Little feet were tapping to the beat at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, where a Zumba class for kids aged 5 to 12 proved to be a hit with festival-goers. The Latin dance fitness class, set to a selection of high-energy, international music, saw participants step and sway to choreographed movements in rows.
Led by Reshma, an instructor from Legends Academy in Dubai, the Zumba class aimed to infuse a sense of fun and fitness into the young participants. “I set the class to some of the latest and popular songs, as the kids tend to enjoy that. We practise the dance movements repeatedly until they get the hang of it,” explained Reshma.
As the workshop progressed, kids were split into teams and encouraged to showcase their newfound dance skills. A sense of friendly competition was introduced through games like freeze dancing, where teams had to halt their movements abruptly when the music stopped. “So the team that is still dancing loses points,” Reshma said with a smile.
With its lively music and upbeat choreography, Zumba has come a long way from its Latin American origins, and Reshma’s class reflected this evolution. “When Zumba first originated, it was more of a Latin American dance style, but as it got popular around the world, it has evolved everywhere differently. Our class has more of a hip-hop and pop rhythm to it as the kids seem to connect with these genres more than the traditional salsa styles, compared to adults,” she noted.
Beyond the fun and games, the Zumba workshop was designed to encourage kids to explore their love of dance and take up regular classes. For many, like 8-year-old Ayla, it was an eye-opening experience. “Wow, I had so much fun at the dance workshop! It was my first time dancing at a big event like this, and it was super cool. We got to learn lots of different dance steps, and the music was really fun too,” she said.
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