America Ferrera is partnering with Zumba fitness with their new Zumba Beginners program. I’m a fan of America so I like her interviews in general, but this Zumba Beginners thing interests me. I’ll tell you why below. As for America, she said she comes from a family who always had dancing in the house, so Zumba was a natural fit for her workout routine. And, because she’s carried on the tradition of dancing in her own home, her kids can participate in the Zumba workout. That way there’s always music, movement and joy in the home. Because America says that dancing with Zumba just makes her whole day better.

On her preferred workout: I love moving my body. I try [to work out] once a day. I think my relationship to moving my body and working out has really evolved, and I’m in a place where I just want to enjoy it. I want to have fun, I want to move because I can, because it feels good, and because it always makes my day better after I’ve done that.

Find a workout you want to do: I think for a lot of people with children, it’s very, very hard to carve out time for anything that isn’t work and kids. I feel like in order for me to keep showing up for myself and moving my body in ways that I enjoy, I have to find those workouts that are not just me punishing myself and saying, like, ‘Okay, you have an hour. Go beat yourself up.

Her whole family dances: We have family dance parties on Saturday and Sunday mornings, spontaneous dance parties, often to Latino music. Ever since my first kid could stand up without our help, we have been having dance parties as a family … moving our bodies for the joy of it to music that we love.

She grew up dancing: [Dancing is] something I grew up with in my household as a kid. I remember waking up on the weekends to very, very loud salsa music playing while my mom cleaned the house. You didn’t really have a choice: You had to clean, or you had to dance — and sometimes both at the same time.

So it just feels like [something special], passing on to my kids the gift of how much joy there is in moving your body to music that you love. It’s a tradition, and it’s cultural for me, so it’s really important to us.

Why Zumba works for her: It’s so many of the things that I love when I’m looking for a workout — It’s fun, it’s high energy. I love anything that has to do with choreography because it takes my mind off the fact that I’m working out. And before you know it, it’s done, and I’ve done my workout for the day.

[From People]

I have a lot of varied thoughts on this so forgive the scattershot that’s about to follow. First of all, I’m implementing this ‘you either clean or you dance’ rule at once. Like, that should be Biden’s re-election platform. I love America’s description of her household and the one she grew up in. We had a lot of music and dancing in my homes too. My parents, especially my father, are great dancers, and it wasn’t uncommon to see them dancing in the living room. My husband and kids dance when the mood strikes them as well. We celebrate it, I love to see other homes doing the same. And CB said the same thing America did about dance workouts in one of her podcasts: because you focus on the choreography, you don’t focus so much on the work, and you’re done before you know it.

As for the Zumba stuff, I’m curious about whether they are thriving or need help. They’re partnering more with celebrities, which means they can pay celebrities, but I didn’t think Zumba needed that kind of thing. Tia Mowry also reps Zumba. In that post, CB described why she’s soured on the company part of Zumba. Like CB and America, I love dance-based workouts. And I like Zumba – I love the music – but it’s so teacher/class specific whether you have a good experience. Maybe it’s just me, but I was trained in ballet. Zumba is “just have fun and move, don’t worry about the steps” while ballet promotes the idea you should volunteer yourself for the stockades rather than put a foot wrong in rehearsal. So being in a class with a beautifully toned instructor saying “you know the steps!”, while doing this terrific combination you’ve never seen before, that the class just follows along sends me into a spiral. I beat myself up, so if the Zumba teacher doesn’t call the steps, I leave. But this Beginners thing that America’s promoting teaches you the basic steps on your own time. And gets you into a mini-workout. So maybe I can get the basics down and face that Saturday at 10:30AM nightmare that makes me cry.

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