What is it about Zumba® that makes it so addictive? How do you get others to join you? We caught up with Zumba® enthusiast Diego Chauca to get some insight from his perspective.
ZLife: Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Diego Armando Chauca (no relation to Dora the Explorer… I know, bummer!). I’m a 27-year old native New Yorker with Ecuadorian roots, born in Manhattan and raised in Astoria, Queens.
ZLife: How did you find Zumba®?
It was a little over 4 years ago. I had started spinning and was beginning to get the hang of group fitness classes. I instantly became hooked on the idea of blasting music and having my instructor, Lucille, encourage us to work harder. It was such an adrenaline rush! One day, as I held on for dear life while climbing a hill, I look over to see students rushing into the cardio studio next door and I left wondering what that was all about. A few weeks later, I decided to ask what class that was and someone in the front row screamed one word with so much enthusiasm: ZUMBA®! It took me a couple of days to build up the courage to step into that cardio studio and try my very first Zumba® class. Boy, I am so happy I did!
ZLife: How has Zumba® impacted your health?
Honestly, I was a big boy. My height and weight were not proportional at all. It was not only impacting me physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well. Being 220 pounds, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin as I was bullied as a kid. I hated the treadmill. I hated the elliptical. I had no clue what to do with the weights. That’s when I decided to try my luck with spinning which eventually, led me to Zumba®. Once I graduated college, I immersed myself more and more into the beautiful world of Zumba®. Four years later, I am currently 165 pounds (a healthy weight for my height) and I can proudly say it was thanks to Zumba®. The joy it brings me motivates me to stick with it; there’s nothing like dancing to music that moves my heart and soul.
ZLife: What’s your favorite current Zumba® song? Your favorite old school song?
I cannot stop listening to Mar Adentro (Il Canto Della Sirena). It brings me back to the good old days when my mother would blast Cumbia songs as she cleaned the house. As far as old school, Bouje by J. Perry always gets the party started.
ZLife: What advice do you have for friends and family who are interested in Zumba® but haven’t tried it yet?
Whatever is holding you back, don’t let it. You’re missing out on not just a fitness class but an opportunity to meet people, make friends, and feel great both physically and mentally. I dare you to try it. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
ZLife: In one word, describe what Zumba® means to you.
It’s a ‘blessing.’
We know you can’t wait to see Diego dancing on, so check the choreography below created by Diego and some awesome Zumba Jammers™