Zumba Dance Party held at CES

By Kevin Hotary - Staff writer
Colchester - posted Mon., May. 23, 2011
Kim Gates, one of the instructors at the recent Zumba Dance Party, joins in the workout led by Torri Buchwald. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
Kim Gates, one of the instructors at the recent Zumba Dance Party, joins in the workout led by Torri Buchwald. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

Since arriving in the United States some 10 years ago, Zumba has swept the nation, quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of dance fitness.  Combining Latin and international rhythms, music and movements in a nearly nonstop group dance, Zumba is a fun, if exhausting, way to get in shape and shed a few pounds – a typical hour-long Zumba class can help a person burn 500 or more calories.      

“It’s a fun workout,” said Jennifer Hall, as she took a short break during the Parks and Recreation-sponsored Zumba Dance Party, held on Friday, May 21, at Colchester Elementary School.  The Zumba party was held to raise funds for scholarships for the Parks and Rec. summer day camp.

“There are so many people requesting financial assistance this year.  We want to make sure that all kids have a chance to attend,” said Recreation supervisor Anita Pizzutiello, who organized this year’s second annual Zumba Dance Party, which raised about $1,300.

The event drew a crowd of more than 50 women. “It’s much better this year.  We have a big following now in town,” said Pizzutiello.  This is a result of the Zumba classes offered by Parks and Rec. and taught by Torri Buchwald, one the four instructors who volunteered their time to rotate through a nonstop hour and a half of leading the group at the dance party. 

A dance exercise instructor for 18 years, Buchwald said that she enjoys the creative freedom that Zumba instructors have in designing their routines, which the group learns by following the instructor's lead.  It’s the different styles of the instructors that attracts some to Zumba, and may scare some others, like many men, said Buchwald. 

“There are a few brave men that come.  It may be intimidating to them,” said Buchwald of her classes, which are about 98 percent women.  However, “Once you do Zumba for a while, you get the formula,” she added.

Nonetheless, even for those in good physical shape, Zumba is a vigorous workout.

“They have fun, but they have to pace themselves,” said Buchwald of the dancers, adding, “Where else can you donate 10 bucks and have such a good time.”

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