Sunday, July 6, 2014




     Many men say they don't, or can't do Zumba, including my husband, Jon. In fact, he likes to say (with a mischievous grin on his face and his macho male attitude), "Real men don't Zumba!" But, you can see from this photo with Armondo at Stardance Studios in Mazatlan, that Jon was good-natured and went to some Zumba classes with me. He says that he has two left-feet, so he never knows which foot he should be on! In addition, he's left-handed so he seems to move in the opposite direction of that of the Instructor. But, who cares! It really doesn't matter which foot he's on, as long as he's moving and enjoying it. 

     I have had many great Zumba workouts with men Instructors. Israel at Shanti Studios in Puerto Vallarta was one of my favorites. He was very good about reminding his students in a friendly way to smile while doing Zumba. I notice that if I smile while I am doing Zumba, I feel happiness. This is how Zumba benefits emotional as well as physical well-being. So, when Jon is doing Zumba with me and I notice that he has a frown on his face because he's concentrating too hard or he's frustrated, I whisper to him: "Smile! It's all about enjoying the movement and the music!"

     Many of my favorite Zumba Instructors in Mexico are men. It seems that the Latin men are able to really let loose and feel the music, more easily than North Americans and Europeans (Gringos). Music and dancing are a part of the Mexican culture and so children begin dancing at fiestas and at home when they are very young. As a result, dancing feels more natural for many men in Mexico, and they really enjoy it. Cesar at the Fitclub in San Miguel de Allende was another Zumba Instructor that made me smile throughout class, partly because he wasn't afraid to be silly. With his flirty antics he had his students, including the other men, not only dancing, but smiling, laughing, clapping, cheering, and hooting, all contributing to the health benefit of Zumba. Many Gringo men feel self-conscious about letting loose enough to enjoy Zumba. Those of us who are Gringos can learn a lot about getting loose from the Mexican National people. And Zumba is a great way to let loose!

I love the Zumba classes at the YMCA in Ashland, OR, where I live during the summer months. There are several men who attend the Zumba and Zumba Gold classes. When I told George that I was writing an article titled "Men Don't Zumba", he said, "It's a lie! Men DO Zumba!" I loved that response! Steve has been a regular in Zumba class for years and has some great advice for men, or anyone, just starting out in Zumba: "Forget about your arms...forget you even have arms. Just move your feet when you first begin learning Zumba. And don't give up. Plan to go to 5 or 6 Zumba classes before you start to get the feel of it. Don't try to keep up with the Instructor at first if it frustrates you. Instead, find someone in class to stand behind, and try to imitate them. Zumba is a good exercise for the brain too, learning to coordinate your moves to the music." All of Steve's advice is great for men as well as women who are just beginning to learn Zumba! It is great that men do Zumba, too!
                                                                COPYRIGHT ©2014 by Terry L Turrell
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