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Women participate in a workout routine during a Zumba toning class at the Barber Physical Activities Center aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on July 2, 2013. The class implements various dance moves and music to burn calories.

Photo by Pfc. Samuel Ellis

Dance the calories away

2 Jul 2013 | Pfc. Samuel Ellis

Eight bodies swayed with intensity over a hardwood floor as Latin music filled the room. Smiles lit their faces as the group tackled each phase of the exercise routine.

Some have found Zumba and Zumba toning classes, held both mornings and evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a way to burn calories while having fun. The classes are taught four times a week, and  are open to all who have access to the Barber Physical Activities Center.

“Zumba is a good overall workout,” said Lisa Hall, class participant. “With Zumba, you get to dance, which makes it really fun.”

Hall isn’t the only one who finds the dance-based exercise program enjoyable.

“Come join the party,” said Latriece Williams, fitness, and Zumba, instructor.  “When you think of exercise, you think about it being hard and being tired, but everybody likes a dance or a party.”

The “party” implements a variety of dance styles including: Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and Cumbia to diverse music styles.

“The Latin music is what sets us apart from other dance-based formats,” said Williams. “Our music is up-beat which gives it spirit. There is really no right or wrong way to do Zumba. This is your workout, make it work for you.”

For those who are skeptical about the effectiveness of the program as a workout, experts say that on average a participant can expect to burn between 500-700 calories an hour. 

 “Zumba classes are intended to provide a large calorie burn through aerobic activity done with interval training in mind, according to

Williams has some final advice for those considering the program.

“Try a class at least three times,” she said. “You may have to get used to the moves, music and instructor, which can be a little bit of a challenge in the beginning.”

Other challenges some face are childcare and cost. Fortunately for those interested in trying Zumba aboard base, childcare can be used at the gym during the morning sessions. Active and reserve service members can take Zumba classes for free, and others can take the classes for a fee ranging from $5 per day to $25 per month. 

“Come join the party,” said Williams. “It will make you want to come back.”


Marine Corps Base Quantico