Local studio jumps into Zumba
It’s part dance party, part sweat-inducing workout. And when dancer Evelyn Cervera met fitness instructor Sylvia Ortega they knew they formed the ideal team to bring Zumba to the masses in a big way.
In October, they opened Latin Fitness Ztudio, the first all-Zumba fitness studio in Metro Vancouver, a 3,200-square-foot expanse of brightly painted walls, hardwood floor, gelled spotlights and disco lasers on Kingsway, next to the old Canadian Tire. Three times a day, seven days a week, they groove, shimmy and shake to the Latin rhythms of salsa, merengue, quebradita and cumbia music. Their clients, mostly women, come from as far away as Whistler and Langley to get in shape and have a good time.
“We try to turn it into a fiesta, make it a party,” says Ortega. “It’s like a workout in disguise.”
Which is just what attracted Cervera to Zumba in the first place. She’d been a dance instructor in her native Mexico, but when she came to Canada she found the workout options available to her at local gyms a little lacking in excitement. Until she found a Zumba class.
“I didn’t like to work out, but I love to dance,” says Cervera. “It was the perfect combination.”
It was at one of those classes where she met Ortega. They started choreographing their own routines. They built up their collection of upbeat Latin music to more than 100 CDs. They rented a small space in North Burnaby to conduct classes.
After a year of test driving their idea, building their client base and learning a few valuable business lessons along the way, they decided to jump in with both feet. They now have four qualified instructors as part of their team, they’ve developed Zumba programs for kids, older adults and even pregnant women and they recently diversified to include Reggaeton, a cardio workout set to Latin hiphop.
“We have to keep innovating to keep it going,” says Cervera.
Especially when this year’s hot workout is next year’s neglected DVD that’s buried in the bottom of the bargain bin at Walmart.
“We never know if it will go away,” says Cervera. “But as long as it works, and it’s fun, people will keep coming out.”