Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Since August, I have been busting moves on the Zumba dance floors in Honolulu. Two to three times a week, for one solid hour of pure sweat, I have samba’d and mamboed and cha-cha-cha’d myself silly—all in an effort to prevent those diabolical blood clots from returning to my thick-blooded arteries.

According to http://www.zumbacize.com, an hour of Zumba burns approximately 600-1000 calories if done with full-out effort, which is hard not to do if you have an instructor that demands it. My Monday/Friday class is taught by professional dance instructor Chelsey, a ponytail-whipping fireball who makes one hour feel like ten minutes. She cranks out Latino and Middle Eastern moves and winds us down with two of the choreographed dances from Slumdog Millionaire, transforming the large room into a Bollywood production.

My Thursday instructor at 24-hour Fitness is Zumba Maniac, Wendy. She’s 100% Latina, and 100% fun! Wendy takes us from Mexico to Brazil to Spain and beyond. She blends pulsating Regaeton with suave Flamenco, and as soon as the music starts to blast, so do we. When the hour comes to a sweat-drenched end, all of us—young and old, men and women—look as if we have just completed day one of a Cuban boot camp.

At night I find myself in bed, counting out steps…in Spanish. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro--paso a la derecha…cinco, seis, siete, ocho--paso a la izquierda. Hip swivel, little dip, cha-cha-cha!

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