Archive for Thursday, December 3, 2009

Class offers up-beat way to burn fat

Jen Penegar leads a Zumba class Tuesday night at Sarah’s Studio of Dance. The studio decided to offer fitness classes like Zumba and kick boxing to give community members a fun, affordable way to get in shape.

Jen Penegar leads a Zumba class Tuesday night at Sarah’s Studio of Dance. The studio decided to offer fitness classes like Zumba and kick boxing to give community members a fun, affordable way to get in shape.

December 3, 2009

Though out of breath and drenched in sweat, nearly all those Tuesday night at Sarah’s Studio of Dance had smiles on their faces.

The group was jamming during one of the studio’s Zumba sessions, an exercise class that gives participants an up-beat, Latin dance-inspired workout. The studio, 14500 Parallel Rd., has begun offering the class at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and 8 a.m. on Saturdays.

Instructor Jen Penegar says the class gives people a chance to break free from their mundane gym routines with a high-energy mix of exercises.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Penegar said. “It’s so far from the treadmill. Being on a treadmill for an hour is unbearable for most people. But here, that hour just flies because you’re doing something new all throughout the class.”

Penegar, who has been teaching fitness classes for 10 years, said Zumba was an extremely popular choice because it’s not just an exercise routine but also an enjoyable activity.

“It really is a great workout, and everybody has fun,” she said.

With music pumping out of the speakers during the hour-long class, participants run through a series of routines that target different areas of the body, ending with a slow, ballet-like section to bring the heart rates down.

Jennifer Lindelof has been a Zumba lover for years, and she says the people and the fresh ideas keep her coming back.

“It’s something new every time,” Lindelof said. “The routines change, the music changes. It’s a really interesting workout. Plus, you do it with your friends, so it’s fun. It’s certainly a lot more fun than using my elliptical at home.”

From afar, it may seem like a difficult class to jump into, but first-timer Amber Sifford said she had little trouble keeping up with the other class members.

“They repeat everything enough times that it wasn’t hard to figure out,” Sifford said. “I’ll definitely be back.”

While the majority of 10 to 20 people who come to the classes each week are female, both men and women can enjoy the unique aspects of Zumba. Only one man has joined thus far, but he says he is happy with his results.

“I wanted to lose weight, and my daughter takes dance here,” Howie Lucas said. “I talked to Mary Ann (Seifert) about it, and after about two or three weeks, she convinced me to come. I’ve been coming about six months now, and I like it. It’s a wide range of slow and high impact moves, and it’s pretty fun.”

Rather than signing up for Zumba and paying in advance, people can show up to any class and pay $5 at the door. Penegar said the lack of a contract and low price were factors people seemed to really appreciate.

“That’s the great thing about Sarah’s,” Penegar said. “You can just show up anytime. There’s no commitment. I’ve really found most people don’t want that kind of commitment. This way, you just come when you’re free and only pay for the classes you attend.”

In addition to Zumba, the studio also has a fusion box class at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, which will include a vigorous kick-boxing workout for $5.

For more information, call Sarah’s Studio of Dance at (913) 724-2210.

Zumba Classes

Sarah's Studio of Dance in Basehor offers Zumba classes on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. Enlarge video

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