I recently had the pleasure (and pain) of trying Ginga (pronounced jeen-gah), a relatively new kind of dance fitness that I had never heard of before. A friend of mine who is training to be an instructor invited me out for a trial class. Her selling point? “It’s like Zumba on crack.” Cool, I’m in. Ginga is like a combination of dance and martial arts. Capoeira techniques (a Brazilian martial arts) are danced out to upbeat music from around the world (think Latin, Caribbean, African and more) in this super high intensity class. Kicks and punches are combined with booty shaking and hip swinging to create a full body workout that targets your glutes, legs, thighs ,and abs. Needless to say, coordination is key, not to mention a basic sense of rhythm. Having taken both martial arts and dance classes in my youth, I figured I would do alright despite my relative lack of personal fitness throughout my winter hibernation. Boy, was I wrong. Ginga is certainly not for the faint of heart… or the short of breath. If you’re looking to up your endurance, this is definitely the way to do it.
To prep you with more of an idea of what it’s like, here was my thought process during my first 60 minute Ginga class:
- I have to sign a waiver form? Uhh, what am I getting myself into?
- Ooooh this music is so good!
- Okay, step side to side, simple enough. I got this.
- I like the way he shakes his butt. It’s all in the hips, baby, it’s all in the hips.
- Whoa, what was that move? How did he do that?
- Aaaand I’m sweating already.
- Check out my high kick! I still got it!
- Punch punch punch! Woo! I feel like Rocky.
- Oh yeah, totally kicking butt.
- Oh no, totally getting my butt kicked
- I need waterrrrrrrrrr.
- Keep your abs tight? Ha! What abs?
- Phew, okay. Break time. Thank goodness.
- I am totally stealing this move for my next club night.
- Best. Dance. Routine. Ever.
- Wow, everything is jiggling. Every. Thing. I’m gonna call it gingling.
- OMG I’m dying. Now I get what the waiver form is for.
- That old guy over there sure can move. He’s totally showing me up right now!
- Feeeeeeeeeel the burrrrnnnnnn. This is going to hurt tomorrow.
- How much longer? Is it over yet?
- Cool down, finally. I have definitely lost five pounds AT LEAST.
- Okay, that was crazy. Where do I sign up?
Clearly, it was a little bit of a love/hate experience for me. In the end though, love prevailed. Sure, it’s challenging and, at times, utterly exhausting but that’s how you get results. I think it’s definitely more fun than just lifting weights or running on the treadmill. If you aren’t afraid to look a little silly at times, you will thoroughly enjoy this awesome workout. Great music, fun people, wicked moves: it’s the ultimate sweaty dance party!