Career Changers

Does Zumba Cause Deafness?

June 19th, 2012

Noise makes me cranky, especially when I'm trying to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, we live in an increasingly noisy world, where consideration for others has become a thing of the past. Take Zumba, for example. At first, I thought instructors blasted music at ear-splitting levels because they believed that sound waves could somehow help break down fat molecules while sweaty participants danced around in close proximity to each other. Not my idea of a fun work-out, but whatever.

The problem is many of these Zumba sessions are conducted in places that are next to public areas. When my wife and I were vacationing on the Big Island and trying to enjoy the peace and tranquility of snorkeling at Kahaluu Beach awhile back, we began to hear loud thumping -- underwater. It was coming from a Zumba class on the hotel grounds next to the bay. Then this past weekend while playing tennis, for about two hours we were subjected to the same super-amplified noise assault, which was coming from a Zumba "fundraiser" (i.e., recruitment event) at the elementary school next to the Kailua public tennis courts. The din made it difficult for tennis players to concentrate on their game.

Rather than assume the Zumba organizers and participants are just plain rude and inconsiderate of people who live, work or play in the vicinity, I have come to the conclusion that they are hard of hearing and must play music at those mind-numbing levels in order to coordinate their movements. Ergo, Zumba causes deafness.

Lest you think I'm being facetious, recent studies show an alarming number of young and middle-aged people are turning up in doctors' offices with hearing loss problems. In part, it's because of wearing ear buds and playing their iPods at high volume. I suspect it's also a result of those amped-up car stereos or going to clubs that turn up the bass so loud it causes windows to rattle, while creating the uncomfortable sensation that you're about to lose control of your bowels.

Noise pollution is a serious problem. It increases stress levels and diminishes the quality of life. When you think about it, isn't that one reason people enjoy going to the beach or swimming in the ocean? We need to have places where we can escape noise and let our minds wander while we enjoy natural sounds. So, to all you Zumba enthusiasts, PLEASE be mindful of others who may not appreciate being subjected to your taste in music, played at levels that belong in a rock concert arena. Thank you.


In part, this rant was inspired by an interview we just did with professional hypnotherapist, Mindy Ash for an upcoming Career Changers TV show segment. As she walked us through a typical session with a client, I was struck by what she said: all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Mindy explained how she got into her field through her exposure to self-help motivational programs and Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques that teach the power of words and positive thinking. A key component to it working is the ability to clear your mind of distractions -- and noise. I believe that the rise in number of reported ADHD cases among kids and adults is largely related to people being subjected to too much artificial noise from TVs, music players, computers, and cell phones.

With all the competing sounds and distractions, is it any wonder students in the classroom and employees at work seem less focused on tasks they're asked to perform? And even when the noise is turned off, it's still there in your head, like an ear worm. Interestingly, I wasn't planning on doing a blog post today. But during Mindy's demo session for our TV shoot, she planted the suggestion "Do it now" in her client's subconscious... and ever since then, I've been thinking I need to, well, do it now. Here's the link to her website.

You can check out our latest show, which features segments on Paul Brown and Loco Boutique's General Manager with advice for retail businesses, by visiting www.CareerChangers.TV for daily viewing times on OC16. Videos from past and current episodes are also posted on the CCTV YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!

2 Responses to “Does Zumba Cause Deafness?”

  1. Manoa_Fisherman:

    Get spear gun. Remove leash/cord to spear. Aim at speaker over 100 decibels. Shoot and keep snorkeling. If you are lucky you can hit the 12 inch woofer. If not, you may get the zumba instructor. Same result.

  2. Rich Figel:

    Um, okay, so that sentence was a little unclear. We could hear the noise underwater, but the Zumba class was on land in an open-sided pavilion at the neighboring hotel.

    When I asked the Zumba instructor to turn it down, she could not hear me SHOUTING because the music was so loud. I had to use hand signals to get her attention. Then she looked at me as if she couldn't understand English... or maybe she was, in fact, deaf.

    I also spoke to the hotel manager, who said they used to have the Zumba classes next to the tennis courts there... and for some reason, they moved them. Huh. Could it be guests who wanted to play tennis objected?

    The funny thing is there were less than 10 people in that Zumba session. Yet they felt their right to blast loud music was more important than the hundreds of people on the beach and in the ocean, who just wanted to enjoy Hawaii's scenic beauty in peace.