I am a huge fan of finding ways to get fit whilst having fun. When I lived in New York, I discovered Zumba. Upon returning to London, I searched for Zumba classes, but I have yet to find a class as awesome as the class I attended at CAP21. Here is what I thought of Zumba in Dalston…
I recently moved to Dalston and in an attempt to get to know the area, I joined Streetlife; a website that allows you to connect with local people as well as learn about local events. I found an advertisement about Zumba in Dalston, so I thought I’d check it out. The following Saturday morning, I walked into Gold’s Gym, where, at the end of a long corridor, I was directed upstairs and into a room filled with gym equipment that was pushed against the wall. Looking around, I noticed the Victorian wooden floorboards. These are a favourite of mine in homes, but these creaky floorboards with holes and cracks that rival the one created in the Tate Modern, are not my first choice as a floor I am about to bust-a-move on! If the room were to fill up with participants, it would be even harder to avoid the potholes and a potential broken ankle! However, as the class had just been formed and only recently advertised, I was not too surprised that only two of us had shown up. So, with a pair of trainers tightly fastened to my feet, the class began. The corridor of space created with the gym equipment was not a problem with just the three of us, however, the excitement and energy that comes with a busy class, was missing. The frequent interruption of expectant gym goers was distracting and the awkwardness of the teacher at a loss of how to deal with stubborn treadmill users at the side of the room, was off-putting.
Whilst the teacher, Patricia, was very sweet, it was clear that she was new to teaching Zumba. Her constant reassurance, as evident by glances to her notes and her occasional mistakes in movements often led to confusion and broke the momentum. For a new teacher and a low admission price, this is easily forgiven, but her silence throughout, masked by an embarrassed smile, felt awkward. She needed to have more gumption. She should be chanting directions for the next movement, with a count down for us. Instead, she would suddenly change them without a vocal warning, which meant there was always a delay in our response. Whilst this is funny for anyone watching, it will definitely prove to be a hindrance for a larger class.
Despite this, the class is a fun way to exercise and raise your heart rate. I would recommend this class to beginners, as it was not hard to follow. The movements are basic and upon returning for a second class, the teacher did not add any new routines. A beginner would not feel intimidated or overwhelmed, unless the class gains popularity and becomes busy. In such a small space, it could soon become over-crowded, with little room for the larger movements required by the Zumba routines. For someone with experience of Zumba, the class is not challenging enough and the room is too small to express your movements.
Whilst I enjoyed Zumba in Dalston, I’m currently looking for a more advanced Zumba class, as well as new and exciting ways to exercise. I’ll keep you posted…
How Much? £5 per class or 5 classes for £20
Where Is It? Every Saturday 11.30 to 12.15 @ Kings Gym, 552 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AH
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*Health Advice: Consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.