Dancing to Stay Fit

You don’t have to be a good dancer to enjoy dancing. There is no age limit to enjoy dance and its  purpose and uses are very versatile. It can be a form of art, fun, leisure, entertainment and it is also good exercise. There are various forms of dances and these days Zumba has become very popular. It is fun to do, easy to learn and the best part is you can sweat it out and burn calories while having a good time.

Photo: Yashita Dewan
Photo: Yashita Dewan

So what exactly is Zumba? It is a cardio dance work out that was developed by Alberto “Beto” Perez, a dancer and choreographer, in the 1990’s. It is a mixture of dance and aerobics and it incorporates many forms of dances such as samba, salsa, hip-hop, merengue, bollywood etc and it includes moves such as squats, stretches and lunges. It is done to the beats of catchy music some being slow and some being fast tracks. The session begins with an energizing warm up session and ends with a cooling down session with some soothing music. One session is about an hour long.

There are many reasons to join a Zumba class if you are interested in working out and staying fit. First and foremost, at home, you tend to feel lazy and procrastinate but if you sign up for a class, you are compelled to go. Besides, you get motivated to keep going when you see other people around you working out and sweating it out and it’s very helpful to exercise under the supervision of an experienced instructor. For those who are not used to working out, it can be a little difficult at first but if you continue on a regular basis, your stamina builds up. Once you learn the dance steps, it becomes really fun and you won’t even feel like you are exercising as it’s not like the regular exercise drills. It’s more of music, dancing your heart out and basically having a good time.

There are many places where Zumba is taught in Kathmandu and I talked to some instructors of Y Stand Dance School, which is one of the top dance schools in Nepal.

While Zumba primarily emphasizes dance and music, it’s worth considering the additional benefits of incorporating complementary exercises to enhance overall fitness. For instance, integrating exercises like jumping jacks into your routine can further elevate cardiovascular endurance and calorie burning. By incorporating diverse movements and intensities, individuals can optimize their workouts to achieve a balanced and holistic approach to fitness. Thus, while Zumba offers a vibrant and enjoyable way to stay active, supplementing it with targeted exercises like jumping jacks calories burned can contribute to a well-rounded fitness regimen. By embracing variety and tailoring workouts to individual preferences and goals, one can embark on a fitness journey that is both effective and sustainable.

Photo: Yashita Dewan
Photo: Yashita Dewan

Dipendra Shahi: After being inspired by seeing Prabhu Deva and Javed Jaffry dancing, he started learning how to dance. That was in 2056 B.S in Hetauda. Later on he went to India, Dubai and Bangkok to enhance his skills. After staying in India for three years and working as a dance instructor there, the lack of good dance schools in Nepal inspired him to return here and open up a good dance school. That is how he founded “Y Stand Dance School”. Among the various dance forms, he knows Hip Hop, B-boying, Salsa, Contemporary, Zumba and Bollywood. He has also made a number of music videos and you can also add choreography and being a judge on the reality show “Chamchami” to his credentials. He says, “We all know dancing helps us stay fit and has health benefits but apart from that, dance is a good way to engage the youth, it’s a good way to bring out their energy and emotions and it has also helped them stay away from drugs and other bad habits.” He further added that at Y Stand, emphasis is laid upon the technicalities and proper dance techniques are taught.

Sudip Rana Magar:  He has been seriously into dancing since the last three years.He was the sixth runner up on the TV show ‘Chamchami’. He first started learning in Pokhara but after seeing his potential he was called by Mr. Dipendra Shahi to Kathmandu, to learn more and gain experience. After being trained under the supervision of Mr. Shahi, he has now become an instructor and his favorite dance style is Hip Hop.

Photo: Yashita Dewan
Photo: Yashita Dewan

Ravi Patel: He came from Birgunj and he was very much inspired and impressed seeing Mr. Dipendra Shahi’s Hip hop moves. Mr.  Shahi believed that he too held a lot of potential and called him to Kathmandu as well (He was one of the top 12 contestants on “Chamchami”). Just like Sudip, he learned dance at Y Stand and eventually became an instructor. Although it’s only been three months since he came here, he has been into dancing for the past 10 years. His favorite dance style is Popping and Locking.

Dilip Sawad: He started learning dance in the year 2005. Although he is a skilled dancer, he insists that he was not at all interested in dancing and it was his uncle, who is a Zumba instructor, who coerced him into it. He was actually a computer teacher at an institute. Eventually, he did take up dancing and he went to an institute called ‘Genesis Center for Aerobics and Dance’ in Bangalore, India to learn. He has been working at Y Stand for over a year now and he knows many forms of dances such as Salsa, Hip Hop, Freestyle etc among which Hip Hop is his favorite. He says, dancing makes your body flexible and while doing Zumba, since there are many forms of dances involved in it, your body gets toned overall. You don’t have to be a good dancer as the steps are simple, he says.  It also helps you lose weight and makes you healthy and fit.

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