Latin-inspired exercise craze extends to kidsWhile children have always been welcome at any regular Zumba fitness classes offered by the Red Wing Family YMCA, it wasn’t until last week that a class was introduced specifically for the little ones.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
While children have always been welcome at any regular Zumba fitness classes offered by the Red Wing Family YMCA, it wasn’t until last week that a class was introduced specifically for the little ones.
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance program that has people performing calorie-burning moves along to international music to create less of a workout atmosphere and more of a party atmosphere. Unfortunately, beginners may have a difficult time picking up on the routines, meaning very young beginners are in for an even more challenging experience.
That’s why Zumba developed Zumbatomic, a “fitness party” designed exclusively for ages 4-12.
“It’s kid-friendly songs, movements and routines,” explained Jill Kolsky, a Zumbatomic instructor at the Red Wing Family YMCA. “It takes the sexy out and puts the cute in.”
The Red Wing Y has only been offering the children’s program for two weeks but has seen a great turnout each time. More than 15 children were movin’ and groovin’ to the music during their one-hour workout Monday. Aside from several dances, Zumbatomic features a fun warm-up, cool-down and a variety of games.
“We try to mix it up quite a bit to keep them entertained,” instructor Mary Ouret said.
Joining together in a group gives kids a better experience when exercising, Kolsky said.
“It teaches them that fitness can be fun, and it fosters some healthy habits,” she added.
While some of the healthy habits result in physical benefits, such as enhancing coordination and boosting metabolism, they often contribute to mental benefits as well. Whether building self-confidence, increasing focus or developing leadership skills, Kolsky said Zumbatomic has a lot to offer.
“It meets with the Y’s mission of bringing fitness to the whole family,” she said.
The group is open to Y members ages 4-12, but will likely be splitting into two separate classes for ages 4-7 and 8-12.
“It’s really hard to mix a 4-year-old with an 11-year-old,” Kolsky said, explaining how they learn at such different paces.
Until changes are implemented, the class is held at 5:45 p.m. Mondays in the gym next to the wellness center at the Red Wing Family YMCA.