So if you haven't heard of Zumba just yet — exactly where is that giant rock you've been living under and should we introduce you to Ryan Gosling and cats while we're at it? — it's the hugely popular exercise craze that manages to make sweating it out totally fun. If you want to get in shape for summer but hate the gym (seriously, elliptical machines make me want to saw my legs off 127 Hours style) and if being told to concentrate on your breathing and 'chakra' makes you want to punch a hole in the wall, then Zumba is definitely for you.
Zumba is a high energy workout (you can lose up to 1,000 calories in one class!) that will have you sweating away while you boogie to pumping beats and learn some sexy salsa moves. Just imagine the best, most booty-shakingly amazing night you've ever had, then double it and condense it into one hour, and you'll have an idea of what you're in for. It's more like a dance party than a gym class, and you'll leave feeling pumped, energetic and — yes, this is a given — a little bit sweaty.
They're currently running a 30 Day Zumba Challenge to get everybody revved up for summer, which is the perfect thing to get you motivated (and then hooked!). So you can join the party, get fit and win some awesome prizes in the process.
We know that it can be entirely intimidating turning up to one of these classes for the first time, but you should never let the fear of looking a bit stupid stop you from having fun. With that said, here are our top 5 tips for not looking like a fool at your next Zumba class:
1. Wear comfy clothes - Just because it feels more like a party than the gym doesn't make it okay to wear club clothes to a class. Leave the sparkly dresses and 6-inch heels at home.
2. Don't forget your water - You will sweat. A lot. Nothing looks sillier than being the one who faints from dehydration. Replenish those fluids and you'll have a hell of a lot more fun (With the added bonus of flushing out all those toxins! Glowing skin? Yes please!).
3. Switch off the embarrassment centre of your brain - Moving is hard. Even after 18 years of dance training I still look like a drunk baby giraffe when I try to move, and I'm okay with that. If you're worried about looking silly then that's definitely how you're going to look. Just remember that we're all in the same boat, we're all a bit un-co and we all just wanna have fun — so there's no judging!
4. Bring a friend - Unless you're one of those rare creatures who can turn up alone, stand front and centre and nail the steps first try (they're like a magical exercise unicorn!), then you'll need the boost of courage that comes with having your best bud there. Plus, if you have a buddy with you then you're automatically more likely to dance your little heart out.
5. Have fun! - This is one of those no-brainers, but if you combine all the above points, then you're guaranteed to have an awesome time, and you'll be shaking off that extra weight faster than you can say 'arriba!'.
Have you tried a Zumba class before? Tell us about it in the comments below!