A Different Way to Work Out, Zumba

Pouring rain falls outside the window of Alumni Hall and rhythmic music pulsates through the walls of the mini gym. Students, dressed head to toe in athletic wear, are dancing to the beat of the music and watching the instructor and fellow student, Luke Hartman (Editor’s Note: Hartman is a member of The Quadrangle staff).

Sweat moves across the assistants’ foreheads as they jump and squat.

“It’s just a fun way to exercise. You don’t think about the actual exercise, you just… do it,” said Ksenya Lukin, a junior student attending the class.

Photo by Daniel Molina
Photo by Daniel Molina

The Zumba class, held each Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:30 p.m., invites students and faculty from Manhattan College to exercise in an original way.

After two years of teaching it, Hartman and Michelle Beltrán have improved the choreographies and changed the songs each week, so the class is always fresh. Rhythmic music and aerobic movements make this course a perfect kind of workout for any age, whether you’re a man or a woman.

This activity helps students to escape a little bit from their routines and connect with other peers that go for the same purpose.

“Everybody is welcome to come,” said Beltrán. “Teachers and students can come. Once I talked to my teachers and they showed up.”

Although it seems like movements are repeated, each one of them has a purpose to exercise a specific part of the body. One song is for arms, another one for legs, belly, back, achieving a full movement along the whole body.

“A lot of people had noticed that I’m loosing weight because of this class,” Luken says.

Three or sometimes even more water breaks are needed per class because of the amount of workout demanded by the instructors.

“What makes me happy about this course as a instructor is going to the next class and seeing more people than the last session,” Beltrán says. “Also that, when people see me on campus, they’re like; ‘we’re going to zumba tonight! I’m so excited about it.’”

She also told us her major difficulties about the class.

“[The hardest part is] probably trying to balance between being RA and homework. Sometimes I’m so tired from all the classes I’ve had in the day and I just want to sleep, but since I love it so much I just go [to zumba].”

An organic happy vibe is felt throughout the course, and a sense of informality makes the ambience cozy and inviting for anyone that wants to join.

“I thought I was going to come here one time and it was going to be a one time thing, but it actually really helps me and I have a lot of fun,” Luken said.