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By JULIA MARBACH
For the Mahomet Citizen
Walking past the Community Center on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, the sound of music, stomping feet and laughter can be heard drifting through the air.
To an outsider, it may sound like a party being held, but upon further investigation, it is actually something slightly different: Zumba classes. Offered by the Mahomet Parks and Recreation Department and taught by instructor Meghan Laskos, Zumba classes began in January and continue to be popular among many in the Mahomet community.
“(Zumba) is a Latin inspired cardio workout,” said Laskos. “But, it’s gotten into more than just Latin. They’ve put in African, they’ve put in Bhangra, like Bollywood type stuff, and now they’re kind of getting into a Celtic mix too (and) they’ve (also) done Greek. But, it started as just Latin, you know, like salsas, Kumbias, Meringue… It’s supposed to be an easy to follow, Latin, dance-inspired workout.”
Unlike regular dance classes, which put more stress on the body, Zumba is for all ages and people of every skill level can participate, Laskos said. “Zumba is for everyone,” Laskos said. “There are so many different modifications that you can do. You can be 85 (years old) and do Zumba, you can be 20 and do Zumba, you can be 15… The youngest student that I’ve had in a regular Zumba class is like 10 (years old), and she didn’t complain one bit. So, it’s just free, it’s fun, it’s for fun. There’s no reason to look perfect, you’re not going on stage or anything like that.”
Not only is Zumba for fun, but it is also a total body workout and burns a lot of calories, Laskos said. “A Zumba class, on average, on the higher end, it can be about 900 calories per hour,” Laskos said. “On the lower end, it could be like 600. So, I don’t know how long it takes you to burn that on an elliptical or in another class, but I think it probably takes less time to just be in a Zumba class and do that than it would to be on an elliptical.”
Read more in the Mahomet Citizen