Salukis dance for fitness

By Gus Bode

First there was Tae Bo. Then came the striptease fad.

Now, there is Zumba.

Zumba mixes Latin music and dancing with aerobic exercise to offer participants a fun workout while burning a lot of calories, said Mary Beth Borre, one of the instructors of a new class offered at the Recreation Center.


The exercise routine was started by accident in the early 1990s by an aerobics instructor in Colombia when he forgot his music to teach the class. He improvised by instead using the music he had in his car and making up moves as he went along, said Lynn Thompson-Cundiff, fitness coordinator at the Recreation Center.

Originally called “Rumbacize,” the name was officially changed to Zumba after creator “Beto” Perez was approached by American entrepreneurs.

Borre, a sophomore from Lombard studying paralegal studies, is one of two instructors who teach the free class.

Borre said she has been interested in aerobics since she was a freshman in high school and was certified in November so she could teach the class.

Thompson-Cundiff said recreation administrators decided to offer the class to provide a fresh and fun way for members to exercise.

“In looking at trends around the country, it’s been pretty successful,” she said. “You can just kind of let loose.”

Because everyone involved is fairly new to the Zumba scene, they may take some time to adjust to the original rhythms, Thompson-Cundiff said.


“It’s a fun thing. They’ll grow in to it,” she said.

Thompson-Cundiff said the workout she received from her Zumba certification class surprised her. She said she didn’t expect to use her lower-body as much as she did.

Katie Mitchell, a first year law student from Stonefort, attended a Zumba class with two of her classmates Monday night. All three students tried Zumba for the first time.

Before the class began, Mitchell and her friends were skeptical about what the class would entail. By the end of the hour, the three shook their hips with the beat of the music.

“I just expect to have a good workout and be sore the next day,” Mitchell said.

Students and members of the Recreation Center are welcome to drop in on the class any day they have free.

The class is free and offered 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Christian Holt can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected].