When Jackie Tamminga took a “girls’ weekend” trip to Memphis with four of her friends from TammCor Fitness, it wasn’t just for the famous barbecue. They had another goal in mind in taking the trip — to work up a sweat with a good workout while raising money for the American Heart Association. And they got to participate in the fundraiser as performers in the halftime show for the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA game on Feb. 5.
The women donned their “party hearty” red tank tops and joined 155 other Zumba enthusiasts on center court. The heart association received $10 of every participant’s registration fee, Tamminga said. The group of men and women of all ages demonstrated a Zumba routine to the crowd. Zumba is the latest dance-fitness craze, called a “fitness party,” which has garnered attention across the country. It incorporates Latin-style dance with aerobics and heart-pumping music and encourages participants to focus on moving their bodies to the music instead of simply counting repeated patterns of aerobics over and over.
Tamminga, owner of TammCor; Mary Brooks, Zumba instructor at TammCor; Jackie Harper, a Zumba instructor; and Zumba students Jacqueline Hocker and Kara Fuller practiced the routine a couple of times per week for about a month before the event, but Tamminga said after the two-hour workshop with the other participants, they were ready to go and “just have fun.”
“Our group got on the court and went straight to center court,” she said. “It was exciting and so motivating.”
The big group included participants from Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee, Tamminga said. Danville resident Carrie Wilson, who teaches Zumba in Danville, was one of the master instructors for the two-hour practice session, Tamminga said.
Zumba is one of the most popular classes in numerous gyms across the country. The class is performed in more than 90,000 locations across the world and has attracted more than 10 million participants, according to the official Zumba website. TammCor offers the standard Zumba class three times per week, and Tamminga said each class has about 30-35 people in attendance each week.
“It (Zumba) has been just huge for us here,” Tamminga said. “We’ve got people who would probably never want to try a fitness class here in Zumba. It’s so great to see them enjoy it and see the smiles on their faces. They make friends and keep coming. People here come not only for fitness, but for friendship.”
To learn more about the Zumba craze, visit www.zumba.com.