Students and teacher initiate Zumba Club at Stevenson

Brenda Reyn, Graphic Editor

Stevenson will now be offering a Zumba class available for all students to join. The club is expected to meet after school on Wednesdays. The room number is yet to be announced.

Zumba originated in the mid 1990s by accident. An aerobics instructor from Colombia, Beto Perez, arrived to teach his class when he discovered that he forgot his traditional music. Instead of cancelling the class, Perez decided to improvise and use the music he had with him. Using a mixture of Latin music CDs from his car, Perez continued on with the class, which ended in the phenomenon now known as Zumba.

Now, about 15 million people take weekly Zumba classes in over 200,000 locations in more than 180 countries. (

“Zumba is not as structured as any other kind of dance,” Spanish teacher Raquel Antillera said. “There are different choreography levels that you can apply  and a lot of freedom. You can follow the choreography, but you can make it yours to vary according to what you like or what you can’t do.”

An average Zumba class usually lasts about 50 minutes. In that time, the instructor generally goes through about 10 to 12 different repetitive, easy to catch on routines, according to Jill Lipman, Director of Physical Welfare. There is a song for a warmup, then around six to eight songs that follow, each with their own stylized choreographies. After, there is a song for a cool down and stretch. Though, Zumba classes do not have to follow a certain form and tend to vary based on the instructor’s preference.

“[The choreographies] are fast paced to get the heart up,” Lipman said. “It is a great cardio [exercise] as well as strengthening for the core or abdominals, hips, glutes and legs.”

In addition, Zumba helps flexibility, agility and coordination. It involves a lot of cardio intensive movement and muscle training that’s targeted to work different muscle groups.

“[Zumba] burns up to 500 calories per class, and the best part is that it doesn’t feel like you’re working out,” Antillera said.

For Tiffany Chen ’16, this party-like workout has done a lot more than just provide a fun way to exercise—it has taught her that dance is all encompassing in a way that it is very fun yet very rigorous. Chen notes that Zumba has allowed her to focus more on how she spends her energy while she dances and open up to other types of dance. Many of the dance moves in Zumba taught her mind how to become more flexible.

“Combining the two worlds of dance and exercise is very enjoyable,” Chen said.

According to Antillera, Zumba is an important club to have in Stevenson since it helps with releasing all the stress of school while being active and fit.The club is open to everyone, even those with no prior dance experience.