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Dave's Zumba Class
INVIGORATING AND EMPOWERING,
THE ZUMBA CLASS THAT BROUGHT HEALTHY FUN INTO MY LIFE
With some of the friends I made at Dave's (Top Left in hat) class (me Bottom Right in red)
A year ago I was a total mess, anatomically. Busy with
work and home improvement, I let my health slip a little
and body swell a lot. Feeling sick and wanting a way out, I
renewed my membership at ClubSport Fremont (now
renamed Bay Club).
Like millions of women, I find working out tedious,
exhausting and inconvenient, especially driving to the gym
with my busy schedule. I simply wasn't motivated enough.
Yes, surely weight needs to be controlled (especially at my
age), and I must put my best foot forward, but it was just
too much: 20 minutes of cardio, on top of another twenty
minutes of machines - ups, downs, sits, stands, pulls, pushes...
Tired of this monotonous drill, I searched for other
offers within the club, in which I wouldn't have to withstand
too much physical exertion and pain, but just enough
to sweat a little. My main goal was to lose weight and
simultaneously enjoy the process enough to be consistent.
Finding the activity that would bring that magical blend
was the main issue.
Power yoga? No, too much power and too little peace.
Step-Ups? No, too much choreography to remember and
not worth the stress. Bollywood? Good, but dreary, repetitive,
and topped with an uninspiring mix of music. Weight
lifting? No, recall I wanted to lose weight first?
After a couple of weeks of exploring, I began doubting
myself. There is an Urdu saying, "when you search for the
devil, you will eventually find it within yourself." The problem
was obviously me. I was mentally blocking myself with
insipid excuses to avoid exercise at all costs..
And then, on one lazy summery day, I discovered
Dave's Zumba class by sheer accident.
I was strolling by the Eastwood dance room after yet
another boring workout. There were so many people in his
class! Which could mean two things: one, the class is easy
and fun, or two, it's helping the participants. Or, if my wish
came true, it's both fun and it yields results.
I tentatively walked in,late, and expecting the instructor
to ask me to leave (I was very late). Instead, he didn't care.
Anonymity and stealth is always the best option for people
like me, who just want to blend in during such physical
activities. Then I slowly and reluctantly started, trying to
move my 140-pound body to the rhythm. My love affair
with Zumba began that day.
The Intoxicating Inclusivity of Dave's Zumba
Indian music, mostly classical and semi-classical, were
my favorites flavors.
But Dave made me reinvent my objectivity to different
styles of music. I didn't know until then that Asian, Latin
American or Western music could have as much meaning to
me as Indian.
Few of the first songs and dance routines of the class
that I liked were"No" by Meghan Trainer and "Despacito"
by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi. The choreography itself
elicited pure energy and joy in me. I felt I was a dancer,
despite never having been trained. And that simple fact
empowered me. Just like Sridevi in English Vinglish felt on
the top of the world by learning a new English word, I felt
a strange sense of upliftment through each new step I
learned in Dave's Zumba class. I was addicted, and, truthfully,
I was still struggling to understand why.
After a couple of months, I realized it was not just
about the dance or music that made this class so wholesome.
It was also the personality and character of Dave
himself. He never took his class or attendees, even novices
like me, for granted. He made sure each class incorporated
new songs and new choreography. He made sure to infuse
cultures into the core of the class. Intoxicating inclusivity
was the structure, with Bollywood, Mainstream, Pop, Asian
and Mexican tracks blending to create the perfect one-hour
dance class. The multifarious range of experience, culture,
age, gender in that class dissipates, and it feels like we are
all one. In fact, I made many friends in this class, beyond
my ethnic and age boundaries.
And a huge part of that is Dave, whose secularism,
objectivity, love for the art, and the genuine joy for dance
seeps through all of us. It allows his class to always invite
more newcomers like I once was, while retaining the students
he's had for years, which I now am. Dave has a sense
of rhythm and beat that you adapt to. And you burn so
many calories! In less than just a year, I shed my inhibitions
(and, remember, calories). I became a mover and a groover
at parties, and, as an added bonus, even my hard-toimpress
daughter now thinks I am a great companion on
the dance floor. Time simply flies in that hour.
I always loved dance, especially Indian classical and
semi-classical styles. Yet I never actually danced in any format
myself. My daughter, with God's grace, is a fabulous
dancer and brings immense fulfillment to my life through
her art. Yet I never indulged in the art alongside her, despite
it permeating my life. Yet, from Dave, with his fantastic
presence and skills, I was able to make music and dance
part of my routine. Part of who I am.
It is clear to me that Dave goes the extra mile to ensure
his class remains extra special. He practices his numbers
every weekend with diligence. He is supported by two
young, charming and extremely talented ladies, Kelly and
Cecilia. The three take time and effort to bring that extra bit
of novelty to class.
On top of this, he recognizes talent while encouraging
beginners. His recognition is not silent. When he sees a fellow
artist, he just has to applaud it, without any chip on the
Not sure if I was the only one thinking in these lines, I
began a candid survey of my own. I asked several participants
of what they felt about Dave's Zumba class. Everyone
I spoke to said that Dave's class is the best. Many used the
word "uplifting," while others said "liberating." One man
who is a regular at Dave's class in Fremont told me that just
by attending this class he lost ten pounds in a few months!
In Dave's own words 'there's no class anywhere in the
entire Northern California such as mine.' And we all agree
If you still don't believe my testimonials, let me relay
my daughter's story to you. I requested her to try out one
of Dave's classes. Even she, an outstanding dancer otherwise,
made it her weekly routine after attending just one
class. Cramped with work as a Bioengineering and Biology
double major at UC Berkeley, she still finds time and takes
effort to make sure she doesn't miss Dave's class. I asked
her why, and she revealed that his Zumba class brings her
happiness, plain and simple. In a way that she had forgotten
to feel once she joined the arduous process of college.
She says she can be as she is and as she wants in his class:
there is no need to tie her hair up, no need to wear any specific
kind of clothes or shoes (like in her varsity class at
school), and yet she can still be dancing at a professional
As far as I am concerned, I can sincerely say that every
penny I am paying to the club is worth it just for Dave's
class. My daughter thinks I have a crush on him. I would
say I have a crush on the art he exhibits and talent/generosity
he exudes. Most in his class think so too. In addition,
there is a bonus for me in this: I get to spend quality fun
hour with my daughter.
THIS IS HOW DANCING CAN REVERSE BRAIN AGING
A FEW FUN FACTS
A recent Study on Fitness Programs asked adults aged 50
to 80 to join fitness program and among all the exercise
routines dancing was found to be the most effective in reversing
signs of aging
The participants took a 90-minute dance lessons
each week and after 18 months their HIPPOCAMPUS
Hippocampus of the brain is linked to memory,
learning, and emotion and is one of the first areas affected
by Alzheimer's. It usually shrinks as we age. But
according to this study, dancing can enhance its growth,
thus lowering your risk of dementia.
Researchers credit this to the constant learning the
adults went through. They had to learn new routines
every week, and their steps, formations, and arm-patterns
were changed every two weeks. They were also
challenged to recall dance routines under time pressure
without any help from the instructors. Unlike usual fitness
trainings, dancing significantly improved their balance
So the moral of the story is, go dancing whenever
you can! It is totally free and super fun!
Editor's note: This is internet information and we cannot vouch for any
authenticity of this study. Please consult your doctor/physician before
you start any workout or dance of any kind