By Mariel Bundalian

CCC Journalism Program

Students who exercise at Camden County College’s fitness center have a fun, alternative way to staying healthy this year.

Who doesn’t want to burn calories and have fun at the same time?

Katia Fernandez’s Zumba class offers just that at the school’s Mainstage Center for the Arts, located in the Lincoln Hall-Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre.

The instructor’s ultimate goal is to teach students how to work out and enjoy it as well.

Fernandez said, “zumba does more than change the physically body, but your personality, heart, and soul as well.”

During her class, Fernandez plays a CD that consists of fast and slow international rhythms.

These rhythms keep her students engaged and dancing throughout the class.

Luckily for her students, zumba doesn’t consist of one boring dance routine. It is instead a perfect blend of various international dances like merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dancing, tango, cha cha, samba, flamingo, and even hiphop.

Fernandez’s zumba class provides an experience of stimulating and heart-racing, calorie burning body movements that help tone a person’s body.

Fernandez often recommends her students purchase zumba toning sticks which usually weigh about three pounds each, to help burn more calories. She also recommends that her students wear stretchy workout clothes and sneakers to make their experience comfortable.

Fernandez has been a zumba instructor at CCC since March 2010. Before she became an instructor, Fernandez was a student at CCC.

She attended zumba classes for two years off-campus, but never expected to return to CCC as an instructor teaching others zumba.

As a student, Fernandez immediately fell in love with the course and became passionate about her craft.

Fernandez is certain that zumba can inspire other students at CCC to work-out and live healthy lives.

“I was a student of Katia’s before, and her zumba class is just a fun way to keep in shape,” said Denise Coccia, education manager at Mainstage Center for the Arts.

Students who are too shy to dance mustn’t worry, because Fernandez often encourages her students to keep moving regardless if they mess up or get lost during the routine.

She doesn’t expect students to learn everything right away.

Fernandez believes that teaching from an intermediate level to an expert level is key success.

“Once a student gets the hang of the choreography, their work-out becomes more effective,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez teaches one hour classes every Tuesday for eight weeks. Although the class has already started, it isn’t too late for students to join today.

Fernandez currently has eight students enrolled in her class. She hopes to have a lot more students join her zumba class next year.

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