Party in Pink Today at the RFC
At 7 p.m. on a Thursday, the gathering in the main gym at the RFC sounds more like a dance club than your traditional aerobics class. Dancing to a mix of international music and current pop songs, most of the female Zumba participants have a smile on their face while instructor Sara Konsbruck gestures instructions through the workout.
Although Zumba, a "Latin-inspired dance fitness-party" can initially seem intimidating, Janelle Dubbs, head of group fitness at the RFC, said the workout "tends to get addicting" for those who give it a try.
"It's meant to be a party, to let loose," said Dubbs. "It's not like your traditional aerobics class ... It's meant for you to feel the music and just let go and have fun. ... It's meant to be open and positive and getting healthy all at the same time too."
Community members can try out Zumba and benefit breast cancer research on Saturday, Oct. 8 when the RFC will host a "Party in Pink" Zumbathon benefiting Susan G Komen for the Cure.
Zumba was developed by Alberto "Beto" Perez in Miami in 1991. Since 2001, Zumba has grown into the largest dance-fitness program in the world, with more than 12 million people taking classes in more than 125 countries.
The RFC has two licensed Zumba instructors: Dubbs and Konsbruck, a dance instructor at Footnotes studio in Morris.
"We're a good complement for each other," said Dubbs. "She's very technically trained, and I come from more of the fitness/personal training background."
Dubbs and Konsbruck became licensed Zumba instructors about a year ago, and the RFC began offering Zumba classes again in November 2010. Today, the RFC offers a Zumba class every day of the week except Sunday.
One difference between Zumba classes and other fitness classes is that Zumba incorporates flexibility for both instructors and participants. Zumba has four main rhythms - salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton - that involve simplified dance steps which instructors can combine how they like, Dubbs said.
Each class features a mix of international and pop/dance music that each instructor gets to choose. Dubbs said Konsbruck will incorporate Irish music into her class close to St. Patrick's Day, and that she hopes to connect with her Polish heritage and add a polka.
"That first time you come, you're going to be staring at the instructors feet," Dubbs said. "Eventually you'll begin to pick up on the moves."
The RFC's Party in Pink begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 and will run until about 12:30 p.m. Dubbs and Konsbruck will lead the event. Dubbs said she has also invited 22 regional Zumba instructors, but isn't sure yet how many will attend.
The cost of the event is an at will donation for any amount, with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards Susan G. Komen for the Cure. And, of course, participants should wear pink to help celebrate.