On an unseasoningly mild autumnal day at the end of October 2016 , with a swirl of mist in the air and a distant smell of bonfires, an enthusiastic group of some Dance4Ever students came together at Heatherside’s Community Centre for an hour and a half workshop of Zumba Sentao.
Zumba Sentao is a programme designed for everyone, of all ages, sizes and fitness levels. As with all of Sveta’s classes, the brilliance is that the choreography can be modified when required, so you can work at a lesser level due to an injury if necessary, or you can work as hard as you want and push yourself that little bit more if you like! Zumba Sentao gives you an all-over body workout whilst being challenging, but, even more importantly, fun!
This was Dance4Ever’s second Zumba Sentao workshop, the first being held earlier in the year in early March. With such positive feedback from those attendees, and with interest growing amongst Dance4Ever students who had not yet had the opportunity to take part in such a different and engaging type of workout, it was only obvious to hold another one, and within weeks of advertising the workshop it was again sold out!
So why, you may ask, the excitement around Zumba Sentao? What makes it different from a usual Zumba workout? Well, the benefits around such a distinctive type of workout are many… Zumba Sentao combines strength and resistance training with innovative dance fitness moves, all centred around a chair. It is a high intensity workout to invigorating music that focuses on defining your muscles, improving overall cardiovascular health and it has the added benefit of burning lots of calories in the process!
Did I mention that it works ALL of your muscles?!
So, back to the workshop. Upon arrival the hall was a buzz of chatter and laughter and excitement, and of truly vibrant colour. Keen to model their latest Dance4Ever merchandise, many students were wearing their most recent purchases, in an array of colour including red, blue, orange, turquoise, pink and white! Everyone looked great in their workout gear, and you could sense the excitement in the air from those that had never done Zumba Sentao before, and visibly see the eager anticipation in previous Zumba Sentao fans!
After a couple of group photographs demonstrating some of the Zumba Sentao moves, the workshop began. The first three tracks were dedicated to the warm-up part of the programme, which is important in order to fully warm up all of the muscles so as to prevent injury. The songs were upbeat and got our heart rates up and our bodies warm right from the offset. So much so that we had to open the windows ten minutes in to get some fresh air!
Before each routine, Sveta went through each of the key components – demonstrating each of the moves and telling us which muscles we would be using, where we would feel it, and what to hold in where! This was really helpful and much appreciated by everyone! Zumba Sentao uses and works a lot of your core muscles so it is important to be aware of your core throughout and keep everything sucked in! (Or as far as possible anyway!)
Throughout the entire workshop, the energy levels in the hall were high. Sveta’s passion and enthusiasm and relentless energy shone through as always and kept us engaged and motivated and working to the best of our ability. Even with the tongue-in-cheek and strangely motivating comments part way through of ‘Worse is coming!’ ;o)
On the eight main routines of the workshop we worked our core, our quads and our glutes. We did chair dips and squats, danced around the chair, did arm to leg pulls, stretchovers and worked our sides. We did push ups against the chairs, extended our legs out with controlled motion, and we giggled and apologised to the person behind us for the view they’d be getting during one particular routine straddling the chair…!
Then at the end there were two cool-down tracks where we made sure that we fully stretched out all of our muscles, some of which were already aching… (or at least mine were!) I have to say that I find this type of muscle ache strangely nice, it shows that you’ve worked hard and pushed yourself and used muscles you would not normally have. Which can only be a good thing, right?
At 3:30 after the workshop was over, Sveta gave out a little parcel containing a thank you card, a Zumba flannel and some cute mini Halloween themed chocolates. It is always so nice to have these personal touches at the end of each event, they really make the difference and I’m sure are one of the reasons that each Dance4Ever workshop is always full up and often over-subscribed!
After the event it was apparent that the workshop had yet again been a great success. The avid Zumba Sentao fans talked about how much they’d enjoyed doing it again and which of the routines was their favourite; and the newbies remarked what a great workout it had been, that they’d really enjoyed it and that they’d not done anything like it before. Everyone I spoke to was eager to repeat the workshop again soon. There was even talk about how keen some of us would be for a Zumba Sentao class to be added to the Dance4Ever schedule…one for contemplation next year maybe Sveta?!
Most importantly it was evident that everyone had had a great time. It was fun and hard work, sweaty and challenging. I personally left the workshop buzzing and on a total high. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?!
Thank you for such a great workshop Sveta, and count me in for the next one!
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