8f209c02fe282329810c3ffeb11fd1cbDoes this ring a bell: You’re body tells you it’s time to get moving, step outside of your comfort zone and get disciplined. So you get all fired up with plans for an intricate exercise routine: join the gym, take X amount of classes a week, lose X pounds, and be on your way to looking like Jillian Michaels within a month or two. Then, after a week or two, you just get so… bored. Sound familiar?

Zumba Fitness, here at The Bridges, is the perfect solution to those exercise doldrums! With ten years of fitness instruction under his belt, and five years as a Zumba Fitness guru, Roarke Sharlow, will get you movin’ and shakin’, burnin’ calories, and simply having fun without feeling the pressure that sometimes comes along with cardio or weight training classes. He likes to call it “Exercise in Disguise,” the goal being to simply let the rhythm help you decompress from life’s daily stresses in a safe, healthful, fun way while getting and staying fit and strong.

Founded in 2001, Zumba Fitness fuses fitness and Latin culture into an exhilarating dance fiesta. “Zumba® exercise classes are ‘fitness-parties’ that blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography, for a total-body workout that feels like a celebration.” Alberto “Beto” Perez, a Colombian fitness instructor, stumbled upon the future fitness craze in 1986 when he forgot his music for an aerobics class and had to improvise with his personal salsa and merengue tapes. Since then, Zumba has taken off in countries around the world, happily landing in our own little community here at The Bridges.

All ages and levels are more than welcome in Roarke’s Monday evening class, as Zumba moves, including salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton, may be modified to meet physical needs. Participants love to return week after week to let off steam and improve their moves. Roarke  creates a perfect balance between repeating moves to enhance learning and teaching new dances to stave away those fitness doldrums.

“Latin music just tends to make you feel happy and good. I can have the bluest day, be depressed, hormones raging, whatever, and get in front of that class, turn on the music and I recharge my life, my soul,” says Maria McCalister in WebMD’s article “Zumba: Fun Is Secret Ingredient of Latin Dance Workout” by Barbara Russi Sarnataro. In the same article, Alberto Perlman, Zumba co-founder and CEO, says, “Barring any doctor’s limitations, Zumba is safe for a range of ages and fitness levels because the steps can be modified so that it’s very low-impact. And all you need are a good pair of dance shoes or cross-trainers.”

Zumba’s website says it best, “Are you ready to party yourself into shape? Forget the workout, just lose yourself in the music and find yourself in shape at the original dance-fitness party. Zumba® classes feature exotic rhythms set to high-energy Latin and international beats. Before you know it, you’ll be getting fit and your energy levels will be soaring! It’s easy to do, effective and totally exhilarating.” Roarke’s classes are $10 for non-members and $7 for members and owners, and are held on Monday evening’s from 5:30-6:30pm. Come join the party!

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