Register Now
Featured Article

» Past Articles

Dave's Zumba Class


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... sigh!

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 shoulder.

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 wholeheartedly.

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 level.

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.


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 grew bigger.

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 as well.

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


Submit an Event
Advertise with us
Summer Camps
»View All
»View All
»View All
Question of the Month
What People Say About India Parent Magazine