One of the world's premiere instructors of Zumba — a Latin dance-inspired workout that has taken the fitness world by storm — is making his way to Whistler for a one-time-only class on Sunday (Feb. 10) at Myrtle Philip Community School.
George Lu is a 30-year-old certified Zumba education specialist from Hong Kong, who began dancing while attending university in Canada, and soon after discovered Zumba and fell in love with it. He will bring his hip hop-inspired dance moves to Whistler for a special hour and a half class.
“He moves like nobody I've ever seen before,” said Carmen Laslett, a fitness instructor with over 30 years of experience who was the first to offer Zumba classes in Whistler two years ago. “George (Lu) is a superstar in the Zumba world. He is an international presenter and trainer, so he trains instructors, and he travels all over the world doing this.”
Zumba, for the uninitiated, is a fitness class that incorporates Latin dance styles like salsa, tango, meringue, flamenco and more, all done to Latin and international music. The Zumba movement has grown tremendously in recent years, with conventions sprouting up all over the world, and celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Portman and Victoria Beckham singing its praises.
“This program doesn't just help people to lose weight, it's the feeling you get during and after this workout that makes people keep coming back,” said Lu in an email.
In a typical hour-long Zumba class, participants can burn between 500 and 1,000 calories, said Laslett, because it works on an interval basis “which is really good for your cardio and you actually tend to burn more calories that way.”
Zumba has endured in the ever-fickle fitness world since it was founded in 2001, largely because most participants say it doesn't feel like exercise.
“There's all sorts of different fitness (regiments) out there that are great for you, but the biggest downfall for a lot of people is that they don't enjoy it so they don't continue. It tends to have more staying power because people are having fun,” she said. “Most people think that the hour goes by really quickly. I think it's kind of exercise in disguise.”
Laslett thinks Lu's class at Myrtle Philip will be a great introduction to Zumba, and participants don't need any prior Zumba or dance experience to enjoy themselves.
“If they're gonna try a class, this is the one to try because this guy is amazing,” said Laslett. “Come with an open mind. You're gonna have fun. It's an amazing energy and if you like to dance, you should be there.”
George Lu's Zumba class is Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Myrtle Philip Community School. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Registration opens at 12:30 p.m.
Contact Laslett at 604-938-0570 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
Visit the Zumba in Whistler Facebook page for more information on the event and other Zumba classes offered by Laslett.