Zumba is more than fitness at Tugun
MEMBERS of a Tugun Zumba group have become a family over the past four years.
So much so that the majority will be attending instructor Jenna Page's wedding next year.
Participants say the key is Jenna's energy, love and enthusiasm - the same thing Jenna says she gets from them.
A trained fitness and Zumba instructor, Jenna is 32 and her students range in age from kids to 88-year-old Pat Roberts, with most being 60-plus, a couple of people with disabilities, and even a couple of blokes.
Many have been with Jenna since she started the classes four years ago.
What they all have in common is the sweat on their brows and the smiles on their faces as the music rings out and they go through their moves.
Essentially, Zumba is a fitness and aerobic program combined with music and dance.
But Jenna said it's more than that.
"It's not just exercise, it's happy vibes and the whole atmosphere ... it's coming together as a family and having a blast."
Some sing along, others "woohoo" to keep the energy up.
And this is an energetic workout, there's no doubt about it, but Jenna says that's what participants like - working up a sweat, but being able to extend themselves as much or as little as feels comfortable with fun, easy-to-follow actions.
Jenna's mum Carol, 62, is one of her converts, going along to classes originally just as support and sitting at the back with her chips and coke.
"Now she does every class," said a proud Jenna.
Carol admitted she was hesitant at first because she had never done exercise, "but I love it - it's a social thing for me, but I also feel fitter and better".
Then there's octogenarian Pat, who has been attending twice a week for three years.
"I love the companionship and the music ... and the young ones keep me going," she laughed.
Di McConachy has been there since the start, and said there was a real X-factor to the classes that was hard to put into words.
"It's the music, it's Jenna, it's her energy - if I'm feeling a bit down one day, by the time I finish the class I'm feeling on top of the world," she said.
"If people come once, they'll be back - you come out feeling energised."
Trina Hammond has been going for two years and said it keeps her "young at heart" - not to mention that the grandkids are impressed when she knows the latest music, having danced and sung along to it at Zumba.
"For me, it's the happiest hour," Jenna said.
"I can just forget about everything and dance and have fun."
Jenna runs three classes a week suitable for all ages and fitness levels at the Tugun Progress Association Hall - Tuesday nights from 6.15pm and Thursday and Friday mornings at 9.30am.
Go along from January 22 after the Christmas break, phone 0432 590 116, or find her on Facebook at zumbawithjennapage. Classes are $12 (5 for $50).