Zumba, Zumba! Last Thursday, January 26th marked the premiere of a brand new Zumba craze, Zumba Sentao, at Crunch Gym in Kips Bay, NYC. The 60 minute class was taught by Zumba creator himself, Beto Perez, and assisted by his two lovely blondes Marcie Gill and Marissa Chiz.
As a member of Crunch Gym I had no idea what I was in for this past Thursday night. I had registered for a spot in a 7pm Zumba class and upon arrival I knew this wasn’t going to be a normal workout. The group fitness area was set up with almost a club-like atmosphere, including neon lighting, Zumba Sentao signage everywhere, cameras, and press. This was the premiere of new Zumba Sentao and we were to be the first class in the world to participate! We were asked to sign a waiver for promotional photos and video that would be taken during the one hour class and given wrist bands as this was an exclusive event. Not your average day at the gym. I immediately wished I had prepped with extra makeup and fresh sexy gym clothes, but deep down I was excited all the same to be a part of this experience.
Zumba Sentao is a fresh look at the classic Zumba dance fitness class by adding a chair into the mix. The chair is meant to take the workout to the next level, but maintaining the idea that anyone can partake in Zumba. It steps up your cardio workout by stabilizing the core and promoting balance. I describe the class as strength training for Zumba lovers. You will have the chair for support as your own body weight is used to firm in this total body workout.
Black chairs lined the Crunch fitness area as Beto Perez cued the music of the DJ and the class began. All 3 instructors packed tons of energy as photographers loomed snapping photos and taking video footage. The class was filled with men and women of all ages and fitness levels and by the end we had truly sweated it out. As an extra bonus, we were given Crunch gym bags loaded with the latest Zumba DVDs, Zumba brand gear, and music. Score!
My personal review of Zumba Sentao: B –
You’ll still hear the great high energy Zumba music, but with much less dance. The chair-based choreography includes more squats and lunges than salsa and merenge. So, if you are looking for a toning class without weights and slight bursts of cardio take this class. However, I felt the chair took away a lot of Zumba’s charm as it is a primarily dance-based workout. The chair felt almost uneccessarily added and used only because it was there. It also became cumbersome as we were instructed to switch it around in different directions several times. The workout did not flow as fluidly as it could have and did not pack the fun of the traditonal Zumba dance class. However with that being said I left the class ultra sweaty and felt my sore muscles the next day, so it must’ve been doing something right. I think the class would be perfect if you love Zumba, but want to add more resistance training.
I recommend trying the class out for yourself! The Zumba Sentao classes will officially launch in March of this year at Crunch Gyms in New York and by Summer it will be promoted nationwide. The Zumba Sentao program is currently featured in Exhilarate, Zumba’s 7 Disc DVD collection, which can be purchased at zumba.com.