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THE ZUMBA – It Rocks

By Staff | Feb 23, 2010

Zumba fitness dance classes are offered four times a week at the East Lycoming YMCA.

MUNCY – It is extremely contagious say the many dance participants who attend the River Valley YMCA in East Lycoming each week to take the Zumba classes. With pumping arms, hands and feet flying in every direction imaginable at a faced paced Latin beat, this workout takes away any drudgery associated with going to the gym. It is a craze that keeps growing said the staff. The Latin workout and registered trademark known as The Zumba is a rave all across fitness centers in the United Sates. “It takes about four or five classes before you get comfortable with it,” said Carolyn Smith from Hughesville who takes three or four classes a week.

The swift footwork increases metabolism in no time which can be very effective for weight loss. Controlled body movements with balanced rhythm and hip-hop are combined together to target trouble spots such as the waistline and thighs. One member said she lost nine pounds in one week, that would be five one hour sessions.

The Zumba is a fusion of four dances, the salsa, the merengue, reggae tone and the cumbia according to instructor, Megan Bowman. Bowman is Level II certified and teaches three classes a week at the YMCA, two at Ragnar’s in Loyalsock Township, and gives private classs to groups and organizations including Loyalsock High School where she was a graduate. Soon she is going to open a studio at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport.

When asked about her interest in The Zumba, Bowman, now a Hughesville resident, replied that she took her first class at the River Valley Y last March and she got hooked immediately. She wanted to become a certified instructor and attended a workshop in Doylestown along with Heather Eck, another instructor at the YMCA. Both women keep up with the techniques and last fall they finished another training in Harrisburg. Eck who lives in Montoursville also teaches classes on Thursday evenings at the YMCA, two times a week at LKW dance studio and two times each week at Loyalsock Valley Elementary School.

This time of year is great for this fast paced activity. It helps relieve stress, winter doldrums, and tones just about every muscle in the body explained the instructors. Mothers with young children can come and leave their children with the day care at the Y. Elizabeth Pettit from Muncy Valley says that she is working out like crazy so she can be fit for her wedding in September. “I even bring my future mother-in-law with me,” she said. “It has me hooked,” said Diane Hewitt, also from Muncy Valley.

Join the party! L to R: Diane Hewitt, a weekly participant, Megan Bowman, instructor, Heather Eck, instructor, and Elizabeth Pettit, another participant wear Zumba attire that is perfect for moving around in this fast paced, total body toning workout.

They advise to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and shoes with split soles. There are special dance sneakers that can be ordered on the Zumba.com website. “The split soles and light tread are good for the arches and give lots of support for the twisting and jumping,” said Bowman.

The instructors use licensed music acquired through a Zumba network and they master choreography to teach the steps to the music which is interchanged often. No one really knows if you are keeping up with the instructor or not,” says Carolyn Smith, “because everyone is worried about their own feet and moves.”


Tuesday – 7:40 to 8:40 p.m.

Wednesday – 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Thursday -4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday -10:15 to 11:15 a.m.