Ever since I started doing Zumba a few years ago, I loved it. Of course, I didn't know what I was doing right away, but I knew it was more fun than a treadmill or stair climber.

Now I have scientific proof that it is more fun. Tanya Nieri, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside did research on women and Zumba. Her findings were published in Sociology of Sport Journal.

She, along with research assistants interviewed women from ages 18 to 68 and found that 'Zumba is fun, but exercise is not; and second, Zumba is dancing, but not exactly.'

Neri said, "Women appreciate Zumba's incorporation of dancing which frames the class as a party. However, because Zumba is an exercise class, not an actual party or dance class, the participants perceive themselves to be freed from the rules that normally apply in such settings. Instead, they view the class as an opportunity to build skill, explore their bodies, and express themselves creatively."

The chunk of the study that I found most relatable and spot on was this: "Participants also attributed their positive experience of Zumba to its incorporation of dance. They described it as "good exercise disguised as fun dancing" and as less restrictive than social dancing due to the ability to wear comfortable clothing that supports movement and the lack of need for a partner. Some  noted that it also provided an opportunity to perform sexual dance moves, such as "booty poppin'" (i.e., rhythmically shaking the buttocks), without eliciting sexual advances. They viewed Zumba as a safe space where they can be sexual, and do so for their own benefit."

So true. If you did some of the moves you learned at Zumba at the club people might judge you or you'd end up with a guy rubbing himself on you, but at Zumba you are free to be yourself! No creepers!

Plus, I've met some pretty cool ladies at Zumba! What up Angie, Frankie, Chelsea, Ashley, Allie, Dom, Missy, and the other Angie?!


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