Zumba Dance Workout For Beginners

In 2019, I was made redundant for the third time in three years. Having just given birth to my second son, I was feeling very vulnerable and I took the redundancy news very badly. I had post-natal depression (my children were perfect to me – I just didn’t feel worthy enough of them), I’d forgotten how to converse with people, I’d put on a lot of weight with the pregnancy and I felt quite hideous. I was on antidepressants and seeing a psychiatrist. I’d forgotten what I loved and how to be me. I was diagnosed with OCD, and that really helped as it enabled me to understand why I did what I did. But the real change came when I discovered Zumba (zumba.com).’

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‘I love street dance and did a performing arts degree specialising in dance, but I was always the plump, uncoordinated one at the back of the room. People had been telling me I should try Zumba, but it took me nine months to work up the courage. ‘I was terrified. I was overweight and had belly rolls and wobbly bits so I went straight to the back of the class with my chin down – I didn’t want anyone to notice me. But before I knew it, I found myself in a room full of different sizes, abilities, shapes and ages – and I felt I belonged. Nobody cared that I was dripping with sweat and my wobbly bits were jiggling around. It was wonderful. It was the first time since I’d given birth that I felt like a piece of me had returned. It reminded me what I liked about myself, and that I loved dancing. ‘When I got home, I was bouncing off the walls and I said to my partner, “I want to be a Zumba instructor.” I’d felt the magic and sense of female empowerment at the class and I wanted to share that with other women because I knew there were people out there suffering the way I was.’


‘I had to work out how to make it happen. I didn’t pay my mortgage for a month and went into arrears to pay for my NVQ Level 2 Exercise to Music and for my Zumba training and my Zumba licence. While I was training, I was the biggest on the course and I kept thinking to myself “are people going to take me seriously? I’m a size 18, I’m the least fit person in the room and I’m not a fitness instructor.” But I passed my course with distinction. ‘My sister helped me buy the equipment I needed to be a Zumba instructor and, in November 2011, I started teaching. It was a big financial investment and was petrifying. But it worked because I decided failure wasn’t an option. ‘Now, I teach just over 100 women a week and love it. I feel like I’m just a facilitator. I hire a room, invite women to come along and press play on the sound system. Those women come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders, but they soon switch off, start to move and don’t care what they look like. They all help create this positive, nonjudgemental, safe environment where they can just be themselves and remember all the things they like about themselves. It’s a privilege to see that change. When they walk out, they’re much happier, with a clearer mind, so they can deal with life and manage their situations better than before.’


‘I work with women’s support groups such as Women’s Aid, a charity supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence; Notts Refuge Forum; and I’ve just finished a Zumbathon charity event. I’m a UK coaching ambassador, representing coaches around the country. I’m also an ambassador for #thisgirlcan Nottingham – a charity that champions girls and women no matter what size or shape they are. ‘Although I’ve lost 3.5 stone through doing Zumba, the therapeutic side of it – coming off antidepressants, feeling happy about myself again and helping other women – is a lot more important to me than the weight loss – now I call my wobbly bits my trophies – the evidence of my giving birth.’

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