Zumba: Group ﬁtness that’s not just for women By Cory Lamz | April 24, 2012
Denver may enjoy 300 days of sunshine per year, according to Metro Denver, but, despite the warm weather, some residents are running away from the heat and towards a new ﬁtness trend instead: Zumba.
Zumba is a LaLn ﬁtness program in which aMendants burn calories by dancing to up-‐tempo music.
But wait! Before you enroll in a Zumba class at the University of Denver, answer one important quesLon: What gender are you?
Gender maMers for the Zumba classes at the University of Denver. Out of 30 students in a given Zumba class, only a handful of them are ever men, says Taryn Brandt, a group ﬁtness instructor at DU. Are these men missing out on a ﬁtness secret?
ParLcipants can burn up to 600 calories per Zumba class, according LiveStrong.com, yet men are sLll opLng for the treadmill or free weights at the University of Denver.
Molly Duran, a freshman at DU, has aMended Brandt’s weekly Zumba class 11 Lmes over the course of 12 weeks. She’s only ever seen men in the class once or twice since enrolling and they stay “usually in the back.”
Although she tries to remain gender-‐neutral with her choreography, Brandt says she ﬁnds herself incorporaLng more feminine dance moves, like this chest pop, into the Zumba workout.
“I have one song that is from the movie ‘Burlesque’ that is deﬁnitely geared more towards the female populaLon. I would tend to only use that one on Wednesdays rather than do it on the night that the guys were there because it just felt beMer,” Brandt says.
Brandt’s workout ranges from heavy, fast-‐paced cardio to slower, more breathing-‐ and core-‐intensive training. SomeLmes, the choreography mixes both.
Yet one male student, Nick PiscioMa, a senior at DU, doesn’t let any of that stop him. He is only one of a few men that has aMended the class more than once. “The fact that you’re the only guy is kind of inLmidaLng. I think I might have been slightly more comfortable with males around me – I’d be more willing to go all out,” he says.
No maMer the gender, Zumba can be fun for everyone – as long as you are willing to stretch your body and your mind.
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