Let's dance the Zumba

Let's dance the Zumba

If you've been looking for a creative and fun way to lose some calories, look no further. Our junior reporters introduce you to a fast-paced set of nifty steps and cool moves.

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Junior reporters learn some Zumba moves from instructor Olivia Chin at Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation.
Junior reporters learn some Zumba moves from instructor Olivia Chin at Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation.
Photos: Chris Lau/SCMP
When the beat kicks in, take two steps to your left, then back, two steps to your right. Throw your hands up in the air, and turn clockwise.

Some of us may feel tired already just by reading about those moves. But not our junior reporters. Several of them decided to learn Zumba.

Four Young Post junior reporters attended a Zumba dance class two weeks ago. The workshop took place in the office of the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation in Quarry Bay.

Zumba instructor Olivia Chin turned the room upside down, transforming it into her professional dance studio. Together with other beginners, our junior reporters picked up some of the Zumba basics.

Keep shaking and moving

Sitting around your house and wondering what activities can help you burn some fat in the summer? Why don't you try Zumba?

Zumba has a fast rhythm. Instructor Olivia Chin says the dance can help people shed some extra weight.

"You'll lose 500 to 1,000 calories during each lesson," Chin says. "This is why I started doing Zumba."

Chin conducts five Zumba classes a week in Central. And although Zumba is not a very popular dance in Hong Kong right now, she is looking forward to teaching people and promoting the sport.

"It's quite tough to teach the very first time because I didn't know how to start a lesson," she says. "But, then, my lessons got better and better because I keep listening to people's feedback."

Chin's advice is that you don't have to dance exactly the same way as your instructor does. Just keep shaking and moving your body - that is what she wants you to do, anyway.

Sonia Tsui


Dance for all ages

Zumba is the perfect activity for keeping fit and bonding with friends. No matter how old you are, you can still enjoy the dance. Like most participants, this was the first time I'd ever tried Zumba. It was very easy to pick up, and I loved it! I saw everyone dance freely and happily. Despite being new to the dance, they could easily catch up with the fast-paced music.

Chin gave us clear instructions by, for example, yelling "right" when we needed to turn right. That way, we did not need to watch her every single step, but could look at our reflection in the mirror to check if we were doing well.

We moved left and right, and turned round and round. We had great fun when we clapped our hands. Most of our classmates were teenagers; the fast-paced music and pop melodies suited us. Our feet moved really fast, and by the end of the lesson, we were drenched in sweat.

For young children, Chin said she would use Disney songs with a slower rhythm. Zumba is a dance for all ages.

Natalie Chung


Fabulous moves

Although Zumba is a mostly Latin-inspired dance, instructors can add different elements to suit learners at various levels. Olivia Chin herself adds various hip-hop moves to her Zumba dance to make it more trendy and relatable.

Having good music is essential to Zumba, too. Chin compiles her own playlist for her students and always asks for feedback so that she can improve and make her classes more exciting.

A Zumba instructor has to master a wide range of dances, from hip hop, jazz funk and contemporary dance to musical theatre routines. Chin is a college student, and dancing is one of her subjects. Though she hasn't been teaching Zumba for long, she is already a confident instructor and fabulous dancer.

Eutonne Tam


Music leads the way

This dance class is suitable for people of all ages and abilities.

Our instructor uses simple, repetitive moves, which make the lesson easy for first-timers. Chin turned the room into a place where you can relax and let the music drive your moves.

Many studies have shown dancing is an aerobic sport, which helps you to burn calories. Especially for girls who don't fancy playing ball games, Zumba offers an alternative way to exercise - and what a fabulous dance it is!

Don't be afraid or embarrassed. The purpose of the dance is to welcome everybody.

Hollie Chung

The Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation offers free art workshops to secondary school students in Hong Kong. To find out more, visit their website.

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