Monday, January 19, 2009

Zumba's here: Ditch the workout, have a party

It’s ab work without the crunches – and with a little salsa thrown in.

Not the condiment. The dance music.

It’s called Zumba, and it’s a new exercise class offered at Fauquier Health's LIFE Center. Instructor John Ferguson gave a preview to a half dozen employees and members January 14, and the response was enthusiastic.

Elizabeth Henrickson of Community Outreach said, “Zumba is great fun … the songs are stuck in my head! Can’t wait to attend a class. John (Ferguson) is an invigorating instructor.”

Barbara Crierie, also of Community Outreach, added, “Zumba is a great way to exercise and have fun at the same. I look forward to attending classes with my co-workers.”

“I enjoyed the upbeat music and the opportunity to get loose and have fun with the other gals. John did a great job – he made it comfortable and enjoyable for everyone!!!” said Kay McClure of the Fauquier Health Foundation.

Before cueing up the music for the class, John gave just a few words of advice: “Don’t try to move like you think the instructors are moving. Move in a way that’s comfortable for you. Relax and have fun!”

It took a few moments for some of the women in the class to loosen up, but loosen up they did. The Latin music encouraged them to follow John’s lead and pretty soon Zumba was in full swing.

Smiles and laughter followed as the class members got the hang of the rhythm. And as heart rates increased, they began to feel the “work” in the Zumba “workout.”

John, Amy Moore, Betsy Jones and Carol Jones are all certified in Zumba, after completing an eight-hour course at the University of Maryland.

John said, “I love dance and I wanted to acquire another group class certification.” He said that many LIFE Center members have been asking for Zumba classes, and LeAnn McCusker, director, was happy to oblige.

Angie Kallio, who works with John and LeAnn at the LIFE Center, took the preview class too. She said, “I like that it is new, invigorating and most of all, fun. Getting in shape and losing weight is hard; this is motivating and gets your mind off the goals you have set for yourself and focuses on fun. It is way better than standing on a treadmill just waiting for the time to be up!!!”

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