By Fiona Rosenthal and Catherine Simon
Dancing with the elderly. Zumba with working moms. CrossFit with intense athletes. Last Thursday, two staffers tried it all in an action-filled morning at the Westfield YMCA.
At 8 a.m., we started the day in a class called Fitness Dance Medley. It began with 20 minutes of stretching and warm up dances, but the real fun started when pop music was turned on. We danced to “Timber” by Pitbull ft. Kesha and “Fireball” by Pitbull ft. John Ryan. The instructor and attendees treated us like special guests. After an hour of dancing together, everybody was smiling.
Ms. Trudy Forrester, a regular attendee of Fitness Dance Medley, said, “It’s the dancing that makes the class.” Ms. Joan Wright, the instructor, echoed this point, adding that “People of all ages enjoy dancing.”
Fifteen minutes later, we started our next class: Zumba. It began with a dance that included jumping jacks.
After just 10 minutes, our hearts were pumping and we struggled to keep up. The class involved a lot of movement, but we persevered and felt our dancing improve.
Ms. Lara Drewes, who attends both Fitness Dance Medley and Zumba when she has the time, said: “This is what gets me really jazzed up. I just love everything. I love the energy.... It lifts my mood.”
After Zumba, we wound up in Get Fit Fight, a class comparable to CrossFit. At first, we were intimidated by the dangling TRX bands and kettlebells. The class worked every muscle of our body as we jogged, planked, sprinted and did bear crawls, burpees and pushups. Our bodies ached afterward, but it was the most rewarding class to finish. The morning was exhausting, but the supportive group dynamic motivated us.
Our Zumba instructor, Ms. Peggy Daaleman, advised us, “It’s never too young to start to exercise.” Most of all, she added: “Enjoy. With everything you do, enjoy.”