Sunday, June 17, 2012

Zumba takes to the Irish pub

I was browsing, looking for my next class to visit, when I spotted an evening Zumba class in an Irish Pub in Penn Yan. It seemed like an equally bizarre venue, since I'm teaching my morning class in a winery. I was definitely imagining the Happy Hour party with a Zumba event in the middle and people swilling Guinness' on the side.

Fortunately, I was wrong.

It's a great space for a class. Good wood floors, spacious dance floor, a slightly raised platform in the front, even disco lights so the fluorescent lights don't have to stay on.

Kayla Luppino is teaching there M-W-F and Saturdays from 7 - 7:30, as she launches her Zumba career. She's fabulous dancer, energetic, brings the party to the pub. She is obviously a dancer by heart, her enthusiasm is contagious. And the walk in price is just $3. Easy!

A great surprise was a bonus toning class afterward by Danelle Bell, a recent arrival from Memphis, Missouri. She just left her eight classes in Missouri and is finding her niche here. I'd travel far to take another toning class from her. I've been somewhat hesitant about getting my toning certification, thinking it would be too hard or too demanding a class for me to teach. Now I'm hooked, definitely. She was easy to follow, used great music, and I really need to add it to my own workout. So that's the next training for me when Zumba offers its next toning certification in my area.

The class in Penn Yan was another reminder about why it's so much fun trying other instructor's classes. You never know what you'll find --- it's still all Zumba, just with our own style. I'll hear a song I like, or see a routine with a new move, or, this time, try a little toning. It keeps adding to my repertoire and enhances what I do in my own classes.

I love the Zumba network. Instant community wherever I go, always a party, lots of new friends. Hope to see you on the road somewhere soon!

Here's a video of Kayla, followed by Danelle.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Zumba sisters of Hammondsport

I met Delia Lopez-Stull in the parking lot at WalMart in Watkins Glen over a year ago and I've been trying to get organized enough to get over to try her class ever since. It's about a 20 to 25 minute drive but somehow I got into my head that it was 50 minutes, and since they teach at 8 a.m.... well, my attending the morning class seemed unlikely.

When I met Delia last summer, she had just taught a Zumba class and had raced over to shop in Watkins, still wearing her Zumba workout clothes --- a great marketing device and a great way to meet friends. Of course, I accosted her with my usual 20 questions.
The Hammondsport Zumba sisters: Evelyn (L) and Delia (R)

Delia and her sister Evelyn are originally from Puerto Rico, by way of NYC --- Delia retired from a career there before moving to live full time in Hammondsport and starting her new Zumba career. Evelyn moved there three years ago.

Having sisters teach together sounded intriguing --- I find having two instructors often enhances a class; two styles, two levels of impact. I wasn't disappointed in the experience.

While one sister leads, the other sister either moves to the middle of the pack or to the back so when you're turning, there's someone leading from both sides of the room. It's really helpful in a room without mirrors and when you are new to the routines.

They said their afternoon and evening classes are packed and the morning class is smaller. That's the opposite of what is happening in our area. Interesting.

They did some of the 'traditional' Zumba songs and routines but modified them to suit their own styles and likes, making songs easier to follow or more fun. And they had a lot of fine beats, a lot of enthusiasm. They are definitely keeping the party in Zumba. If it feels like an exercise class or I want to look at my watch, it's not working for me....

Next time I want to visit their class after school, held on the school grounds where Evelyn says sometimes her 12-year-old son leads a song by popular demand. Love getting that age generation involved. Why wait?

You can catch their classes Mondays and Thursdays, with a toning class on Saturday. You won't be disappointed.