Hips Don’t Lie: Zumba Is For The Sistas & Brothas, Too!

April Dixon zumba

The pulsating sounds of Latin rhythms beat against the background of hip­hop moves as exhilarating tempos energize, invigorate and electrify. Hips sway. Sweat pours. The sensation begins. And that’s just the warm­up. Over the course of 60 minutes, in united synchrony, this Zumba class is thrilling, assembled in various shades, colors and ages, but unified by one force: instructor, April Dixon.

READ: How To Avoid Common Zumba Injuries

After class at one of her four South suburban Chicago locations, Dixon reveals the secret behind the international obsession with Zumba. “You don’t really feel like you’re working out. You’re just dancing and having fun. That’s what I love about it and that’s what my students say THEY love about it.”

Those students, who excitedly exclaim they’ve been ‘Aprylized’ after her class, are part of the 15 million people, in 180 countries, taking (some say addicted to) Zumba.

“I went from one day per week, to five days per week, and from 190 lbs. to 165 lbs.,” says Traci Rozier, a student in Dixon’s class. A former dancer, Rozier tried Zumba as a way to overcome certain health challenges. “I had to make some lifestyle changes. Zumba allowed me to do that and so much more.”

READ: Resistance Bands To Make You Dance [VIDEO]

Besides losing weight, Zumba can help lower your risk of heart disease, reduce your blood pressure, reduce your bad cholesterol and boost your good cholesterol. Created by Colombian dancer and choreographer, Alberto “Beto” Perez, Zumba creatively combines aerobic movements, including squats and lunges, with hip­hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo dance ­­ all set to pulse­ pounding, high­ energy music.