By Meagan McGone
Let's Get Physical, Brevard!
I discovered the "Zumba phenomenon" while working at a gym on campus during my college years.
At 6 p.m., a line would snake its way around the facility, filled with excited women ready to dance away their stresses of the day.
Years later, the Zumba phenomenon still lives on.
Locally, it is demonstrated throughout various Zumba groups, all committed to their love of the Latin-inspired dance workout. All over the county, women have reported losing excessive amounts of weight, overcoming depression and coping with diseases, sometimes as serious as breast cancer, and they attribute it to Zumba.
My first Zumba experience in Brevard was at Zumba with Crystal at the David R. Schechter Center in Satellite Beach.
At first I was wary, stealing a space in the back of the room where nobody could see me. Women of all ages surrounded me, exhibiting the same excitement I had witnessed years ago. I couldn't believe my eyes. These participants were actually excited to work out.
And then the music started. Crystal Harrison, a licensed Zumba instructor, danced in the front of the room, encouraging everyone to follow her simple moves. And before I knew it, I was breaking a sweat and having a blast at the same time.
Mrs. Harrison said that Zumba has gained a serious following because it's a different form of exercise that everyone can do - no matter the shape or physical condition one is in.
Plus, one 55-minute workout - which takes up only 4 percent of a day - burns 500 to 1,000 calories, she said.
But the massive amount of calories burned during a class is not the only reason why Zumba is able to assist women in overcoming diseases and fighting obesity.
Zumba allows its participants to constantly realize their abilities and what they can achieve, making it the ultimate workout for a confidence boost.
I can attest to this. Each time I attend a Zumba class, I feel upbeat and attractive. I appreciate my body and the way it can keep up with the music. Instead of constantly thinking about the difficulty of my workout, I am dancing like nobody is watching - and nobody is.
And every time I leave, I feel like I have the power to take on the world.
Zumba reminds me that exercise, as well as life, shouldn't always be taken so seriously. It's good to let loose and have fun.
And if you're burning calories and boosting confidence while doing so, well, kudos to you.
Zumba with Crystal offers classes in Melbourne and Satellite Beach. For more information, visit zumbawithcrystal.com.
For a comprehensive list of other Zumba classes offered in Brevard, visit www.zumba.com.