Updated: Apr 5, 2019
By Matt Larson
Since taking the dance-aerobic scene by storm in the 1990s, chances are that when you hear the word “Zumba”, you’ve already made up your mind about whether you like it or not, despite the fact that you’ve never even tried it and hardly know what it is. But that’s only the case for some people. For many of us, Zumba class is the funnest, healthiest, most invigorating part of the day.
“Zumba is for everybody,” said Richmond’s Main Street Zumba Instructor Willa Willis-Jacobs. She describes it as, basically, a dance and fitness party inspired by Latin music … not your cup o’ tea?
“Don’ say, ‘I can’t.’ Just try it!” she said. “If you say, ‘I have two left feet, I’ve never moved like that!—believe me, when you come in my class I make it so that you will enjoy it, you will like it, and you will come back.”
Born in Oakland, raised in Berkeley, and with a degree in Physical Education from San Francisco State, Willa was first introduced to Zumba in 2008 by her daughter-in-law, Gina Grant, who ultimately trained her as well, alongside Zumba Creator Beto Perez.