Zumba: fun fitness for all ages

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Looking to work out without it feeling like work? Zumba might be the answer. 

Bath Township has an instructor who is sharing her experience with the community. Jade Arnold has been a licensed Zumba instructor since 2017.

“I think I learned to dance before I walked,” Arnold said. “And the best part is, it’s exercise disguised as dancing.”

Jade Arnold teaches Zumba in Bath Township, Perry and East Lansing.

Arnold said she took dance classes when she was little and in high school. One day, she saw a commercial for Zumba and was intrigued. After that, she developed an interest in learning more about Zumba. 

“I actually bought a Zumba game for the Xbox and did that for about a year,” Arnold said. “I didn’t feel comfortable being in a group setting and being judged.”

According to Zumba, Zumba is a form of dance-fitness that is found in 180 countries and practiced by 15 million people around the world.

After a year of experimenting with Zumba, Arnold said she gained more confidence and now hopes to help others do the same.

“I went to a class and made friends, and it was very inviting – the idea of no judgement,” she said. “I want to reach my health goals and mental goals and help others reach theirs.”

And Arnold has been succeeding. The ladies that attend her classes have had positive experiences. Karin Neuman, a 37-year-old Bath Township resident, has used Zumba as her escape from life’s hardships.

“You feel good when you walk out,” Neuman said. “If you’ve had a bad day all day you come to Zumba and feel good walking out.”

Arnold’s weekly Zumba classes are on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Bath Community Center. She also hosts classes in East Lansing and Perry. She also has an upcoming event called “Glow Zumba” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26 in Perry. The lights will be off and there will be LED lighting. Attendees will also be given glow bracelets to wear. 

She said she considers her classes medium-intensity, meaning both beginners and more advanced Zumba students can attend. Also, people of all ages can attend. Arnold said she has had a range of 20- to 80-year-olds attend her class. 

Debby Ward, 64, has improved her health since she started doing Zumba, as well as made new friends.

“We’re all different ages and it’s fun for the social aspect – we’re friends now,” Ward said. “And it always makes my doctor impressed, good health benefits.”

Although the class is medium-intensity, the routines are still easy to work with. 

“It’s nice because you can make it as intense as you want it to be,” Neuman said. “You can always just modify a move.”

Arnold’s students are not the only ones who consider Zumba their stress-reliever. Arnold said she looks forward to teaching her classes every week.

“Mentally it’s like a cleanser to me,” Arnold said. “I love making people smile and happy.”

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