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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Zumba classes on NE open to students, faculty, staff

By Caroline Manausa/reporter

Jessica Woods, a dietary major on NE Campus and a certified Zumba instructor, leads a class 2:30-3:30 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner every Monday through Nov. 4.  Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Jessica Woods, a dietary major on NE Campus and a certified Zumba instructor, leads a class 2:30-3:30 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner every Monday through Nov. 4. Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

Eleven people dressed in T-shirts showed up for an afternoon class in NSTU Center Corner. Some wore shorts, others leotards while some wore both, one over the other. Some wore athletic shoes while others came barefoot.

Energetic music drowned chit-chat but prompted instructor Jessica Woods to raise her voice, calling students to gather in the front of the Sept. 23 class.

Woods, wearing form-fitting tights, moved to center stage. Lifting her voice above the music, she identified dance moves as she demonstrated them. Left, right, left, right. Eleven pairs of feet tried to match Woods’ movements with the rhythm of the beat. Shoulders jiggled. Hips wiggled. Left, right, left, right.

“They don’t want you to call it a workout,” said Woods, a dietary major on NE Campus and a certified Zumba instructor. “They want you to think of it as a party.”

The word “Zumba” doesn’t mean anything, according to Zumba Fitness LLC’s official website. The company coined the term in 2001 to represent a fitness program that mixes music with dance to create a partylike atmosphere for an exercise experience.

Woods said she always liked to dance and took choreography in high school. She became certified to teach Zumba and led her first class on South this spring.

She calls her fitness routine “freestyle” and incorporates her own music choices with the Zumba program.

“If people know the music, they feel more at ease, and it’s easier to dance,” she said.

Zumba was introduced to TCC campuses in 2010-2011 as part of the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program and is sponsored by the Tarrant County Hospital District and the Community Diabetes Project. 

The education program’s goal is to reduce obesity and manage or prevent new cases of diabetes in high-risk individuals and families, said NE health services coordinator Pat Marling. Diet and physical activity are crucial elements of the program.

John Peter Smith Hospital, which works with DEEP, receives federal funding for the program and offered Zumba for free, Marling said.

“It’s real popular with the faculty, staff and students,” she said. “It’s very laid-back.”

Ashley Whitman, a sophomore on NE Campus with a major in mental health and counseling, said she heard about Zumba long before it showed up on campus.

“I love to dance,” she said. “What better way to get a workout?”

Whitman plans to stay with the Zumba program through the fall session. When the Zumba class reconvenes in the spring, she plans to be there, too.

“It’s nice to hear some loud music, have some fun and get away from the classroom,” she said.

Zumba classes are scheduled 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Center Corner every Monday through Nov. 4.

For more information, contact health services at 817-515-6056.

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