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Enthusiasm flows at Zumbahula class

By Nancy Arcayna

LAST UPDATED: 10:00 p.m. HST, Jun 8, 2011

Dancing my way through Erin Young's Zumba Gold class at New Hope Diamond Head Resource Center at Kahala Mall, I was reminded to "feel the music, ditch the workout and join the party."

Zumba, often referred to as a giant dance party, encourages folks to have fun while burning calories in the process.

Zumbahula Gold Class

» Where/When: 5 to 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Holy Nativity gym, 5286 Kalanianaole Highway; 1 to 2 p.m. Saturdays, New Hope Diamond Head Resource Center, Kahala Mall

» Fee: $5 per class

» Info: 351-3916 or visit www.zumbahula.com

I attended the "gold" class geared toward active older adults, beginners and the injured and pregnant. Even though the routines were slower and easier to follow, the quick, jerky movements might be too much for people with knee and hip problems. I found myself carefully transitioning between moves on more than one occasion, so it was hard to let loose and just enjoy.

I don't pride myself on being graceful, so I wasn't surprised that I was lost for more than half of the class. Most of the participants appeared confident and knew the routines. I suppose if I went to a few more classes, I'd be up to speed. Young insists it's not about getting the moves down, as long as you are moving your entire body and having a good time.

The lively Zumba music played during the workout included salsa, merengue, cumbia and belly dancing. "I like to add hip-hop, Tahitian, hula and worship music," Young said. "Every song is from a different ethnic group from around the world."

The promise of hula in addition to the traditional Zumba numbers was what enticed me to check out the class. But I was disappointed that only one hula number was included — in the cool-down — especially since Young brands her business as Zumbahula.

The Zumba class was not for me, but the large group of smiling women who were there left me clearly in the minority. The positive energy and enthusiasm emanating from Young was a good motivator, as she instructed participants to "remember to breathe and keep smiling."

Reach Nancy Arcayna at narcayna@staradvertiser.com or call 529-4808.

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