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Zumba instructor, Susanne Andoe, came to New Zealand from Germany eight years ago with her husband and absolutely loves living in Browns Bay. She thinks dancing is in her blood as both her Grandma and Uncle were ballet dancers and Susanne herself has always been involved in amateur dance groups. She says: “I love jogging, cycling, swimming and Pilates. In short, I can’t think of living without being active.” We caught up with Susanne to find out all about her love of Zumba and the classes she runs in Browns Bay.
Courtney Bennett: Describe Zumba in three words:
Susanne Andoe: Dance, Fun, Alive.
CB: How did you get involved in Zumba?
SA: I saw an advert on TV, it looked great. I went to a class - the moves and rhythms were infectious and I was hooked. After a year or so, I wanted even more and became an instructor myself.
CB: What’s the best part about teaching Zumba?
SA: To share the love of this awesome dance fitness with my students, see the smiles and sweat on their faces, the improvements in their moves and coordination, and the weight loss they tell me about. It also keeps me fit, I constantly learn new things and push myself to do better. And I can choose the songs and choreography.
CB: What are the health and wellbeing benefits of Zumba?
SA: Zumba is a fitness programme that combines Latin and international music with dance moves, creating interval training – fast and slow rhythms – as well as resistance training. This in turn improves cardiovascular health, weight loss, cognitive function and coordination. It is a complete body workout, boosts your mood,and relieves stress. It’s fun, it’s social and can be adapted to any fitness level.
CB: Are there any Zumba instructors worldwide that you look up to?
SA: Beto Perez – he is the creator of Zumba and absolutely fabulous. I met him in person – an inspiring dance guru who is still a wonderfully normal person. Also Tanya Beardsley and Gina Grant – they were the big stars when I started. They inspired me and deepened my love for Zumba.
CB: What do you do in your spare time?
SA: The other activity close to my heart is giving Reflexology treatments. I love the way Zumba and Reflexology complement each other – health combined with fitness creates wellness. Any spare time left is filled with jogging, swimming in the ocean, cycling, walking the neighbour’s dog Bessi, reading and meeting with friends. In the evenings I like to relax in front of the TV.
CB: Why would you recommend that people try Zumba?
SA: Zumba is special; no boring weight lifting and counting minutes. Zumba lets you forget the time. It adds back spice to your life, you start to feel young again with all these moves and uplifting music. I am 50 but I have the body of a 30-year-old and I put that down to Zumba, you train a lot of tiny muscles around your hips and belly you didn’t even know you have. As an ordinary stiff German, I definitely didn’t know my hips could move like that. But, the great thing about Zumba is everybody can do it. Zumba is for all ages and fitness levels.
CB: Do you have a range of people demographically doing your Zumba classes?
SA: I have students of all walks of life and nationalities, young and old, fit and not so fit, regulars and pop-ins. Many families these days have a tight budget, so to make it affordable for all - mums at home, shift workers, pensioners, housewives, au pairs, self-employed, students - I charge only $5.00 per class. I want them all to be able to come and join an hour of fun and dance for just the price of a coffee. For me, it is about getting people involved in a healthier lifestyle.
CB: In 10 years time, I’ll be…
SA: Still doing Zumba! Zumba turned my life clock back 20 years and I won’t give that up again. I am fitter and sexier than I ever was before, my body awareness is so much better. My next goal is to qualify as a group fitness instructor to give me a wider range of opportunities to work with and help people become fitter and healthier.
Channel Magazine: Issuu 51 February 2015