Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do ya Zumba?

I've always loved to dance. From the moment I could walk, I was enrolled in dance classes. First came ballet, and then tap was added. As I got older, I started to study jazz, and though I dabbled in modern dance, I was never a big fan.

In the early 90s, I danced for the MTV show The Rave (which later became The Grind). I used to go dancing at night clubs every week, Wednesday through Sunday. Until I met my ex-husband (who hated dancing), dancing was my life. 

Last year, I took Zumba classes at my gym. Walking into my first class, in the giant gymnasium, was overwhelming. There were about 40 people in the class, and though they were different ages and sizes, they were all familiar with the class. The instructor, Cathie Guadara, quickly put my mind at ease. She was very unassuming, had a great laugh, and made the class lots of fun. I went through two 24 oz. sport bottles of water during the one hour class. The workout was so intense that I left the class literally dripping with sweat. I had to immediately shower. Boy, every second of class was a blast.

Today I feel blessed to be talking to Cathie about Zumba, for those of you who don't know what it is, or are thinking about taking a class.

BF: Cathie, define Zumba for me.

CG: Zumba is a fun and exciting aerobic workout, done to Latin music with Latin moves.

BF: Do you have to have a dance background to take a Zumba class?

CG: No, you don't have to have a dance background to do Zumba, just a love of having fun. I, myself, have no professional dance background... just on the stoop in Brooklyn growing up.

BF: How did you get started teaching Zumba?

CG: I took my first Zumba class three years ago with my now best friend, Kathy Graham, and was immediately hooked. 

BF: What do people need to bring to a Zumba class? What should they wear?

CG: The only requirement for Zumba classes is a good pair of cross trainers, or dance sneakers (no running shoes in Zumba), and a desire to have fun!

BF: Can anyone take a Zumba class?

CG: Anyone of any age group can take Zumba. There are higher and lower modifications for all moves.

BF: What do you find that your students like best about Zumba classes?

CG: My students love Zumba because it is so much fun and so freeing. Not regimented like other aerobic classes. And we sweat off pounds and inches while having a blast!

BF: If someone who knew nothing about exercise or Zumba wanted to try a class, what would you tell them?

CG: Anybody young or older can take Zumba. You just have to love dancing around and making a lot of noise. Kinda like a party, without the punch!

Cathie Guadara is a certified Group Fitness Instructor, and certified in Spinning and Zumba. She teaches at the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA and the Madison YMCA, and her class times can be found on She also sells a line of Brazilian Fitness wear called Margarita. She says, "I love teaching Zumba and my other classes, and hope to be doing it for years to come!"  


  1. CG is WONDERFUL! She helped me tone my lower half like there was no tomorrow! I have taken her class on 9am on Sunday Mornings and she really gets the blood pumping way better then Church! Sometimes I just like to watch her teach the spin classes, I mean how could you not!

  2. Guess that makes me Boo Boo da Foool!

    Yay CM I am so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!