“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” –Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Begin to Balance Your Life

Posted Dec - 2010

Twelve Steps to Balance Your Life

No. 1 Health and Fitness

Time to start a ‘body journal’ and to work out strategies to getting the body that I want and on achieving a higher level of fitness.

Ok so loose some weight, do more exercise and introduce a more healthier way of eating.

Perhaps start with some cleansing first.

To Do: Write about what I see myself being, why I want it, my strategies to get myself there and write about my feelings/beliefs on my goal to be healthier and fitter.

Dancing my way to a bikini body with Zumba Fitness

by Jacqui Brown.

Dancing my way  to a bikini body with Zumba Fitness

With summer upon us, Jacqui Brown reveals how she’s getting into shape for the holiday season.

IT’S 7pm on a Thursday night and the hall at St Mary’s Church in Lewisham, south London is already packed.

Women from all walks of life crowd into the room, sweats on, hair tied back, smiles ready. The excitement is palpable and that is even before the pulsing beat of samba, Merengue, reggae and African rhythms fill the air.

Suddenly, I think of how I had arrived at this fitness class: my mind goes back to Christmas last year when excess overeating and indulgence caused me to pile on the pounds. First, I’d tried aqua-aerobic classes, but the cold water soon took its toll! As a result, my sister and I began searching for a new motivator and that led us to Zumba. The hot, hip-swiveling dance workout, which combines African, Caribbean, Latin and even belly dancing music and dance moves with aerobics, has been sweeping the globe. And now, it has totally captivated me and my sister, Christine.

As our instructor Bianca bounces away, over 50 of us try to follow her moves. I’m swept away in the fun of it, allowing my body to move with her, even as the sweat runs down my cheeks. My heart is racing and my legs should have been tired, but the music is so infectious that I hardly notice I am exercising.


Zumba literally means “to move fast and have fun” in Spanish, and for an hour, that is exactly what we do. From Caribbean-style waist-whining to the dip and flow of the cha cha to the smooth but quick step of the Merengue, Zumba combines it all. No surprise then that fitness regime boasts the fact that it can enable participants to burn anything between 500 and 1,000 calories – all whilst having fun. There are no complicated moves to learn and you don’t need the co-ordination of a standard aerobics class, or even the partner you would require for a traditional Salsa class. Instructor Bianca Blom says: “As long as you love music and enjoy dancing, your body will automatically follow.”
It’s hard to believe that Zumba started by accident in the early 1990’s, when celebrity aerobics teacher Beto Perez forgot his usual class music and decided to use the tapes he happened to have with him. Amongst his collection was a mix of thumping and infectious Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Mambo, and Reggaeton beats that now define Zumba.

Perez improvised the entire class on the spot and it was so successful that he realised he had stumbled onto something quite amazing. From there, he began to further develop the Zumba trade, which soon became the most popular class at the fitness facility.

As the Zumba website states: “This energetic dance workout will tone, sculpt and target every major muscle group in the body, as well as burning fat.” And that is why there are Zumba classes in more than 50,000 locations worldwide.


Bianca Blom is a qualified ‘Exercise To Music’ instructor and is certified to teach Zumb.

“It’s like being at a party. There is no right or wrong way to dance. I want you to enjoy it, have fun and allow your body to move and get swept away by the music. You’ll be surprised that the next time you come to the Zumba class; you can easily swing those hips!”

Always urging the class to go at our own pace and to lose our inhibitions and have fun, Blom says that with time and practice, anyone can learn how to Zumba. She’s certainly right, because after three months of having done the classes, I am swinging my hips good and proper and I’m now so addicted that every Thursday after work, I rush home to get my gear on and get ready for action.


Class members will testify that Zumba with Bianca (ZWB) has been a life-changing experience with significant losses in weight, cholesterol levels, and stress levels. Disabilities, health issues and painful joints are forgotten as all the movements that Bianca choreographs can be done at very low i

mpact. Class participants also say that Bianca is an impressive dancer and a great teacher who creates an electric atmosphere like a big and happy party.


I now attend Zumba classes twice a week and I can definitely feel my love of the fitness regime growing. When I think back to the beginning, when all I could do was constantly look at the clock, I laugh, as it is hard to believe that I have come to enjoy the classes so much.

After each class, my sister and I feel much happier, remarkably coordinated, totally fit, definitely more flexible and without a doubt, amazingly sexy. I think to myself that it may just be possible to dance my way to a bikini body as I look up at Bianca’s sculptured frame.

I think everyone should try Zumba. I’m sure that once you try it, like me, you’ll fall in love with it!

Basic Zumba steps for workout

Zumba Waka Waka

Youtube Zumba Workout

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