By MARINA BONANNO
Seventy-seven University of Mary Washington students waited outside the dance studio for their Zumba instructor, Dani Hoffmann, to arrive last Thursday, Feb. 16.
Zumba is a fitness method that incorporates Latin dance moves from hip-hop, samba, salsa and the merengue. In the past few years, Zumba classes have risen in popularity and have become popular amongst UMW students as well.
Amy Leap, a UMW senior said, “I live for Zumba on my busy days—it is fun exercise with friends, and where else can you dance like this?”
And the best part is, there is no experience needed.
Instructor Hoffman said, “Zumba helps for people who don’t feel like they can dance or the uncoordinated.”
Hoffman graduated as a Business Administration and Psychology major from UMW in 2006 and is a returning Eagle giving back to the community.
She has been teaching group exercise at UMW since 2004 and in addition to Zumba, Dani is a certified teacher in cardio kickboxing, pilates, step, abs and high-intensity interval training. Her magnetic personality and athletic talent is part of what UMW students love so much about her classes.
Substitute Zumba instructor and UMW alumna Amanda Boccuti said, “Dani is a wonderful instructor! She is so encouraging and enthusiastic.”
A regular attendant of the class, Jessica Randall, a junior, said, “Dani is so encouraging and I love coming to dance with my friends every week. It’s a refreshing change of pace from school work.”
For those who want a change of scenery from their normal gym routine, Zumba is a solid alternative.
Zumba’s incorporation of upbeat dance moves and aerobic training ensures a powerful cardio workout without the regular stress on your muscles and joints.
When asked what she loves about Zumba, Hoffman said, “I like when I look down at the heart monitor at the end of an hour and realize how hard I’ve worked without feeling like I’m working.”
In addition to a good workout, Zumba teaches students rhythm and some new dance moves. Hoffman is consistently adding new songs and choreography to her workout routines and loves the feedback she receives from UMW students.
“What I like best about Zumba is how excited it has gotten people about working out again,” said Hoffman. “I love looking up and seeing an excited look on someone’s face when they master a dance move or even an entire song.”
If you are interested in trying Zumba, Hoffman’s class is held in Goolrick Hall in Dance Studio 5 on Thursdays from 6:15-7:15pm and on Sundays from 1:00-2:00pm, new students are always welcome.
Image courtesy of Marina Bonanna