Zumba dancers try out the new Movida Studio on opening nightPeople don’t have the opportunity to dance any more, except at weddings and occasional special events. That’s one reason why Zumba has become so successful – and why Marlborough’s first Zumba Movida Studio is being launched tonight (Friday).
The Latin-style dance fitness programme created by Colombian choreographer Albert “Beto” Perez is now practised by 14 million people round the globe, at more than 140,000 localities across more than 150 countries.
It took off in Marlborough almost three years ago with the arrival of Laurence Costantini – a woman otherwise known as Lau – who says she is one of the “wild bunch” born in the mountains of Corsica.
In fact she is a trained lawyer and 44-year-old mother of four children who left London with her Chilean husband seeking a town with good schools like St John’s and started Zumba classes in Marlborough that have grown and grown in size.
And they have so flourished that she had 120 people a week enjoying the rhythm of dancing and at the same time giving themselves an aerobic workout that costs just £6 a session, the initial class free to allcomers.
“I have always been a dancer, from jazz and jive to flamenco and salsa, I dance all my life,” she told Marlborough News Online. “A friend too me to a Zumba class in London five years ago when the craze started. And it works for everybody.
“You don’t stop to learn the dance. You are learning while you are doing it and enjoying the rhythm of getting fit at the same time.”
Movida creator Lau (left) with class member Lisa Farrell at the launchAnd Lau believes that the popularity of Zumba, even in a nation accused of being lazy when it comes to exercise, is because of the lack of chances to dance nowadays, especially for women aged 35 to 65.
“Nobody is dancing anymore,” she proclaimed. “It has become something rare. You dance at weddings and maybe once a year at a special event but there is no longer the opportunity to get on to a dance floor.
“That’s why TV programmes like Strictly Come Dancing are so popular and watched by millions. Zumba combines the pleasure of dancing with fitness and makes you feel you have done something good for yourself. And having fun.”
Her initial Zumba classes were daytime at Marlborough Football Club, starting with a handful of people, then following those with evening classes in St Peter’s School as more people joined in.
“People have been so warm and welcoming and showed such fantastic enthusiasm that I then had enough to keep the classes going. And lots of people who met in my classes have since become friends.”
So when the football club space became unavailable Lau found herself a site for a permanent Marlborough Movida Studio at the Foxfield Unit among the industrial buildings being refurbished in Elcot Park.
And they are being given a launch party tonight (Friday).
“Now I can comfortably accommodate 40 people in two classes a day, one morning, one evening six days a week and I have a Saturday morning session as well,” said Lau, who also teaches Zumba at East Grafton on Tuesdays.
Though it is mainly women who have joined, Lau includes men in her classes. “Three men are now coming very regularly with their wives and too love dancing,” she said. “And for them it is an important way to keep fit because men have less occasion than women to go to a studio in the daytime.”
She added: “I feel I am very lucky at what I am doing and being able to fit it in with looking after my children, who are aged 13, 11, eight and four.
“I am definitely surprised by the way Zumba has taken off in Marlborough, but then it has become a world trend now and it gives you a sense that you are part of something big – and also something that is part of the community.”
To contact Studio Movida go to www.zumba.com and enter Marlborough.
Ian Alexander kicks for Hungerford RFCBuoyed by a promising 2012/13 season, the Hungerford Hurricanes are on the hunt for new talent from the Marlborough area this summer.
The club wants to recruit more players to strengthen their squad before their 2013/14 campaign gets under way in September.
The Hurricanes were languishing at the bottom of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon premier league before Christmas, but seven straight wins after New Year saw them finish up a respectable fifth out of 11 teams.
Dave Smith, Hungerford's head coach, told Marlborough News Online: "What last season showed was that with a bit of belief we could be a decent side. It instilled belief throughout the club, and it got us thinking: 'We don't want to be in this league forever. We want to progress.'
"But to do that we need more players. It's not rocket science -- by beefing up our juniors, colts and second team, we'll put healthy pressure on our first team players to perform at their very best.
"So, regardless of whether you've never played before or if you're a former British & Irish Lion, if you want to be a part of a family-based club with great banter and a passion for fun, flowing rugby, we'd love to see you."
Pre-season fitness training for the senior players starts at 7pm on June 11 at the Triangle field, Priory Road, Hungerford.
Touch rugby is being played from 7pm on Thursdays throughout the summer. Check the Hungerford RFC website for details.
Neighbouring villages will do battle on the cricket pitch this weekend, as players from East Kennett take on opponents from West Kennett.
And the rival villages are recruiting guest players: anyone East of Kennet Valley Hall, Lockeridge is permitted to play for the Easties, while anyone living West of the venue can turn out for the Westies.
Players of all ages, sexes and abilities are encouraged to join in. Pads, gloves, helmets and bats are all provided. Battle commences at 1.30pm on Sunday, June 2 at Kennet Valley Hall.
Cricket Club logoMarlborough secured a dramatic derby day win at Burbage ending the hosts winning start to the season.
Batting first Burbage openers Sourish Mukherjee 39 and David Cope 39 gave the middle order a platform to build on but, after Marlborough all rounder Ben Head got the prized wicket of New Zealander Micheal Papps for 4, Burbage struggled with the bat being bowled out for 150 with Alex Cox 5-28 starring with the ball for Marlborough.
In reply Marlborough also found themselves in trouble with the bat early on but a vital partnership between Bob Homani 61 and Peter Day 17 meant that Marlborough managed to sneak home reaching the required target in the 39th over for the loss of 8 wickets despite the best efforts of Burbage bowler Adam Lavis who finished with 4-48.
Marlborough skipper Tom Norris was a delighted man "it's a great win which gives us confidence we can compete in this league. Cox was the outstanding and a good partnership between Homani and Day steadied the ship after losing early wickets."
Cricket Club logoAfter winning the toss and deciding to bat Marlborough began brightly with Captain Tom Norris 45 and Bradley James 28 enjoying a 70 run opening partnership.
South African Zwelibanzi Homani making his league debut began life for Marlborough with a positive 47 as the visitors reached 225-9 off 50 overs with Cameron Baden 2-70, Daniel Harris 2-33 and Ardil Domingo 2-27 taking 2 wickets apiece for Swindon.
In reply Domingo 62 and Paul Paginton 72 laid the foundations for Swindon as Andrew Staff 27 not out and Liam Tucker 21 not out ensured that Swindon reached their victory target for the loss of 5 wickets with 3 overs to spare with Ben Head 3-22, Will Langton 1-38 and Homani 1-15 taking the wickets for Marlborough.
Despite defeat Norris was keen to focus on the positives for his side" I thought we batted well but were probably 15/20 runs to short, Ben and Harrison Painter bowled brilliantly to get us back into the game and if we can improve by 5 to 10 per cent we will be there or there abouts"