MARIA NHAMBU – NOVEMBER 25, 2019

Posted on: November 25th, 2019 by admin No Comments

Born in Tanzania, East Africa, Nhambu was raised by German nuns at an orphanage for mixed race children. Throughout the hardship and mixed blessings of her childhood, she sustained her spirit through dance and kept alive her dream of further education. She was able to fulfill that goal in the United States, where she attended St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, on a full academic scholarship. She graduated in 1967 with honors in French and pursued graduate studies at the University of Maine, Laval University in Quebec, Canada, and the University of Rennes, France.

Nhambu taught French in Minneapolis high schools for five years, during which time she reconnected with her African roots and expanded her teaching focus to include her African heritage. She added African Studies and Kiswahili (Swahili) to her high school curriculum and taught a summer course in African Heritage at Macalester College in St. Paul for the Equal Educational Opportunities Program. Along with tutoring both French and Kiswahili extensively, she taught Kiswahili through the University of Minnesota Extension Program, as well as African Dance at the Open U.

Her passion for African dance, art and culture inspired her to create and teach the African dance workout Aerobics With Soul® and fuels her work as an unofficial cultural ambassador. In that role she gives African dance presentations and speaks about Africa to groups across the U.S. Nhambu has made sharing her love of Africa and its culture and rhythms the focus of her life.
A sought-after presenter, Nhambu performed African dance and lectured on African culture for Young Audiences, a national organization that brings the performing arts into schools and is affiliated with the Women’s Association of the Minnesota Orchestra. Her performances have taken her across Minnesota,

Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Ohio and Illinois. She has also performed with the Minnesota Orchestra during Black History month at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

Outside of the United States, Nhambu has performed in Canada, Norway, Montserrat, West Indies, and her own Tanzania. She was a participant in the U.S. State Department’s Citizen Ambassador Program to Russia and Hungary, and was a presenter at the IV Congresso Internacional Aerobica in Chile.

Among her many presentations at conferences and workshops is an appearance at the Black Family Summit Convention at the University of South Carolina. She was also a member of the core faculty at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in New York. She has given seminars and performances for Black Expo USA. For three years Nhambu was a presenter at the New World Fitness IDEA conventions and performed at Dance Africa America.

Nhambu toured the United States with African American Women on Tour (AAWOT) for several years and is a yearly presenter for the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). As well, Nhambu served for a number of years on the Board of Operation Bootstrap Africa, an organization that builds schools, provides child care and teacher salaries in African cities and rural villages.

She developed a complete range of Aerobics With Soul® programs and ran her own Aerobics With Soul® studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with classes for children, adults and seniors. She created and leads the award winning Aerobics With Soul® exercise video series. Karibu (“welcome”), the first in the series, received critical acclaim in Billboard, Video Choice, and Essence, and it won first prize in the combination high/low impact aerobics category in the New York City Sports Magazine competition in 1988. ABC TV’s Good Morning America recommended the video to its viewers. Serengeti, the second video, came out in 1992. Kilimanjaro, the most advanced of the workouts, was filmed on location in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, East Africa.

As the creator of Aerobics With Soul®, Nhambu has taught and been a presenter at fitness conferences, educational organizations, cultural conventions and fitness spas all over the world for more than twenty-five years. Certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a Continuing Education Provider, she has trained Aerobics With Soul® Instructors throughout the United
States, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Africa. In 1996 Nhambu was invited to be an annual Specialty Instructor Presenter of Aerobics with Soul® at Rancho La Puerta, Mexico. The popularity of her African dance workout has brought her back every year to conduct classes. Aerobics With Soul® has been taught to capacity classes at St. Catherine University starting in 1995 as part of the physical education program.