California · Zumba

Zumba @The Rhythm Attic

Trip distance: 4.6 mi (cycle), 3.6 mi (car)

Time to reach: 49 min (walk / Bus 58 / walk), 25 min (cycle), 8 min (car)

Round trip cost: $4 (Note: The last bus to Scott and Space Park is at 6:30 PM)

About the Class and Studio

Rhythm Attic

Websitehttp://rhythmattic.com/

Address: 1515 Walsh Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Bike parking availability: None, although you can carry your bike to the second floor where the classes are held. The first floor houses a huge gymnastics place for kids.

Class schedule: This place conducts Zumba, Zumba Toning, U-Jam, Kickboxing, and Bombay Jam, each run by a different instructor. You can find the class schedule here.

Fee: $12 for dropping-in (first class is free); $54 for 5 classes; $92 for 10 classes; 10 check-ins on Foursquare gets you 1 free class.

Studio: Wooden floor hall, not as big as the Elite Ballroom studio. It can get crowded and congested. There are mirrors on two adjacent walls. Two restrooms (separate for men and women) and a separate room for shower and changing.

Rhythm AtticContext: I had loved Joe Valderrama’s Zumba class this Tuesday. But it was a bit far off, in the downtown, happened only in the evenings, and not on the days I would have liked to go. So I was still on the lookout for zumba classes nearby and that’s when I came across The Rhythm Attic. I had received a recommendation for this place from another certified zumba trainer during my search.

Commute to the dance studio: My earlier plans of cycling to the studio were quashed when I realized that I do not have any reflective clothing for cycling back home in the night (I promise it was a valid excuse :P). So I opted for the bus to get to the studio and since the bus service was not be available at 8:00 PM when the class was to get over, I requested the husband for a pick up.

1. 18 minutes: I walked to the River Oaks and Zanker bus stop. The bus arrived at 6:00 PM, right on time as per the schedule on 511 Transit.

2. 18 minutes: I got off at Scott and Space Park, after the bus turned right on the Central Expressway.

3. 13 minutes: As with any other expressway, it took a while to cross the Central Expressway on foot. It seemed like a long walk to get to the studio.

I reached 15 minutes ahead of the class, as planned. Heidi, a zumba instructor, was at the reception desk and she welcomed me to the class. The kickboxing class was in session at the time. I signed a waiver form in the meantime.

Zumba experience: As usual, the students were predominantly women, ranging over a wide age group. A few of us were first timers.

Now, it does take a while to get used to the style of dancing and the basic movements of the teacher and to understand the gestures the teacher uses to convey “from the top” or the direction in which to go next. I gave myself time to pickup these basic cues.

I felt that the starting was very abrupt.  But since most of the students were old-timers, they started off instantly with Heidi.

The music/song changed after every 10 minutes. The songs were mostly Chinese or in some asian language. I tried but I was not liking the music or the dance steps. Then came along two Bollywood songs and I tried to be enthusiastic about them and infused some energy into the steps, but after a while they too seemed to bore me. During every song interval, Heidi would hop-and-skip and go around the room and gesture for a high-five with as many as she could. It was odd but after every song, she looked at the clock. I thought I was the only one too eager for the class to end. There were some samba steps that I could absolutely not follow. I might have been in a better position had I joined the class when this routine was taught for the first time.

The commute to this studio is better and shorter than to Elite Ballroom. I need to give other classes here a try – probably U-Jam and Zumba toning.

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