About 30 years ago Alberto Perez from Columbia came to give aerobics class. All the students were ready  to start when he realized that forgot that he has forgotten to bring the music.  Alberto ran back to his car an took all the cassettes he found. It was merengue and bachata music and everybody was enjoying the music. This day became a birthday of zumba. In the end of 90th videos with zumba lessons were already popular in the United States, more than 100 choreographers offered private lessons. In the last 10 years zumba became  a trend in Russia as well: it brings energy of the sun that we miss so much in Russia and is also very effective to lose some kilos.

I was lucky to dance zumba for the first time in the part of the world where it was born: in Latin America. Sanguine Mexican girl was combining the movements from salsa, jazz, belly dance and even Russian cancan. The class reminded me a beach party. Pass-bugers were watching through the huge glasses. If I was dancing something else I would likely feel embarrassed. Learning zumba however made me feel so happy that I wanted to share positive emotions with everybody.


Back to the headline: dance  or fitness. If we evaluate the intensity of training, then it definitely goes into fitness. The emotions you experience however have nothing to deal with exercises, it’s for sure about dancing. Zumba fits ideally for passionate, active people to throw out the emotions and get the dose of energy. If you dream about bright vacations on the seashore, try out zumba classes and soon you will be ready for the beach season. 

I would like to share with you some Latin-American music. These are the songs that are playing in Mexican metropolitan, where blind people sell CDs. Zumba is based on improvisation so start dancing right now!

Mana, Mariposa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06w3rg-tnUQ

The Soca boys, Mueve la colita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGC7eSUep6o

Aventura, cuando volveras http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRhOpGRhy3k

Paul Cless Suavemente  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJuIgHxtZFQ

Jose De Rico feat. Henry Mendez "Rayos De Sol"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVjs5DYDWt0

Lucenzo feat don Amar, Danza Kuduru  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pHrUIr3fds

La vida es carnival  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pHrUIr3fds

I wish everybody a sunny day and a life like a carnival as it says in the last song.

Before the Christmas I always wake up from the winter sleep. Despite the day is short and there is almost no sun, the anticipation of magic energizes me. Garlands in the shape of dears appear on the streets, shop windows are especially attractive and in the office, our French colleague treats the team with special gingerbread. However, the main Christmas event at work is Xmas party with our already traditional dance performance.

Thanks to irresistible enthusiasm and fantasy of our choreographer Dorota, this year we have created a show a show about modern princesses and knights. The audience saw a combination of romance, feminism, and humor with “Game of Thrones” soundtrack playing in the background. I was slightly envious of the dresses of girls playing princesses, which they borrowed in a theater. My performance was in the last part, where we all turned to Xenas. In the costume with a red mantle, I couldn’t wait for my two minutes of fame.  Every move, sharp or smooth, flowed one into other, and I watched in the eyes of hundreds of people at the same time.

Adrenaline, childish happiness and feeling of a strong connection with everybody on the stage is only a part of what I was feeling on the stage. We divided in couples, reunited again and finally dissolved in a salute from glitter. The photos tell everything else. I will only add that feeling a princess, during a dance or at the party, is a true delight. 

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The day when you left I stopped dancing”. When the main character pronounces this phrase its ending sounds like “I stopped living””.

The last dance” is the film of Patrick Swayze, in which he also plays one of the main roles. The movie tells about three dancers coming back to the troupe after 7 years break.

The plot, however, serves more as a background than as a basis of the film. All the feelings: the pain of loss, uncertainty, fear that it’s too late are shown in the movements. Characters talk little, but t’s a pleasure to quote them:

Use the steps instead of words. Write a book. Tell it all in the movements,” – Max explains a dance to his students. “What comes first, feelings or movements?” – his question, remained without an answer.

Step by step the dancers are remembering who they were and whom they dreamt to become. Their dream resurges and comes true thanks to the passion, inspiration and team spirit.

 

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Krissa doubts whether she wants to come back. Bad experience affects her perception of the dances. She believes that it might be harmful, even dangerous, but in the end she realizes:

Everything that was important for me I left behind with that dancing girl. But today…I have realized that there is something that cannot be killed. So does it make sense to afraid of?”

The final dance is the one that brings harmony. The characters act as if they are connected but everyone remains him or herself.

The movie leaves an impression of dancing spectacle in a theater. Swayze has succeed in creating a feeling that you watch everything behind the scenes, where the heroes are dancing their not last dance.

 

Recently I was lucky to attend a class of Eddie Stockton, a choreographer from New-York. Each dance teacher has its own rules and Eddie has surprised me from the beginning when he offered me to come to the front row (normally all newcomers have to go to the back). Thanks to that I haven’t missed any move; but Eddie has taught something even more important than choreography: he has explained how to absorb information during dance-lessons. The body has its own memory and Eddie has helped to activate it. I would like to share some basic rules with you here. But before let's see the perfomance of Eddie's students:

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Rule 1 Don’t trust anybody in the room. You may trust only a teacher and still have to be careful. Don’t’ follow others, they make mistakes and you will repeat them. It might be even that others are already watching you and waiting for tips. That’s why fully concentrate on the moves: count, listen to music and you will get it. When you have done the move once, it will not seem hard anymore.

Rule 2 Repeat the moves. Three-five-ten times. Watching is not an effective tool for learning dancing. It is not possible to learn the move before you have tried it. Make mistakes! Anyway it is better to do wrong than not to do at all. In the end each mistake brings you closer to a moment of success.

Rule3 Don’t memorize each move separately, search for the logic. There is always a certain pattern in the sets. Try to catch it: count and think carefully about the following moves. In other words, start with the brain, then the body will work.

Finally I would like to give an advice based on my personal experience. When in the end of the lesson I was doing a set last time I was very happy that finally all the moves worked out. Full of expectations I was watching Eddie, but he has replied me with critics. It might be that he was distracted while I was dancing but he for sure has seen the ending. So he has seen when I almost fell down when the music stopped playing. Inaccurate ending was a reason why I haven’t manage to impress my teacher. Ok I will do it in the next class for sure. Since you know the rules already you are likely to succeed from the first attempt!