The Zumba craze is spreading and while class sessions are full of energetic instructors and women, the male population in Zumba classes is very low. Male participants are minimal.
The popularity of Zumba is expanding, however, a lot of men have never heard of Zumba, nor do they know what it means. After spending an hour walking across Rowan University‘s campus surveying male students, the percentage of male students who never heard of Zumba or knew what Zumba was amounted to more than 50 percent of those questioned. Out of 50 students surveyed, only 10 male students could explain what Zumba was.
“I think there aren’t a lot of males taking Zumba because most men realize that Zumba has a lot of dancing in it and it can look intimidating,” Zumba instructor from Miracle’s Fitness, Kim Elisano said, “I rarely have a man come to my class, but it happens on occasions. I am thrilled when they attend. They end up catching on fast and enjoying themselves.”
Elisano explained that although Zumba has become very popular, it might become more popular for men in the demographics where dance is already a part of their culture.
Bryan McHenry majored in theater and has experience with dance classes amd said because of that he was not surprised by anything that occurred in the class and talked about his first experience with Zumba.
“My first experience was a blast! I was out of breath by the third song, and I was sweating from beginning to finish. By the end of the workout I felt good and healthy,” McHenry said.
McHenry said that he was the only male in the class he attended full of 24 females. “I don’t think males Zumba because there isn’t enough publicity or promotion about it. I was invited by a friend from work,” McHenry said.
In addition to lack of knowledge, the issue of dance surfaces concerns.
“Guys don’t really like to dance and if a guy thinks it’s provacative, he might be like ehh, and not do it,” Thomas Rodgers, a senior at Rowan University said. On the question of the atmosphere and how women would react, Rodgers said they would not be as provocative in their dance.
“I would like to think that having a male in class gives the class great energy, but it all depends on the attendees. Some women prefer not to shake their hips and wiggle in front of the opposite sex, but there are some that might spice it up a bit because they are there,” Elisano said.
Although Zumba can be seen as a more feminine sport or exercise, it is expanding.
With a background in musical theater and semi-trained in dance, Jim Cook Jr. said, “I find that dancing has come under fire by men who are uncomfortable with their inner-image, they think it’s weird or gay, but dancing for fun and exercise has been around since the times of the Bible, and I forsee Zumba making popularity with the young male population when there is more attention in arts in schools.”
I went around the Rowan University campus asking random students their thoughts and beliefs on why they think men don’t attend Zumba classes as often and frequently as women. Why don’t men Zumba?
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