he rolls), I wouldn’t recommend getting it for yourself. First, there are the instructional parts, which are boring the first time and then–oh, that’s right–there’s never a second time that you watch an instructional anything. There’s also a lot of Beto Perez, the creator of the program, and the truth is, he’s a bit of a goofball. For me, watching it is awkward and painful. He’s hopping around striking these poses and it feels like even some of the other instructors are cringing for him. That might just be me. But if you’ve ever worked out with any of these at-home programs, you know that you develop strong reactions to people’s personalities. I also feel like the students have surpassed the teacher a bit, so that there’s more fun songs and choreography out there, especially because I prefer the routines that stray from all of that salsa and merengue and take on the super-catchy popular music
Over the summer I was suffering from Zumba withdrawal when Abby wasn’t teaching her class and I hadn’t settled on any others, so I looked around for some good routines on Youtube. That’s not as easy as you might expect, because often the sound or video quality is really crappy. Or there are routines that are way too boring or way too complicated. Or, my personal favorite, sometimes the women are wearing Victoria’s Secret-style push up sports bras and there’s such a big focus on their gyrating buttocks that you’re no longer certain if it’s a workout or soft porn.
Whenever I mention my deep love of Zumba, people often say “I’ve been meaning to try that” or “Oh, I couldn’t possibly dance in a room full of people.” So, for those of you who would like to try a little in the privacy of your own home, I curated a collection of favorites, which I now present to you. For each video I’m adding a little explanation of why I added what and an approximate amount of time for each, but you could also do all of these in a row and you’d have a good workout of just a bit over 36 minutes. Ready?
La Vida Es Bella: this is a nice, slow, easy one to start you off, and the instructor just seems like someone I would like to take out for coffee. [3:30]
Moves Like Jagger: this is one of my favorite songs in Abby’s class, and the choreography is different here, but it’s the closest I could find, and still fun. Alas, this one starts with an ad. [3:10]
Las Mujeres Lo Bailan Bien: this one is easy to follow and feels the most like the sort of classes I’ve actually encountered. [4:20]
Pegate: fun song, and this is close to the choreography for one of my class favorites, but this is also hilarious because it’s men leading the song at one of those big Zumba events filled with Zumba fanatics, so the whole thing is entertaining. [3:20]
The same group of guys is doing this one. [3:30]
El Amor: this song is super-fun, and I like the little crew of girls. [4:20]
Gangnam Style: super-popular right now, and it’s the same instructor from El Amor again. She’s slightly too gorgeous for my tastes, but she’s having goofy fun and nobody’s focusing the camera on her body parts, so she’s forgiven. [3:35]
I’ve figured out that this woman has a rotating channel, so the links change constantly. It’s a bummer, but I’m leaving it because you can follow the breadcrumbs if you’re motivated. If the above doesn’t link properly, try this.)
La Patilla: the quality’s a bit poor, but this is another great song with such a likeable class full of people. At one point someone yells, “I can’t do it!” And someone calls, “Me neither!” and I find it charming. [3:35]
Mawa Sillah: the moves are basic, it’s got a great West African dance feel to it, and I like the instructor–she’s informal but clearly passionate about dance. [3:50]
Waka Waka: another awesome song, with adorable instructors in coordinating outfits doing a fun dance for charity. [3:20]
Can’t Stop the Party by Pitbull: a fun one that I added because I needed a change of pace. [3:25]
Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed Peas: easy choreography and fun song [4:10]
Historia: another great song, and a mellow one for a little cool-down. [3:20]
Anyone have other recommendations, either online or in the real world? Any favorites here?