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Zumba: when dance and fitness become a huge success

The Industrial Revolution brought with it a different way of going through life. Instead of being out in the field working, many would be working in industries. As the years progressed, the concept of working in the office became a central way of life for many. What this meant is that people began to lead sedentary lifestyles.
Of course, this change brought with it other issues; people spending all their time in offices and eating particularly well, meaning that a lot of weight was gained, and people weren’t losing it.
Enter the concept of the gym and jogging. While these absolutely work, they aren’t fun.
For years, dancing had been known to be a very strenuous activity, but one wouldn’t notice because of all the fun they were having. And that’s how aerobics came to be. A way to lose weight, while having the fun of dancing.

Where does Zumba come in?

The 90’s weren’t a particularly good decade to be a Colombian. The serious difficulties that the country was facing meant that people had to go elsewhere just to make a living. And that is exactly what Beto Perez did. He packed up his stuff and headed for the United States.
While there, he didn’t have any money to his name. What’s worse is he didn’t even speak the language of his new country. He had to succeed somehow and the determination to do it was strong. The thing that he had to his advantage was the fact that he was a dance teacher.
As it turns out, that’s all he needed to get him going in his new country. Whether it was something that he meticulously planned or just a miracle, what happened as the years went by sounds like something from the wildest fantasy novel.
He got down to business getting Zumba off the ground when he arrived. And it did, but slowly.
That was until he met his future partners at a Starbucks. As cautious as any business owner is on meeting people interested in a joint venture, he tried to figure out what it is they wanted.
On enquiring, if they have money and replied to the negative, he knew he has found the kind of people to help him scale up his business.
From there, it was height upon a height that Zumba kept on climbing. Using an infomercial company as their springboard, they saw deals with Kellogg help spread the popularity of Zumba through cereal boxes. New trainers had to be trained to help meet the demand that Zumba was now commanding.

And the successes continued piling. A Zumba DVD sold millions of copies, leading to rapid expansion to all corners of the globe. The popularity of Zumba continues growing in leaps and bounds to the point clubs and dance studios register record-breaking attendances. Others had to put people on waiting lists to prevent overcrowding.
Perhaps the highlight of Zumba has to be getting added onto the program of Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s fitness program.

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Want to Learn How to Dance Samba?

Whatever the Africans were on when it came to making music, they should surely pass it to the rest of the world. Here are a people, who despite unfortunate circumstances, still carried their musical prowess with them everywhere they were taken to. And it was no different when they went to Brazil.

Here, the inventiveness that came out of the music grew into various forms of music and dance. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Samba. From all the carnivals that have been held all over the years, you have always been mesmerized by how they’re able to twist and contort into the beautiful dance that is samba.

You don’t have to go all the way to Copa Cabana to satisfy your curiosity. Barcelona has excellent schools where you can learn to do the samba.  

Samba Barcelona

Located on Carrer De Mendez Nunez, number 4, is the premiere samba school in Barcelona. This is a dance school that specializes in various forms of Afro-Brazilian dances. In fact, it is the only school that offers authentic samba dance lessons in Barcelona.

Apart from Samba, if you’re also interested in the dances of Axe Bahia among other Afro Brazilian dances, you are welcome to try out whatever type of dance you fancy. The good thing is you will have the backing of a professional dancer, who has both performed those dances, as well as taught them, gaining experience in various countries.

The school offers weekly classes for those who would be able to make time. If not, then you can arrange to attend the various workshops that they hold throughout the year.

Bailongu

Here is a school that chose to not only focus on what Brazil has to give to the world, but to also give students the opportunity to combine as many dance styles from various parts of the world. From classical ballet, to the best that Bollywood has to give, you will not run short of ideas of what to learn and perform when you’re ready.

From Axe Bahia, Caribbean dancing, creative dancing, modern jazz, swing, rock and roll, Samba, oriental fusion and kizomba, if Samba is not your only interest, then you will have plenty of options to choose fromand combine with the best of what Brazil has to give.

This dance school is situated at Passtage De Utset.

Isadora Bruc

Dance can be used to communicate a lot of things. From the South African Pantsula of the working man, to Ballet that beautifully and gracefully accompanies operas, then way in which you move your body will send a message. This is the reason why Isadora Bruc chose to concentrate on the dances that communicate intimacy.

From the best that the Arab world has to give comes the ubiquitous dance that is belly dancing. From here you can combine with what Brazil has to offer in terms of Samba and other Afro-Brazilian dances. If that’s not enough for you, you can check into Polynesia and learn some Hula dancing.

This school is situated at Carrer De Mendez Nunez, number 4.   

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Travels

Visit Washington DC with your kids

If you are traveling with children, you know that finding activities that appeal to everyone is far from easy. In the museums and historic sites you love to discover, children get bored quickly. They prefer the great outdoors where they can run and play! But have you crossed the Atlantic to do what you could have done at home? Good news, the American capital offers you both: historic sites in abundance, in the middle of a large public park near the White House. Visiting Washington with children will reconcile young and old. Your biggest challenge will be deciding what to do in Washington. To help you, here is a list of some places to visit with family, to spend an unforgettable moment.

What to visit with your children in Washington?

A good place to start a visit to Washington with children is the National Mall, a large park open to the public. With a view of the Capitol building – the equivalent of the National Assembly in Paris – and the obelisk in memory of George Washington, your family will feel the energy of the capital. Between all the memorials, the children will have plenty of time to stretch their legs, and even cool off in the fountains of the site dedicated to the Second World War.

If you have book lovers in your group, the Library of Congress should be your next stop. It is richly decorated and the guided tour is free. The gift shop is a must for readers!


Let your kids stretch their legs!

After a morning of visits, your children will be ready to eat. Take a lunch break in the Capitol building food court or in the cafeteria of one of the museums. We highly recommend that of the Museum of the American Indians whose choice will leave you speechless. More original, let yourself be surprised by the “food trucks”. Typically American, these small catering vans are parked in the Mall, at the 7th and 14th level. And their culinary offer covers the whole planet. You can then picnic on a bench, or even lie down for a little moment of relaxation. Kids will love the classic burgers and hot dogs. You can also be more curious, and dare Mexican or Asian specialities. In the afternoon, explore one of the Smithsonian’s free museums. The most popular museums for children are the American History Museum, which displays, among other things, Batman’s car. The Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum are also big favorites.

Memorials

What to do in Washington to support the children while being interested in the local culture? Explore the memorials and other monuments that Hollywood has immortalized in hundreds of films.

You will have the best view of the White House from the base of the Washington Monument. Feel free to take the elevator to the top of the obelisk to photograph a view of the city. Each day, a limited number of tickets are available for access to the monument, but reservations can be made online. Watch their website: the site, closed for renovation since 2016, is due to reopen in August 2019.

Then spend the afternoon at the International Spy Museum. This world-class museum will entertain adults and children of all ages. Give yourself at least a few hours to enjoy it.

Weather permitting and you prefer to visit a few other Smithsonian museums, you can spend the morning at the park’s museums and admire the monuments at night. The monuments are less frequented in the evening and, during the night, pretty white lights highlight them well.

To not miss anything of the most beautiful sites, do not hesitate to take a guided tour.

Mount Vernon

If you are traveling with children, spend the last day at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s private residence. Gentleman of Virginia before becoming the first President of the United States, he cherished his property and spent the last years of his life there. The guided tour of the house is brief, therefore ideal for children. They will also enjoy visiting the working farm, the animals and the gardens. The slave district is moving and the view of the Potomac, the nearby river, is refreshing.

Bonus: Visiting Washington with kids is all the more fantastic since all of the National Mall museums are free. You can enter and stay there as long as you want, at no cost! Admission to the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Museums are also free. There is just a small charge for the elevator at the Washington Monument.

The proximity of the large green spaces of the National Mall will allow you to combine culture for the older ones and games for the younger ones. Visiting Washington DC with your kids is a great way to learn while having fun!

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4 Carnivals around the World

There is a tradition that has carried over from the time the Romans ruled much of the then known world. Since then, the tradition has grown, and then spread to various areas of the world. From the simple gorging on meat and alcohol before giving it all up on Lent, to having exquisite parties on the street, resplendent with ornate costumes, carnival celebrations today are a sight to behold.

Nowadays, a carnival is an event that should not be missed from anyone’s bucket list. And that’s the reason for this article, to bring to you some of the greatest carnivals that are little known to many people.

Tenerife Carnival

Somewhere off the West coast of Africa, lies a series of beautiful islands. As is with many of these smaller islands around Africa, the Europeans claimed them and have since remained under their jurisdiction. In this case, it’s the Spanish who claim jurisdiction.

On this island is the city of Santa Cruz, which is famous for hosting the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival. This is a carnival that takes place over an entire month. The best part is the last week, which is held a week to Ash Wednesday.

Between the scenic views and the month-long party, you won’t be short of fun activities to partake in. Many Europeans have fallen in love with Tenerife and have chosen to buy a property on the island. You’ve been warned, after discovering the beauty of the Canary islands, you won’t want to leave!

Nice Festival

If you’re looking for something with a rich history, then this is something you don’t want to miss. Here is a carnival that has records dating to the 1290’s. This probably is the Jurassic era for carnivals that still exist to date.

The carnival is famous for bringing in more than a million people into the city of Nice in France. The carnival takes place over a period of two weeks. It is known for having a variety of features such as parades, masquerades, satirical floats and various types of competitions.

Venice Carnival

Here is a festival that’s even older than the Nice Festival and dates back to 1162.  It has survived various political and religious changes to become what it is today. Held in the picturesque city of Venice, the Venetian Festival is widely known for having some of the best face mask game in the world.

So popular is the Venetian Festival that even the masks and general setting have inspired several pop culture works such as the movie Eyes Wide Shut. It even inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write a book set entirely in Venice.

Trinidad Carnival

This list would not be complete without a Caribbean festival. The numerous islands in the Caribbean each have their own flavors, but none is more famous than the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.

This is a carnival that is popular for the colorful costumes that are put on display, the various music genres from the Caribbean islands such as Soca and Raga, and the exuberant expressions that the participants are fond of showing to those around them.

The festival is also responsible for creating steelpans as a musical instrument after a series of bans after violent riots in the late 19th Century.