GET FIT: Ready, set, Zumba

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Whitney Tucker
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's note: this article is the second in the "Get Fit" series, outlining ways to reach New Year's resolutions to get in shape.)

Single woman seeking 'the one': a work-out program that's fun, challenging, and doesn't lead directly to the nearest box of chocolates.

Finding the right fitness program can be like searching for prince in an army of frogs. However, many members of Team Andersen have finally found a reason to look no further: Zumba.

Zumba is sweeping the nation as a great way to have a blast, while blasting fat. The class fuses Latin and international beats into a one-hour, calorie-burning fitness experience.

"Zumba classes feature exotic rhythms set to high-energy beats," said Ashli Tolli, a Zumba instructor at the Coral Reef Fitness Center here. "Before participants know it, they're getting fit and their energy levels are soaring. When participants see a class in action, they can't wait to give it a try."

Newcomers are welcomed with open arms at each Zumba session. With a learn-as-you-go mentality, beginners don't have to fear being out of step.

"It is definitely a beginner-friendly class," Mrs. Tolli said. "Like every new class, the first time you are just learning, but once you have gotten hooked on the Zumba fun and attend more classes, the routines become second nature.

Once a novice herself, Mrs. Tolli recalls feeling hesitant before attending her first Zumba class.

"My first experience with Zumba was in New York, where I am from," she said. "I was hesitant at first as much as I loved to dance; I didn't know if the class would be what everyone was raving about. Needless to say, my first class turned into one of many, and I am now hoping to spread the same joy of working out and fitness through Zumba."

Dana Foster, an Andersen dependent and one of the program's many success stories, had nothing but good things to say about Zumba.

"Zumba is a great way to get a good work-out," she said. "It's fun, so you don't dread it like other programs. It makes you forget that you're exercising."

Proving that there really must be something to rave about, Mrs. Tolli's class now has a faithful following of more than 120 Zumba enthusiasts.

"I wanted to give people something they could love, and benefit from physically and mentally," she said. "Zumba does just that. If ever there is a bad day, attending class makes you forget why you were in a funk in the first place. The joy is overwhelming and makes everyone feel like a part of something spectacular, all from a fitness class."

Zumba classes are free, and held every Monday and Wednesday at7 p.m. in the basketball courts, Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m., and Friday at 5 p.m. in the aerobics room at the Coral Reef Fitness Center.