How an SF Zumba® Instructor is Helping Folks Reinvigorate Their Lives
Hi and welcome to the BAS Weekend Wellness Column! My name is Erynne Elkins and I’m a Well-Being Advocate and Certified Breathwork Facilitator. Every Friday I’ll share a holistic wellness modality available here in the Bay Area. Cheers to good health!
The abc’s of an invigorating exercise here in SF!
“Cumbia. Reggaetone. Bachada. Salsa. Mambo. Merengue. The music! Oh my God! I think all people like Zumba® because of all the music,” exclaimed San Francisco Zumba® Instructor, Maritza Lizama recently during a conversation on Zoom. She is originally from El Salvador and has resided in the Bay Area for over two decades. Maritza’s entry into teaching this vigorous, fitness modality came about when one of her favorite teachers went on maternity leave. The instructor encouraged Maritza to get licensed so she too could start leading classes. Inspired by her teacher’s words, Maritza went for it.
“I was getting a divorce when I started and Zumba® took me out of a great depression I had. Zumba® took my mind off it. So now, when I teach my classes, I tell my students what I went through and how it can help one’s mental health,” Maritza shared. With a loyal following of students, Maritza has no problem booking her Zumba® classes to capacity. Her students know they can come and connect with her. “I love helping the community any way I can. For example, if someone can’t afford a class, I tell them, ‘Don’t even worry about it. Just come, enjoy the time.’ You know? Just to help them feel good,” Maritza added.
Zumba® emerged originally in 1998, created by Colombian choreographer and dancer, Alberto “Beto” Perez. An aerobics instructor at the time, Beto forgot to bring his regular playlist of music to class. Improvising, he used a cassette tape of Latin dance music instead. Soon after, he then started teaching “Rumbacize” classes. It was not until 2001 that Perez partnered with Alberto Aghion and Alberto Perlman where the three launched a series of fitness videos via an infomercial. And thus, the official Zumba® movement was born. This past April, Zumba® enthusiasts celebrated its 20th anniversary.
“Zumba® is for everybody. Age does not matter. (There’s) Zumba® Kids, Zumba® Gold Toning (for older adults). Zumba® is for anyone. If you want to try something new, do not be scared of trying Zumba®. Because once you start, it makes you want to keep going. Satisfaction guaranteed,” Maritza reassured.
The benefits of Zumba® are limitless. They include: burning calories, losing weight, releasing stress, building more flexibility, amping up one’s coordination, having more balance. In other words, it’s a great workout for the whole body! A general class open to the public with Maritza lasts 60 minutes. She also offers 30-minute, private classes for companies interested in offering sessions to their employees.
Here’s a fun assignment for you. If you need a little more inspiration to give Zumba® a go, Maritza recommends you listen to Master KG – Jerusalema [Featuring Nomcebo] and see how you feel afterwards. If you’re energized and ready to go for it, be sure to check out Maritza on social media (see her links below) to find out when her next class is!