Archive for Sunday, January 18, 2009

Newfangled dance class offers ‘exercise in disguise’

Thalia Tooke leads a Zumba class Sunday afternoon at the Community Building. The class, which offers an aerobic workout to Latin-flavored dance music, will be offered again on Feb. 22, as well as once in March and once in April at the same location.

Thalia Tooke leads a Zumba class Sunday afternoon at the Community Building. The class, which offers an aerobic workout to Latin-flavored dance music, will be offered again on Feb. 22, as well as once in March and once in April at the same location.

January 18, 2009

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Zumba Jam Party

Zumba, a workout routine was created in Colombia in the mid-1990s, has gained popularity in Lawrence. Enlarge video

Ayu Saraswati participates in a Zumba class in 2009 at the Community Building.

Ayu Saraswati participates in a Zumba class in 2009 at the Community Building.

Loren Dolezal participates in a Zumba class  at the Community Building Sunday afternoon. Dolezal was the only male to participate in the class,  which offered an aerobic workout to Latin-flavored dance music.

Loren Dolezal participates in a Zumba class at the Community Building Sunday afternoon. Dolezal was the only male to participate in the class, which offered an aerobic workout to Latin-flavored dance music.

Staci Smidt participates in a Zumba class in 2009 at the Community Building. "It&squot;s a blast," said Smidt, who also said this was her first Zumba class. "I don&squot;t like to think I&squot;m working out, and this kind of fools me."

Staci Smidt participates in a Zumba class in 2009 at the Community Building. "It's a blast," said Smidt, who also said this was her first Zumba class. "I don't like to think I'm working out, and this kind of fools me."

Loren Dolezal cha-chas in his black New Balance shoes, his eyes focused on the instructor. It’s the Westlake Ace Hardware employee’s first time at a Zumba dance class, and he’s not exactly dressed for the occasion.

“I’m starting to shed clothes,” the older gentleman says, laying his sweater on the floor of the Community Building.

Proponents of Zumba, an aerobic workout that incorporates various Latin and other dances, say that the workout is one of the fastest-growing exercise trends in Lawrence. And after his first session, Dolezal says he’s already keen on it.

“I’m not very limber, so this is great. I’ll be dancing down the aisles at Westlake tomorrow,” he says.

Jo Ellis, recreation program supervisor for Lawrence Parks and Recreation, said that Sunday’s first-ever Zumba Jam Party in Lawrence was designed for newcomers and aficionados alike. Zumba participants emulate the instructor in a variety of dance techniques: salsa, belly dance and cha-cha, to name a few.

“If you can’t do it, you just march and do your own steps,” Ellis said. “That’s what we tell people. Just keep moving.”

The newfangled workout routine was created in Colombia in the mid-1990s. Ellis says classes at the Community Building have blossomed from 20 people two years ago to about 225 people today. Lawrence Parks and Rec offer six Zumba classes a week.

“It is huge,” she said. “It’s not the traditional aerobics by any means.”

About 70 people attended Sunday’s session. Except for Dolezal, all participants were women, but Zumba instructor Charity Barnum said that the fitness routine is also geared toward men.

She said that the classes don’t revolve around an instructor talking to students; instead, they “let the music do the talking,” she said. “It’s exercise in disguise.”

One of Sunday’s attendants was Zumba enthusiast Mary Davidson. She’s been dancing for years and has tried Jazzercise, ballet and various types of modern dance. But Zumba is different, she said.

“The teacher’s not real critical. Instead of going in and practicing the same movements, we just do it,” she said. “You move the whole time. There’s nothing better than just moving.”

Comments

persevering_gal 6 years, 5 months ago

It's new to me. I just saw a preview/infomercial on TV about Zumba for the first time this past week. I thought it was probably another person trying to make a quick buck, but now that I see people taking Zumba classes, it must be effective.

SusieCreamcheeze 6 years, 5 months ago

It would be helpfull if the "World" would inform us about such an even before it happens not after.

spankyandcranky 6 years, 5 months ago

It would be helpful to know what time the classes are offered and if they cost anything, or at least a number to call to find out more.

julz 6 years, 5 months ago

My gym (LAC) offers this class almost daily - check schedule online. Even non gym members can attend for $5 a class. Zumba is not new but the Zumba Jam Party held on Saturday was a first time event. It was very well attended. The next one is Feb. 22. Check Parks & Rec site for details.

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