Zumba with Toni; just keep dancing!
Ditch the workout and join the Party! Zumba combines Latin and International music with a fun and effective workout system, and Toni Rivera is ready for you.
Rivera teaches classes in both Williams and Colusa.
“Zumba is my passion, simply because I love to dance and I love music,” said Toni Rivera, who began her journey after first attending classes in Williams almost 10 years ago.
Rivera appeared on the Pioneer Review’s podcast “The BACKPAGE” as a Business Spotlight Sponsor which aired on Friday, Sept. 27.
“I was hooked after the first class. I love to dance. It brought back memories of going to the club with my friends.”
Rivera was asked to start teaching classes after the then Williams High School principal asked if she would be interested in teaching Zumba to the students and their parents.
“After some thought, I took him up on the offer, and it was the best decision of my life,” she said. “I have found my passion.”
While some may see Zumba as the jazzercise of the 21st century, Rivera disagrees completely.
“It is not jazzercise whatsoever,” she said. “It is two completely different techniques.”
Zumba was created by a man named Beto Perez, a Latin dancer. When Perez had to teach a dance class, he found that he was without his regular music and his choreography. So, by chance, he made up the class that evening, and his students fell in love with it.
“A lot of Zumba is Latin dance steps,” said Rivera. “There are a lot of ballroom dance steps in Zumba. We do Latin, hip-hop, old school, Columbian, and Brazilian techniques.”
Young or young at heart, Zumba has a fitness dance for you.
“We are trying to attract members of all ages.” said Rivera. “The music we use is from all different countries and make up a lot of different dance routines. It is not just Latin music anymore.”
Rivera said that many new Zumba techniques are starting to introduce a lot more hip-hop.”
“The fitness variations can really vary,” she said. “We are doing a lot more toning in Zumba, and if you put forth those dance efforts, toning will already takes place. There won’t be a need to lift weights.”
Rivera would like to see more men get involved in Zumba.
“Come and have fun with us,” said Rivera. “Bring your family.”
Zumba works every muscle in your body, Rivera said.
“I feel that when we are doing Zumba, we are working every single part of our body,” said Rivera. “When people think we are just gyrating our hips, know we are actually working our stomach muscles.”
Rivera said that Zumba is proven to burn 600 to 1,000 calories in an hour.
“To me, Zumba sounds to be a lot more fun than trying to run as many miles it takes to burn 600 to 1,000 calories,” said Rivera. “I’d rather do it in an hour with music and dance; then it feels like your not working out.”
Rivera said that she is hoping to introduce one of Zumba’s newest programs ‘Strong by Zumba,’ which is an intense total body conditioning.
“You will get stronger the more you do it,” said Rivera. “There are no weights involved, other than your own body weight. It involves a lot of planks, a lot of squats, a lot of push-ups, and a lot of sit-ups. It is incredible.”
Not ready for ‘Strong by Zumba?’ There is a fitness class just for you.
“We welcome everyone,” Rivera said. You don’t necessary have to know how to dance to know how to do Zumba. Zumba is a lot of dancing and a lot dance moves, but we have a lot of fitness variations within our routine. And it does last about an hour. I always encourage women, men, and children if you cannot follow me, its okay, make up your own step. Just keep moving.”
Teaching Zumba can be challenging, but Rivera said she likes to interact with her members to make the experience more enjoyable.
“I try really hard to move off the podium and to get out into the class and dance with my members so that they can feel like they can follow along,” she said. “It makes them feel more comfortable.
Rivera teaches Zumba in Williams at the Old Gym, 1491 E. Street, Monday-Thursday, 4:30-5:30 PM; and in Colusa at Better Body Fitness, 104 5th Street, on Tuesday and Thursday from 6-7 PM.
The cost is $2.50 per day, or $10 per week, or $35 per month. The first class is always free.
“I try to make my prices very affordable,” said Rivera.
To view Rivera’s schedule, or to find more information visit www.zumba.com/en-US/profile/toni-rivera/1680310.
Join Toni on Saturday, Oct. 19, for ‘Party in Pink,” a special breast cancer awareness Zumba Class held at 8 AM, in the Old Gym, 1491 E Street in Williams. ■
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