What is Zumba?
Let me introduce you to one of the best fitness programs created. Zumba is a Latin-based dance class that is fun, addicting, sweaty, and overall a great workout. The popularity in Zumba has spread globally, and millions of people around the world partake in this high-intensity dance program everyday. If you’re like me and normal gyms don’t interest you, this is one exercise class you have to experience for yourself. The combination of upbeat music and fun dance choreography will encourage you to keep moving, even if you might feel tired. I’ve been attending Zumba for almost three and a half years, and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. That’s how fun it is.
Santa Barbara is lucky as we have one of the best Zumba classes right in the heart of downtown. At the historic Carrillo Ballroom, six days a week hundreds of people (including myself) fill up the massive venue and party for an hour. This specific Zumba class is so popular, it is the largest daily-attended class in the entire country. People from all backgrounds, ages, sizes, and fitness abilities come together to just enjoy dancing with their community. After all, age is just a number.
Zumba is also a great full-body workout to create a strong, lean physique. The combined cardio and light strength-training can help increase and maintain body endurance. This class is great for increasing muscle mass while toning leg muscles such as the quadriceps and calves, as you are constantly moving on your feet. The core body muscles including the abdominals and back muscles get stronger from being engaged for balance, control, and the specific dance movements designed to target those areas. Overall, this class is perfect for someone looking to become healthier not only physically, but also psychologically as the endorphins released in your body make you feel like you’re on cloud 9.
Meet the Instructor
The root of this local class is the amazing instructor, Josette Tkacik. She is truly a one-of-a-kind human being who shares her passion of dancing with others everyday. Her fun personality and infectious energy immediately engages people, and they want to keep coming back to dance in her classes. She has a gift of being able to make personal connections with everyone, even in a room of 150+ people. Josette has created a class that will give you a great workout, but you won’t even know it because you’re having such a great time. Dancing in her class is empowering, and she loves seeing dance bring out the confidence in others. One of the most important things to Josette is that everyone is enjoying themselves while feeling accepted and included in her class. Often at the beginning of each class, Josette reminds everyone to “Check your ego at the door. We’re all the same in this room, and this is your hour to just let go.” Josette’s Zumba class has become a staple in many people’s lives, and they need this one hour each day to let loose and find themselves through dance. And Josette of all people knows just how important this is.
In 2011, Josette was diagnosed with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease causing painful inflammation of the joints. Deciding to forgo strong pharmaceuticals that doctors were telling her she needed to take, she instead chose a homeopathic approach in her healing. Along with a major diet change, she decided to shift her focus to the positive aspects in life, and has been been in complete remission from the disease for the last five years. She began teaching her class to only a few people while she was still healing from the disease, and knew continuing to dance was something that would make her happy, so she danced through the pain. Josette took the road less traveled, and it made all the difference. Now she leads hundreds of people everyday in her Zumba class, spreading joy and happiness to those who come to dance with her.
Class times and Pricing
All classes are held at the Carrillo Ballroom 100 East Carrillo St (Corner of Carrillo St. and Anacapa St.) Monday-Friday @5:30pm, Saturdays @11:15am. Pricing: 1class/ $15, 5-class card/ $35, 12-class card/ $67. If you would like to contact Josette or learn more about her class, visit Josette’s site >>