Student brings Zumba to community

Published 10:27 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The upbeat music draws everyone in to the room and makes them want to dance.

The moves help each participant get a good workout.

This Zumba class, held at the E.M. Henry Community Center, is taught by college sophomore Savannah Swindle.

“I just like to promote fitness around the community,” Swindle said.

She said she wanted to provide the opportunity for Zumba in the West End community, and the community center was a good fit.

“I am enthused with her doing this … because I see in young people a lot of things that are coming that are positive, and in her, I saw something positive,” Earnest Abercrombie, park assistant for the community center, said. “When she was getting Zumba certified and she wanted to do a dance class, I said, ‘come on.'”

Abercrombie coordinates the evening activities at the center, and hopes this is just the beginning of evening opportunities.

Swindle said Zumba appealed to her because “everybody likes to dance.”

“It is easy to dance, and you don’t really realize you are getting exercise out of it until afterward,” Swindle said.

In order to be certified as a Zumba instructor, Swindle attended a day-long training.

“It was a great experience,” Swindle said. “It was everybody from my age all the way to probably 60 years old.”

Training focused on how to lead a class in a way that would keep all participants from injury. Swindle said it is important to have warm-up exercises before starting Zumba and to have a cool down time after finishing. Warm-up includes cardio and working different muscle groups.

“I’ve enjoyed it because I feel like I’m dancing, which is what I am used to,” Hope Swindle, Savannah’s mom, said.

Hope Swindle said the exercises work her ab muscles, but are easier than doing crunches or sit-ups.

Savannah Swindle received her Zumba certificate on Aug. 24. She has a background in dance and had previously attended Zumba classes at a local fitness center.

Music used in the exercise routine is mostly Latin, but also includes salsa, cumbia, reggaeton and hip-hop.

Participant Jessie Jemison said she enjoys the beat and rhythm of the music used in the workout.

“It’s definitely a good stress reliever,” Savannah Swindle said.

She said it helps her de-stress after her chemistry courses.

Swindle attends Jefferson State Community College, where she is a biology major.

The class is open to men and women of all ages.

Abercrombie has participated in at least one of the classes himself. He is hoping that as word continues to get out about the class that participation will continue to increase.

The class is averaging eight people each session. It meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost is $5 per class.