By George Littlejohn
As a Health and Wellness outlet we would like to know more about your involvement with Zumba.
How did you get started with Zumba? What drew you in?
I first started taking Zumba classes at a local YMCA when I lived in Brooklyn, New York. I was trying out a bunch of different types of workouts to get in shape, and Zumba was one of the classes that they offered. I remembered seeing the Zumba infomercials when they aired years ago, and I had a very general idea of what it was, so I was excited to try it. I’m a former dancer and athlete, so group dance fitness classes are my preference.
I continued to take classes at LA Fitness when I moved to Los Angeles, and developed a real love for it. I loved how the music and movements made me feel, and the fact that it felt like I was dancing at a party more than working out.
What has changed for you mentally, physically and emotionally since you started your Zumba workouts?
I don’t pay attention to my weight or weigh myself at all, but I can say that physically I’ve slimmed down and toned up a lot. I’ve also gained a lot of stamina and do not get as stressed out with work as I used to. Zumba has made me more disciplined when it comes to working out and going to the gym, because I actually look forward to taking and teaching classes. Teaching Zumba has also given me a confidence boost. Before becoming a Zumba instructor, I never would have thought that I would be able lead and engage with an entire class full of people for an hour.
Since music seems to be a big part of Zumba, did your extensive music background and being a music professional influence your passion for Zumba?
No, my dance background influenced my passion for Zumba more than my music background. As a former dancer, most of the music that I like has to be something that makes me move. I always think of dance moves in my head when I hear most music anyway. I do appreciate that Zumba has introduced me to a lot of different types of music and styles of dance. I’ve learned Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Brazilian Funk, etc. I also listen to a lot more Latin and Soca music in my spare time these days because of it.
We understand that Zumba is recommended for people who are diabetic, have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Could you explain how Zumba helps people with those conditions
Zumba is a form of cardio exercise, cardio and aerobic exercises help with these conditions. It also helps you build muscle in certain areas.
For some reason I have been seeing on social media many ads for Zumba Gold , what is the difference between “Regular Zumba” and ‘Zumba Gold if there is a difference.
Zumba Gold is a lower intensity workout than regular Zumba and requires a separate training session. Its usually recommended for seniors and older adults. I’m currently not licensed for Zumba Gold. My classes are pretty high impact.
There are also several other types of Zumba that require different trainings, such as Zumbini (Zumba for babies and toddlers), Zumba Step, Zumba Toning, Strong By Zumba, etc.
We understand that you was born and bred in the South East but now on the West Coast. Do you have a preference and what has been the biggest difference for you?
I love both places for different reasons. I grew up in Atlanta and that will always be my home, but at the moment, I am enjoying LA. I love the weather, and I have easy access to the beach, which has always been a major plus for me. Additionally, the LA lifestyle also encourages people to stay fit and participate in outdoor activities. Also, because I’m in the music industry, I have a lot more career based opportunities in LA.
In addition to Zumba what else do you do to stay fit
I run a lot and try to lift weights at least once a week. I run 5K races pretty regularly. I used to run Cross Country and Track when I was younger, so running comes naturally to me. I also try to throw in different types of workouts every now and then, such as boot camp, Soul Cycle, etc. I’m currently in the best shape that I have been since College.
Now for some fun questions What are the last 2 movies that you went to
If Beale Street Could Talk, Little
What are your 3 favorite Television shows
Game of Thrones, Insecure, and Sex and the City. Real Houswives of Atlanta is my guilty pleasure.
Roku, Cable or Neither? Vegan, Vegetarian, Neither or in Transition?
Roku…Cable is a waste of money these days. And neither, but I did give up meat for Lent earlier this year.
What are your short term and long term goals in regards to Health, Fitness, Diet and Professionally
My goal in 2018 was to run at least one 5K a month, and I met that goal. I also ran my first half marathon earlier this year. Eventually, I would love to run a full marathon. I would also like create my own dance fitness workout franchise.
About Aura Harewood
Aura Harewood is the Sr. Director of Marketing at Interscope Records, where she handles marketing strategy for artists such as Rae Sremmurd, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack and more.
Previously, Aura has held digital marketing positions with Interscope, Warner Bros. Records, Roc Nation and Epic Records where she has handled digital strategy for artists like Kendrick Lamar, Ella Mai, Jason Derulo, J. Cole, Tamar Braxton, Gucci Mane, and Future. Before officially getting into the music industry, Aura made a name for herself as a blogger and web publisher by interviewing public figures and covering events in New York City.
An Atlanta area native now residing in Southern California when she is not handling marketing and digital marketing for artists and brands, Aura feeds her passion for health and fitness by teaching Zumba several times a week. A graduate of Howard University, Aura has a B.A. (Cum Laude) in Mass Communications.