Minnesota Zumba Party Hearty – Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 23rd, 2011

The Zumba Party Hearty Minnesota is coming to the VIP Olmeca nightclub in Burnsville, Minnesota on Saturday, March 26, 2011.

Registration starts at 12:00pm. The cost is $10 and parking is free. Zumba begins at 1:00pm. This event will feature:

  • Live drums with Lidia Berman “Conga Queen”
  • Demonstration of Zumba for kids by the ZumbAtomic Team
  • Live music by Principes Negros
  • Performances by Latin Flavor on stage
  • Live DJ by Deejay Nuyo mixing your favorites Zumba Hits

Dress to impress in your favorite workout wear, but remember: You will be exercising and sweating! You may also want to wear red – 75% of the ticket fee supports the American Heart Association. Party Hearty Zumba events across the country have raised nearly $400,000 USD as of the date and time this article was originally posted. That is amazing!

For more information, visit the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140044762726919


Zumba and Shape-ups

March 22nd, 2011

With Zumba in the Circuit classes at Curves becoming popular, I am seeing more and more Skechers Shape-ups, Curves Toning trainers, or other rocker-bottom athletic shoes in my Zumba classes. As participants quickly discover, rocker-bottom tennis shoes like Shape-ups or other “toning” athletic shoes are not designed for dancing and do not belong in Zumba classes.

Shape Ups and other rocker-bottom tennis shoes claim to be “Designed to help burn calories and turn everyday activities into a workout.”

Curves for Women Toning Trainers claim its “Unique rounded sole encourages a natural rocking motion with every step to challenge muscles and improve circulation and posture as you walk. Promotes better balance and posture. Natural shock absorbers encourage muscles to work harder while protecting your back, knee and hip joints.”

In Zumba, you are constantly changing position and direction with a wide variety of dance moves. You need a good, stable foundation, agility, and the ability to slide and turn. The variety of motion in Zumba is unlike most daily activities and challenges many people’s sense of balance. Add a pair of shoes that force you to “rock” across the bottom of your foot and it could be a recipe for disaster.

Do I recommend Skechers Shape Ups or other rocker-bottom athletic shoe for Zumba, or any other group fitness class for that matter? NO! Save rocker bottom athletic shoes for walking forward on a smooth, flat surface only.

Better yet, skip them altogether.

Vibram FiveFingers Shoes and Zumba

March 15th, 2011

It was bound to happen: I finally saw a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes in one of my Zumba classes.


I do have people who occasionally go barefoot in my Zumba classes. Usually, it is because: A) They are professional or modern dancers and they choose to dance barefoot (like Shakira) or B) they forgot their athletic shoes and whatever shoes they were wearing were not appropriate for Zumba. Depending on the instructor, there can be a fair amount of pounding, jumping, twisting, and turning in Zumba. It is widely known that trained and untrained barefoot dance can cause a host of foot problems including blisters, calluses, bruises, pes planus (fallen arches or flatfeet), stress fractures, tendinitis, capsulitis, metatarsalgia, and more.

I am not a doctor, but in my opinion, using Vibram FiveFingers shoes for Zumba would only add insult to injury. Vibram FiveFingers shoes give users the feeling of being barefoot with the security of a performance rubber sole for sure grip and slip resistance.

Slip resistance and a sure grip is not what you want or need for Zumba. The increased grip of the sole will force the foot to stay in place and will lead to unnatural twisting of the ankle, knee, and hip during many dance moves in a typical Zumba class.

Do I recommend Vibram FiveFingers shoes for Zumba? No. If you truly want a natural experience, dance barefoot – and do so at your own risk. Proper footwear, like athletic dance shoes, absorb shock and protect the feet and legs from injury during high impact activity.

Save the Vibram FiveFingers shoes for barefoot running, strength training, yoga or Pilates, or after sport.

Foot Pain and Zumba

March 10th, 2011

One night after a long day of teaching Zumba classes, I had an ache in the forefoot of one of my feet. It felt like there was a round, hard stone right behind my second and third toes.


I thought the pain was unusual so I took some ibuprofen, did some extra calf stretches, and ran my foot over a wooden foot massager. Nothing seemed to help my foot pain, but I thought I must have stepped on it wrong and that the pain would go away soon enough.

About two weeks later, my foot felt significantly worse and when I woke up one morning, the top of my forefoot was red, hot, and swollen. According to the the Mayo Clinic website, I had symptoms of metatarsalgia :

Symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
  • Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes — or, only near your big toe
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand, walk or run and improves when you rest
  • Sharp or shooting pain in your toes
  • Numbness or tingling in your toes
  • Pain that worsens when you flex your feet
  • A feeling in your feet as if you’re walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Increased pain when you’re walking barefoot, especially on a hard surface

Sometimes these symptoms develop suddenly — especially if you’ve recently increased your usual amount of running, jumping or other high-impact exercise — but problems usually develop over time.

When to see a doctor
Not all foot problems need medical care. Sometimes your feet simply ache after a long day of standing or a punishing workout. But it’s best not to ignore any foot pain that lasts more than a few days. Talk to your doctor if you experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn’t improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.

I was pleased to see that Mayo Clinic did not recommend seeing a doctor based on my symptoms, because as a self-employed individual / part-time employee of many companies, I cannot afford medical insurance at this time. I found subs for my Zumba classes and practiced the R.I.C.E. acute injury treatment method for the weekend. My foot felt a little better by Monday.

After a couple of days of high-impact Zumba classes, my foot was swollen again. Luckily, a holiday was coming up and I got the stomach flu so I was able (and forced) to clear my schedule and take nearly a whole week off from exercise. During that time, I continued to use the R.I.C.E. method daily to treat my foot pain. Upon returning to exercise, I wrapped my sore foot and wore supportive, shock-absorbing Nike cross trainers for Zumba instead of my usual Nike Musique athletic dance shoes for Zumba. After 8 weeks of foot wrap and cross trainers, my foot pain is gone.

My experience with foot pain is one of many reasons why I believe proper footwear is important for Zumba. I have changed my Zumba footwear from Nike Musique IV athletic dance shoes to Nike Huarache athletic dance shoes. While I feel the Nike Musique IV shoes have more support and cushion in the heel of the shoe, Nike Huarache shoes have more support and cushion in the ball of the foot, which is where I need it most.

Best Ryka Zumba Shoes

March 10th, 2011

I have not tried Ryka studio shoes for Zumba yet, but many of my Zumba class participants are currently sporting Ryka. And I love Kelly Ripa, spokesperson for Ryka, among other things. Here are a couple of the more popular models I’ve seen in class lately.

Ryka Transition
I think the best things about Ryka Transition studio shoes are the flexible meshy upper and the fun, colorful sole.

Ryka Transition Zumba Shoe

Ryka Studio D
I think Ryka Studio D shoes look a little 80’s… or should I say retro?

Ryka Studio D Zumba Shoe

Best Nike Zumba Shoes

March 10th, 2011

I have been doing Zumba for 2 years and I have been a Zumba instructor for 1.5 years. I have gone through several pairs of athletic dance shoes for Zumba, and I am partial to Nike.

Nike Musique
I have seen Nike Musique III, IV, VI, VII available, but my first four pairs of Zumba shoes were Nike Musique IV. I really liked the Nike Musique IV because the shoe was leather and mesh. Athletic dance shoes fit very tight. For me, the tightness was uncomfortable at first, but I found the mesh in Nike Musique IV shoes molded to my foot, and eventually the shoes fit like a glove.

I bought my first pair of Nike Musique IV on clearance at a Famous Footwear. I bought all my other pairs of Nike Musique IV from Zappos. Nike Musique can cost anywhere from $30 to $65.

The heel of Nike Musique is very well-cushioned. The ball and forefoot of the Nike Musique is not very well-cushioned. I am not a doctor, but if you are going to do a lot of Zumba or a lot of high impact Zumba, I recommend metatarsal pads for your Nike Musique.


Nike Hurache
Lately, all models of Nike Musique athletic dance shoes are getting harder to find. I have been unable to find the model with leather and mesh so this time, I bought Nike Huarache dance shoes.

Nike Huarache shoes are very different than Nike Musique shoes. Online, I thought these shoes looked bulky like a street/skater shoe, but Nike Huarache are not at all bulky. The sole is narrow, like Nike Musique, and has the tell-tale circle for easier turns. The shoe upper is mostly a sleek fabric, like a water shoe. The laces are almost unnecessary because these shoes fit like a sock. They are tight and I find them very supportive.

I bought my Nike Huarache from Zappos for $65.

Unlike Nike Musique, the ball and forefoot are well-cushion in the Nike Huarache, but the heel is not well-cushioned. I find the heel very narrow and the soft upper allows a lot of movement during Zumba moves like a heel tap. Only time will tell if the Nike Huarache will be as successful as the Nike Musique for Zumba.

Nike Huarache Dance Shoes

Minnesota Zumba Events – March & April 2011

March 2nd, 2011

Upcoming Minnesota Zumba® Events – March & April 2011

ZUMBA-THON** to benefit Analia (Awbria) Simmons Memorial (Eagan, MN)

Featuring Zumba Instructors Chris & Eriko and Guest of Honor, Hugo Garrido Biagetti. Free will donations taken at the door.

FREE Preview Week – March 7-13 (Inver Grove Heights, MN)

Group fitness classes, including Zumba, are FREE at The Grove / Veterans’ Memorial Community Center March 7-13, 2011!

FREE Zumba Class for Everyone! (University of Minnesota – East Bank, MPLS, MN)

The purpose of this event is to introduce you and your friends & family to Zumba Fitness. Everyone is welcome – all abilities, skill levels, and fitness levels. FEATURING YOUR ZUMBA INSTRUCTOR, RENEE MILLER!

FREE Spring Break Group Fitness Classes – March 14-20 (University of Minnesota – East Bank [MPLS] and St. Paul Campus)

Group fitness classes, including Zumba, are FREE at University of Minnesota March 14-20, 2011!

  • Monday, March 14, 2011 – Sunday, March 20
  • Rec Center: 1906 University Ave NE, Minneapolis MN 55455 and St. Paul Gym: 1536 Cleveland Ave N, St. Paul, MN 55108
  • Visit http://www.recsports.umn.edu/ for more information!

FREE Spring Break Group Fitness Classes – March 14-27 (Shoreview, MN)

All group fitness classes, including Zumba, are FREE at Shoreview Community Center March 14-27, 2011!

Zumba Party with Zumba Divas – Mary Pirela, Bernice Arias & Vanessa Dembo (St. Louis Park, MN)

COST: $25 presale RSVP by email to zumbadivasrsvp@gmail.com, $30 at the door. (Cash Only!) A percentage of the event proceeds go to Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.

Zumbathon Party Hearty Fundraiser for American Heart Association (Burnsville, MN)

The American Heart Association uses all revenues from local and National Go Red activities to support awareness, research, education, and community programs in cardiovascular diseases – money raised by Zumba Party Hearty Zumbathons so far: $383,484! Featuring the best Zumba instructors in town , live drums with Lidia Berman “Conga Queen,” Principes Negros singing their best merengue hits live, Latin Flavor performing live on stage, and Deejay Nuyo mixing your favorites Zumba hits. COST: $10. Free parking!

Zumbathon Fundraiser for Japan Disaster Victims (Farmington, MN)More information coming soon! Hosted by Naseema Shidi.

  • Sunday, April 3, 2011 · 4:00pm – 5:30pm
  • Grand Hall Studio, 217 Oak St, Farmington, MN
  • More information coming soon!

Zumbathon Fundraiser for Japan Disaster Victims (St. Louis Park, MN)

More information coming soon! Hosted by Naseema Shidi.

  • Friday, April 8, 2011 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • St. Louis Park, MN
  • More information coming soon!

One Hour Zumba Party with Ritzy (Shoreview, MN)Fun, one-time Zumba event with instructor Ritzy Anderson! Bring a friend, water, and a towel. Children over age of 10 also welcome. Cost: $5.

Zumba with a Purpose! (Andover, MN)

Very fun event – well worth the drive to Andover! All proceeds go to the Anoka County Sexual Assault Action Team to support their work in preventing sexual violence and improving access to services for victims. COST: Minimum suggested donation is $10 at the door. Free parking!