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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 craze kept alive across district

NE students dance to a Latin beat during a Zumba class. Both South and NE campuses have Zumba classes available.
NE students dance to a Latin beat during a Zumba class. Both South and NE campuses have Zumba classes available.

By Zaman Fabela/reporter

Remember the last fitness video done from home — where everyone in the video smiles, moving in motion to music that seems like club music.Now imagine this: real people moving their hands up, turning in circles, shaking hips to upbeat music.

Dara Toney, NE Zumba instructor, had everyone sweating and moving to unfamiliar rhythms. However, the eclectic music motivated everybody to follow her motion. Dancing to Jamaican Konshens music, everybody followed her knees bending, hips dipping down and swaying. Toney shouted, “I like the way you move it!” which was in the lyrics.

“It’s dance and exercise movements to salsa music, basically,” said NE health services coordinator Pat Marling. “It’s designed to make exercise fun and enjoyable.”

NE students dance to a Latin beat during a Zumba class. Both South and NE campuses have Zumba classes available.

Marling, through the cooperation of the John Peter Smith Diabetes Community Project, brought two components to prevent diabetes: a lecture series on the nutritional aspect of diabetes and the chance to exercise, specifically Zumba dancing.

Zumba began from the tardiness of Colombian fitness instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez. Forgetting the usual music for his dance class, he gathered his tapes and danced to a variety of styles. The style spread to Miami and the rest of the nation.

After a successful eight-week session of classes in the fall semester, Zumba spread to South Campus. Marling contacted Tina Ingram, South health services coordinator, and suggested she start Zumba classes.

Zumba’s benefits are plentiful, starting from a good cardio to stretching out every body part, all of which help alleviate stress.

“It’s a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout,” Toney said.

NE student Nubia Dickens said it was her first time doing Zumba but not her first time dancing. As soon as the salsa song began, Dickens began to dance immediately on rhythm.

“I love the salsa,” she said. “I bring the salsa in my blood.”

Dickens comes from the same country as Perez.

“In Colombia, dancing is love, life, a lifestyle,” she said. “We’re used to dancing there two or three times a week.”

After the salsa ended, flamenco began, and Dickens started to have “lost” feet. She said depending on the music, she moves but not much on unfamiliar songs.

NE student Kelly Colwell noted what she had to do.

“Once you start paying attention to the music and letting that go with you, it really helps your movements,” she said.

Toney’s suggestion is to just move. It doesn’t have to be exactly Zumba or even look like it. As long as people are moving and having fun, they are getting a good workout, she said.

Although the rhythms of South students were slow, they slowly understood Zumba’s significance.

“You can’t help it. It’s so easy,” said Gracie Martinez, South Campus Zumba instructor. “Nobody looks the same. No two people look the same. Nobody looks like the instructor, and even I don’t look like the instructor. We all move differently.”

Martinez has had people congratulate her for helping them lose so many pounds, even receiving applause from the men whenever she enters. To her, Zumba is the best.

“Zumba is one of the best workouts that can get anybody sitting at home — who aren’t coordinated enough to do step aerobics, who aren’t strong enough to lift weights and who aren’t just motivated at all — to move with it,” she said.

NE classes start at 2 p.m. in NSTU 1615A every Monday through March 26. South classes start at 5 p.m. every Monday at SHPE gym through April 2.

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