Zumba classes in Craig provide a fun way to keep healthy New Year’s resolutions | CraigDailyPress.com

Zumba classes in Craig provide a fun way to keep healthy New Year’s resolutions

— Zumba is a Latin dance fitness phenomenon and instructors in Craig provide classes as a fun way to keep those New Year's fitness resolutions.

"Nobody starts off skinny. You have to work for it," said Becky Smith, certified Zumba instructor and owner of Marvelous Movements.

Over 15 million people at 200,000 locations in 180 countries are part of the Zumba craze, according to Zumba.com.

Zumba dance moves provide a cardio-based workout that also helps tone muscles and creates core strength, said Smith.

"I've had several girls who say that they have lost pounds. We measure on the first day, and I see a lot of loss of inches," she said.

The only requirements to participate are comfortable shoes and clothing along with motivation.

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RaChell Dschaak enjoyed Smith's Zumba classes and decided to become an instructor in the Zumba network. Her focus is on Zumba for Kids and Zumba Gold, for people 55 years old and older.

"Zumba Gold is more cognitive and has more repetition. So it helps people with cognitive issues due to age and disability. It’s less impact. The heart rate doesn't go as high," Dschaak said.

The workout was developed by Beto Perez, a dancer and choreographer from Colombia, who created the fitness program in the 1990s.

"He forgot his music for his aerobics class and started dancing to music he would normally listen to and people fell in love," Smith said.

The first week of January, Leslie Peterson and Cindi Crabtree were ready to keep their New Year's resolutions by dancing off calories at Marvelous Movements.

"Becky is a lot of fun. I love to dance and I love the music. She teaches it well," Peterson said.

Crabtree said she burns between 700 to 900 calories each session.

"It allows me to be not so careful when I know I'm coming down here to burn hundreds of calories," she said.

Zumba instructors are trained to use movement rather than instruction to take students through the various dances.

"They don't want a lot of vocalization. They want instructors to use physical cues to instruct people on the next move, so you are not getting that Jane Fonda verbal instruction," Dschaak said.

The lack of instruction can be unsettling at first so Smith tries to create a welcoming environment.

"For some Zumba is intimidating, but once you get here you don't even notice. Nobody's watching you," Smith said.

Her favorite Zumba motto, the one painted above the stage where she stands to show her moves to the class, is "there are no wrong moves in Zumba, just accidental solos."

Burning calories without realizing how hard your working is one of Zumba's strengths.

"It's all dance. You don't realize you've just done 60 squats in one song," Dschaak said. "As long as you are moving your body, you are reaping the benefits and having fun."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Where to Zumba

Marvelous Movements

When: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

Where: 535 Yampa Avenue in Craig.

What: Sessions begin with a 10-minute warm-up, end with a five minute cool-down with 45 minutes of nearly non-stop Latin dance in between.

Cost: $5 drop-in, $60 per month (includes 5 classes per week) or $45 for a 10-session punch card

Zumba for Kids & Zumba Gold

When: Sessions will resume later this spring.

Where: Thunder Rolls Bowling Center at 990 Industrial Avenue in Craig.

What: Zumba Gold and Zumba Kids

For more information on Zumba classes, visit: Zumba.com