Bucerias women of all ages, shapes and sizes have been inspired to get fit in a Zumba class that is
absolutely free! Called “Activate Bucerias” this is an innovative program happening throughout the
state of Nayarit. There is a class “in the Colonias” but the main class is in the building Salon Ejidal, opposite the Church of Our Lady of Peace. Here the certificated maestro Olga Meda Leal, puts the ladies through their paces for an hour from 5 pm – a gruelling 6 times a week.
And if you’ve ever invented excuses for not going to your air conditioned gym with state of the art
equipment, then have sympathy – and the utmost respect – for this determined group of ladies whose
workout location is pretty basic. The mosquito screens are broken, ceiling panels are missing. No
sprung wood floor, it’s concrete. No air conditioning, not even fans – and not a breath of air. I was sweating just sitting watching them!
So what is Zumba actually? It is known as a “calorie burning dance fitness party” – which sums it
up perfectly. After the warm up, you dance non stop through various movements to lively Mexican
flavoured music, using a succession of props: a step; long resistance tubes; balls; light handweights and twisting discs. The ladies formed a square with Maestra Olga in the middle in charge of the choreography – it looks like a mixture between a Flashdance and the well greased cogs of an intricate machine! She doesn’t even have a microphone, but her strong voice battles against the pulsating rhythm. She does all the exercises too – and is an exceptionally fit mother-to-be of some 38 weeks, which gives rise to quite a few jokes against themselves and in admiration of her.
There were about 60 women participating, plus young daughters up on the platform who came to
watch – but ended up joining in. There were many grimaces, much huffing and puffing, but at the end
– a big round of self-congratulatory applause and lots of smiles! Energy levels were renewed, and new friendships formed.