Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sweat the Fat - Take a Samba Class

I love this commercial and wish I could see it air in the U.S. The song used is Suda El Jamon or Sweat the Fat and the chorus basically says, "sweat the fat, sweat the fat, so you'll be so hot." My other favorite line translates to "sweating is a sexy and juicy thing." The best translation I could find was on this blog, Luluby.

My favorite form of exercise is dancing. I already teach Zumba (latin dance aerobics) at local gyms but when I'm not teaching, I like to try dance classes around D.C. Last weekend, I checked out MamaSita Cultural Center in Takoma Park. I've been meaning to try them out for a while but Takoma Park was a bit hard to get to from Adams Morgan. Now, it's only 4 metro stops away on the redline.

The MamaSita Cultural Center calls itself a place for dance, movement, and holistic healing and it is also the home of the Bellydancers of Color Association (BOCA). It is less than two blocks from the Takoma Park metro stop but there are no signs identifying the place so make sure you have the exact address.

I took the 11:30 a.m. Spicy Samba! class with Brazilian native, Zezeh. The class started about 10-15 minutes late because the earlier class was running late. But I thought I was taking a one-hour class and the class went on for more than two hours! It was still going on when I left close to 2 p.m. That made up for the late start.

The first thing you'll notice is that everyone in the class is super friendly. Most know each other already but if you don't look familiar, Zezeh and everyone else will come up to you to introduce themselves. And there are men in the class! It's pretty rare to find a non-partner dance class where men will attend. I also don't normally expect to get a workout at dance classes because there is usually a lot of standing around listening to instruction but Zezeh's class did a really good job of being a cardio workout as well. Her warm-up alone moved every part of my body and got me breathing hard.

Most of the students seemed to know how to samba already but there were a couple who were complete newbies. I liked how Zezeh was able to break down the moves and use fun practice drills in a way that got the newbies learning the steps but still not bore those who already knew how to samba. I know I still struggle with making my own classes both simple enough for newbies and challenging for the hard-core folks. It's a great skill to have and Zezeh certainly has it.

Most classes that are advertised for all levels end up being too hard for beginners and too boring for advanced students. This one is the rare drop-in class that you can recommend for dancers of all levels. My calves were pretty sore for the next couple of days but it was a very fun class with a warm atmosphere. I know I will definitely go again.

MamaSita Cultural Center
6906 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-545-8888 - ph

*$12/class - drop in (multiple class cards also available)
*other classes offered include bellydance, yoga, salsa rueda, and hand dance
*classes also held at locations on U Street and Forestville, MD


Lulu said...

OMG! My translation is the best one? Thank you! And thanks for the link!

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