Rencsi.com’s Best of 2013 Zumba Playlist

December 20th, 2013

Here’s a list of songs that were not necessarily new in 2013, but they were new to my Zumba classes in 2013. Happy New Year and enjoy!

Go Girl (Warm Up/Hip Hop)
Pitbull

Wild One (Warm Up/Hip Hop)
Flo Rida

Applause (Warm Up/Pop)
Lady Gaga

Rabiosa (Merengue)
Shakira

Cha Cha (Swing/Salsa)
Chelo

Dance Bailalo (Samba/Axe)
Kat DeLuna

Lo Que No Sabes Tu (Merengue)
Chico Y Nacho ft. El Potro Alvarez

Bongo Bong (Salsa)
Manu Chao

La Mujer Perfecta (Merengue)
Toby Love ft. El Porto Alvarez

Ven Conmigo (Cha Cha)
Daddy Yankee ft. Prince Royce

Church (Hip Hop)
T-Pain ft. Teddy Verseti

Pumps and a Bump (Hip Hop)
MC Hammer

Save the Last Dance for Me (Cha Cha)
Michael Bublé

Pull Up (Abs/Reggaeton)
Mr. Vegas ft. Pitbull & Lil Jon

Call On Me (Abs/Toning)
Eric Prydz

Purple Rain (Cool Down/Pop)
Prince

Nice and Slow (Cool Down/Pop)
Usher

Mingle and Jingle Christmas Party at Zstudio in Duluth, Minnesota

December 16th, 2013

The owners, instructors, and staff of Zstudio in the Zenith City of Duluth, Minnesota would like to invite you to our annual Mingle and Jingle Christmas party this Friday, December 20, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

This holiday event is open and free to everyone!

From 5:30 to 6:30pm, join us to eat, drink, and be merry. Mix, mingle, and get a sneak preview of the renovations happening over the holiday break.

From 6:30 to 7:30pm join us for one-hour class made up of the fitness classes offered at Zstudio.

Zstudio is located at 116 W 1st Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802. For more information, visit the Mingle and Jingle Facebook event page.

zstudio

Christmas song about Maria and a Bird With a Broken Wing?

December 3rd, 2013

One of my most popular posts has helped people find the name of the Christmas song about “a poor orphan girl named Maria” and “a bird with a broken wing” since 2008. The final lyrics to the song explain that the song this bird sang at the manger on Christmas Eve was the “very first nightingale’s song.”

This Christmas song is called The Gift. It was written by Stephanie Davis. The song was recorded and made popular by Garth Brooks and was also recorded by Aselin Debison. Here are the lyrics. Enjoy!

Mexican Church Manger

The Gift
Stephanie Davis

A poor orphan girl named Maria
Was walking to market one day
She stopped for a rest by the roadside
Where a bird with a broken wing lay
A few moments passed till she saw it
For its feathers were covered with sand
But soon clean and wrapped it was traveling
In the warmth of Maria’s small hand

She happily gave her last peso
On a cage made of rushes and twine
She fed it loose corn from the market
And watched it grow stronger with time

Now the Christmas Eve service was coming
And the church shone with tinsel and light
And all of the townfolks brought presents
To lay by the manger that night
There were diamonds and incense and perfumes
In packages fit for a king
But for one ragged bird in a small cage
Maria had nothing to bring

She waited till just before midnight
So no one would see her go in
And crying she knelt by the manger
For her gift was unworthy of Him

Then a voice spoke to her through the darkness
Maria, what brings you to me?
If the bird in the cage is your offering
Open the door and let me see
Though she trembled, she did as He asked her
And out of the cage the bird flew
Soaring up into the rafters
On a wing that had healed good as new

Just then the midnight bells rang out
And the little bird started to sing
A song that no words could recapture
Whose beauty was fit for a king

Now Maria felt blessed just to listen
To that cascade of notes sweet and long
As her offerings was lifted to Heaven
By the very first nightingale’s song

How much Zumba does it take to burn off Thanksgiving dinner?

November 27th, 2013

How many calories does Zumba burn? In my informal calculations, I have estimated that Zumba burns approximately 10 calories every 10 minutes. Now, it’s important to remember that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT so you may burn more or less than 10 calories every 10 minutes by doing Zumba.

How many calories does the average American eat during Thanksgiving dinner. Well, according to one graphic I found on the internet (see below), someone estimated 1330 calories in an typical Thanksgiving dinner.  That’s over half the amount of calories that average American female is advised to consume in an entire day. If it is true that Thanksgiving dinner consists of 1330 calories, it would take 133 minutes or 2 hours and 13 minutes of Zumba to burn off Thanksgiving dinner.

What’s the point? Choose what you eat wisely! Many Zumba studios, like Zstudio in Duluth, Minnesota for example, offer after Thankgiving “Turkey Burn” Zumba classes which is an extra long Zumba class offered to help you maintain your weight through extra calories of the holidays. Check with your favorite local studio to find out if they offer an after Thanksgiving Turkey Burn Zumba class.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Chinese Pop Music for Zumba – Happy Chinese New Year!

January 22nd, 2012

The Chinese New Year is upon us! The Year of the Water Dragon starts Monday, January 23, 2012. How about some Chinese pop music for your Zumba classes to celebrate this new beginning?!?

One of the benefits of teaching Zumba at a large American state university is the large number of international students. Here are some Chinese artists that were recommended to me by Chinese grad students studying abroad who take my Zumba classes. My personal favorite is Jolin Tsai. Enjoy!

Aaron Kwok – Just Move, Para Para Sakura

Coco Lee – Hip Hop Tonight, No Doubt, Real Lover

Jay Chou – My Zone

Jolin Tsai – Oh! Oh!, Honey Trap, Dancing Diva, 36 Ideas of Love

Penny Tai – Cinderella

Sammi Cheng – Enrapture, One and Only

Stefanie Sun – Green Light, Be Straightforward, Running

Wilber Pan – Happy Worship

2012 year of the dragon

Chocolate-Covered Fresh, Raw Cranberries

January 5th, 2012

I’m always looking for healthy, vegetarian snacks. Okay, this one is not so healthy, but I needed a dessert to take to Christmas. One of my professors brought these chocolate-covered fresh, raw cranberries to school the day we discussed the gastrointestinal tract and exercise. I loved them and thought these chocolate-covered cranberries would be a “healthy” dessert option for my family for Christmas. Cranberries are a big industry in Wisconsin so I thought it would be patriotic to my home state as well.

Here’s what I did:

1) Rinse and completely dry 1 pint of fresh, raw cranberries.
2) Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips in the microwave. (You’ll need about 1 bag of chocolate chips per pint of cranberries.)
3) Coat each cranberry with chocolate and set on wax paper. (I had trouble with my chocolate seizing so I melted chocolate, spread the chocolate on wax paper, and coated each cranberry in chocolate that way. I then separated the cranberries and set them individually on wax paper.)
4) Refrigerate to set the chocolate.

I love these chocolate-covered cranberries. Some of the cranberries are solid and firm, but some of the cranberries break as you bite so you get a surprise burst of tart cranberry juice with chocolate… I think it’s delicious!

How well did it go over at Christmas? Not well. I made 4 pints of cranberries and I estimate less than 1 pint of them got eaten over two days. This was one of those lucky situations where I made something I loved to eat so at least when I got stuck with leftovers, they were leftovers I loved to eat. I did learn an important lesson: Making food that no one eats, no matter how much I love it, is a waste of money.

The fresh cranberries cost $3.99 a pint. Hershey Toll House Milk Chocolate chocolate chips were on sale for $2.50. Here is what you get nutritionally from one batch (1 pint of raw cranberries + one bag of Hershey Milk Chocolate chocolate chips) for about $7:

1632 calories
222 g Carbohydrates
99 g Fat
22 g Protein

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any suggestions!

chocolate covered cranberries

Give the Gift of Zumba

December 19th, 2011

Are you still Christmas shopping? (Don’t feel bad – I haven’t even started.) Why not give the gift of Zumba?!?

For the athlete… You already know she (or he) likes to exercise. Why not help them mix up their workout with Zumba?

For the dancer… You already know she (or he) loves to dance. Why not give them the gift of a workout they’re going to love?

For the couch potato… OK, she (or he) says she doesn’t like to exercise. She says she doesn’t dance. Zumba is the perfect gift for that couch potato of any age you’d like to start exercising. All she has to do is follow along. There are no rules. There is no right or wrong. Just keep moving and pretty soon, she’s dancing and exercising!

How can you give the gift of Zumba?

DVD’s: Two sets of Zumba DVD’s are available through the Zumba shop or Amazon.com. Zumba DVD’s let you start doing Zumba right in the comfort (and privacy) of your own home.

Video Game: Two Zumba video games are available for Wii, Playstation, and XBox Kinect. These are video games that will make you sweat, again, in the comfort (and privacy) of your own home,

Live Class: Pick up a punch card or gift certificate to a gym or group fitness studio near your loved one that offers Zumba classes. Some Curves locations now offer Zumba in the Circuit. There are Zumbatomic classes for kids and Zumba Gold classes for beginners, deconditioned exercisers, or older adults. Ask your favorite Zumba instructor for recommendations!

Happy holidays!

Zumba Gift Packs

December 15th, 2011

Just in time for Christmas, Zumba now has gift packs available in the Zumba Shop!

The gift packs contain a variety of Zumba items. The gift packs currently available are:

  • “Show Your Charm” Zumba charm bracelet variety gift pack,
  • “Funky Flavor” Zumba gift pack of 49 popular Zumba rubber bracelets,
  • “Gear Up” Zumba gift pack with Zumba-branded bags and towels,
  • “On-The-Go” Zumba gift pack with Zumba-branded bags and towels,
  • “All-In-One” Zumba gift pack with a little of everything: Zumba hats, balloons, key chains, and socks,
  • Finally, the “Hair Today, Party Tomorrow” Zumba gift pack of Zumba-branded hats (like Beto’s fedora) and hair accessories.

Prices rang from $12 to $35 USD. These Zumba gift packs are amazingly affordable and will not last long in the Zumba Shop. If you’re looking for a gift for a special Zumba lover in your life, buy now. These gift packs would work great as giveaways at Zumba classes and events, so Zumba instructors: Buy now!

Zumba Variety Gift Pack

The Very First Nightingale’s Song

December 8th, 2011

Even though I cry every time I hear it, one of my favorite Christmas songs is “The Gift.” The song is about a girl named Maria who finds and injured bird. She nurses it back to health and gives it as a offering at church on Christmas. It flies to the rafters and sings “the very first nightingale’s song.” The song is actually called “The Gift.” I first heard the Garth Brooks version.

“The Gift” was written by Montana singer/songwriter, Stephanie Davis. It appeared on Garth Brooks’ 1992 holiday album, Beyond the Season. A young Canadian pop and Celtic music singer, Aselin Debison also recorded and released “The Gift” on Sweet is the Melody in 2002. Enjoy!

The Gift
Stephanie Davis

A poor orphan girl named Maria
Was walking to market one day
She stopped for a rest by the roadside
Where a bird with a broken wing lay
A few moments passed till she saw it
For its feathers were covered with sand
But soon clean and wrapped it was traveling
In the warmth of Maria’s small hand

She happily gave her last peso
On a cage made of rushes and twine
She fed it loose corn from the market
And watched it grow stronger with time

Now the Christmas Eve service was coming
And the church shone with tinsel and light
And all of the townfolks brought presents
To lay by the manger that night
There were diamonds and incense and perfumes
In packages fit for a king
But for one ragged bird in a small cage
Maria had nothing to bring

She waited till just before midnight
So no one would see her go in
And crying she knelt by the manger
For her gift was unworthy of Him

Then a voice spoke to her through the darkness
Maria, what brings you to me?
If the bird in the cage is your offering
Open the door and let me see
Though she trembled, she did as He asked her
And out of the cage the bird flew
Soaring up into the rafters
On a wing that had healed good as new

Just then the midnight bells rang out
And the little bird started to sing
A song that no words could recapture
Whose beauty was fit for a king

Now Maria felt blessed just to listen
To that cascade of notes sweet and long
As her offerings was lifted to Heaven
By the very first nightingale’s song

Christmas Gifts for Zumba Lovers

December 6th, 2011

Do you have a Zumba lover in your life? Want to give them a Christmas gift they’re going to love? Here are some Christmas gift ideas from a Zumba lover for Zumba lovers:

Zumba Wear
Some people wear their everyday gym clothes to Zumba, but Zumba wear is different than gym clothes. It’s a cross between street wear and dance wear. Zumba wear is available from the Zumba online shop and will cost you anywhere from $14.95 for a pair of Zumba flip flops to $94.95 for a pair of Zumba athletic dance shoes. A safe bet for any Zumba lover is a top to wear to class. A Zumba wear top will cost you anywhere form $14.95 to $39.95 + shipping. Shop now if you want it to arrive by Christmas!

Zumba Go Red Tank

Zumba DVDs
The gift that keeps on giving – a Zumba class right in your very own home! There are two authetic Zumba DVD sets available: the Total Body Transformation System (as seen on TV) or the Zumba Exhilarate DVD Experience. There is even a set of Zumba DVD’s for children called Zumbatomic. The DVD sets are expensive ($89.95 for Exhilarate on Zumba.com, $49.95 for TBTS on Amazon.com), but contain five DVDs including a live workout and choreography to tone the arms, abs, buns, and thighs. Shop for DVDs on Zumba.com or Amazon.com.

Zumba Video Game
I was lucky enough to participate in the Best Buy release of the original Zumba Fitness video game for Kinect on the XBox 360 at the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota last year and let me tell you, it is amazing! The Zumba Fitness video game is available for Wii and Playstation and WILL give you a workout. This year, the Zumba Fitness 2 video game is also available for Wii. Shop for DVDs on Zumba.com or Amazon.com.

Here are some other ideas for Zumba lovers:

Zumba lovers, do you have any other suggestions?