If you thought that Zumba, the high energy dance workout was just for young folks, think again. On Thursday mornings at Brooklyn Sports Club in East New York, there’s a group of mature ladies side-stepping, hip- swaying, and arm-swinging to the rhythmic beat of salsa, soca, and reggaeton music.
The women show up for class looking sharp in bright colored workout attire and lace-up sneakers. Some prefer leaving their jewelry on, and others grace the studio sporting perfectly coiffed hair and lipstick. Still, they are not afraid to work up a sweat. Instructor Alicia Rosenberg, leads the class in a series of warm- up, high-intensity, and cool-down moves that last for about an hour non-stop.
“They aren’t afraid to do it,” stresses Rosenberg, who has been an instructor at Brooklyn Sports Club since its opening in 1997. “They do what they can do, and put a lot of energy into it.” Members of her class who are seniors range in age from 62 to 86, and several of them attend class three or more times a week.
“I love Zumba class,” says long-time gym member Barbara Pouncy. “It works my whole body,” she says while dabbing perspiration off her face. Classmate Delores Green, who bikes to class, likes the free-flowing vibe Zumba offers. “It gives me a chance to do my own style of movement and lose weight simultaneously.”
Many of the women we spoke to say Zumba is just one of the classes they take to stay in shape. “A lot of seniors come in the mornings and take a range of classes,” says Rosenberg, including step and weight training classes, water aerobics, seated yoga which is specifically designed for older adults, and more. “They make it a part of their routine, and I think it makes them feel young. They love coming and we love having them”
– Julia Chance
To learn more about what Brooklyn Sports Club has to offer seniors, call (718) 642-2720 or visit www.BrooklynSportsClub.com.