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Zumba Revealed!!!

Published: Sunday, April 6, 2008

Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2009 13:02

I am locked out of my own story, literally. I am supposed to be covering Zumba, some new dancercise program, for the Reporter, but I got to the Hollis Center a minute too late and the class has already started. I'm forced to stand out in the hall by myself and look through the wall-to-ceiling glass mirrors, staring at the (mostly) attractive girls shaking their hips aggressively to the salsa music. I watch this for a while until a pair of old men, probably alumni, walk down from the other end of the hall and give me a weird look for ogling these girls. "I'm a journalist!" I want to yell back at them but I'm afraid that might be even creepier, so I go home.
Not that I actually need to be present to write this piece; there isn't much insightful you can say about Zumba, or any other exercise fad. Stories like this pretty much write themselves. Open with a line about the "new craze sweeping across campus!" Give the reader a few vague facts about The Fad. Get a quote from a vapid but somewhat good-looking sorority girl saying, "The Fad is fun AND good for you!" Talk to someone in Health Services about the health benefits of The Fad. Pick up your paycheck from the newspaper office.
The question shouldn't be "What is Zumba?" but "Why the fuck I am writing about Zumba?" Zumba is nothing more than dancing to Latin music for extended periods of time. "‘News' is," according to the best definition I've ever heard of it, "a change in the status quo." People have always been dancing to Latin music and will presumably do so indefinitely: dancing to Latin music is not news. Dancercise movements like this pop up three times a month, and they're usually scams (and, sure enough, even my cursory research shows that the Zumba website has for sale $75 "Zumba Pants," which appear to be nothing more than regular sweatpants with the Zumba logo on them). For a human interest story, it's not even interesting, unless you were aroused by the descriptions of girls shaking their asses in the first paragraph.
"The reason you're writing about Zumba," the people at the Reporter who assigned me this story would invariably say, "is that it's human interest. People want to be up on what's happening on campus. The paper can't be all negative news or people wouldn't read it."
So you end up with articles about Zumba and the campus martial arts program and God knows how many other irrelevant campus clubs and events. You, Reader, want light fluff. You can't handle the truth. This is why the Reporter gives you articles about Zumba instead of articles about how Stetson is hemorraging tuition dollars and can't afford to hire any new professors. This is why the national media gives you stories about Britney Spears instead of stories about the proposed immunity for telecom companies that supported the White House's illegal wiretapping. This is journalism.
 
Editor's note: Ornery writer will be in attendance at an upcoming Zumba class to really experience this "new craze sweeping across campus."

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3 comments

Anonymous
Wed Apr 6 2011 14:37
I am shocked that you were allowed to publish such a false piece of trash and continue to have a job. As stated above it is more than dancing to latin music, which I must add is a fabulous work out itself. If you knew anything about fitness you would know that dancing is one of the best forms. Zumba is a place where people can come have fun, exercise, and meet people. Just like any other exercise program.
I also think it's funny you attack their price of pants.... it's an industry just like anything else. Look at the price of pants sold from universities, american caner society, really anything that wants to make money.
Also it seems to me that your just unhappy with where you are at with life. The reason you don't write about the good stories is because you can't even handle writing about a simple for of exercise.
Anonymous
Wed Dec 15 2010 20:21
This is hands down, the best article ever written concerning Zumba. I was stricken by your incredible accurate depiction of the entire “fad”. Good work! I also read the lette to the editor from the bimbo and she really drives your point home about who and what they are!
Anonymous
Mon Mar 29 2010 00:19
Had to laugh how you described Zumba Fitness and seem so angry about it.

Zumba Fitness is more than just "dancing to Latin music". First of all it is a fusion of "International rhythms" Yes the majority is latin, but it includes, hip hop, bolllywood, bhangra, belly dancing, axe, etc. There is fitness added to it as well, so you're not just dancing to Latin music for extended periods of time. Of course you left too early to realize that. You assumed and concluded your findings by just maybe seeing a few songs.

Zumba Fitness is a program that I decided to attend and I am sticking with it. That is the biggest difference from any other exercise program I have tried. This one works, is fun, you don't realize an hour has gone by and you're drenched in sweat and burned near 800 + calories.

Perhaps is time you actually try a class for the full hour. Just a thought, you'll realize is fun. If you do dislike the music, then absolutely no way you can ever write any unbiased comments about Zumba. Aside from the fact that I lost 30 lbs in 4 months, I can tell you this program rocks is still rocking and will rock on for a while!





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