The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Zumba promises to get your body pumping

On Mondays and Wednesdays, inside of the Bear Athletic Center, if you follow the sound of the Latin and Caribbean music you’ll come across an enthusiastic Marlene Jacks, Intercultural Affairs Associate, leading a pack of Grinnellians in what may appear to be a dance class. This, however, is more than just any dance class.

Margaret Allen '12, center left, and others get low during Monday evening's Zumba class in the Bear Athletic Center dance room - Daniel Penny

Zumba fitness has been around for more than ten years. The dance fitness program is currently taught in over 106 countries and is said to burn 500-600 calories per hour. 

“The misconception is that it’s just a dance,” Jacks said. “It’s really about wellness and continuous movement.”
Jacks is a certified gold level Zumba instructor who got involved with the dance in January after looking for a fun way to keep active.

“I went to my local YMCA and based on a questionnaire [a consultant] … told me she thought I’d love Zumba,” Jacks said. “I went to one class and I was completely hooked after that. One class.”

After that, Jacks decided to bring Zumba to Grinnell. At last spring’s Selah festival she, with a number of other instructors, introduced Zumba to a crowd of about 95 people.

“I knew that I wanted to expose the campus to it, that it would be good for the student body, faculty and staff,” Jacks said.

Since then, Jacks has gotten her certification and has been able to hold three classes a week at the college. Each class attracts a crowd that averages 15-20 people. Students are not the only individuals who attend these classes. Jacks’ classes are attended by faculty and staff as well, and she’s not alone in her enthusiasm for Zumba. 

“It’s really fun and you can get a workout by shaking your butt and frolicking around,” said Miranda Robert ’14. “It’s pretty awesome and upbeat, it’s a good outlet for stress … there’s nothing else like it.” 

It is exactly these enthusiastic reactions that have caused Zumba to garner more and more popularity on campus. An increasing number of students have attended the class after hearing rave reviews about it. The growing popularity of Zumba at Grinnell has even led Jacks to conduct a special session on parents’ weekend and a Zumba study break in Younker. 

If anyone is still hesitant about the legitimacy of Zumba, it’s got fans in high places.

“Our first lady, Michelle Obama, has terrific arms and things, but you know, that’s her secret—she does Zumba,” Jacks said. “Additionally, Dr. Kington has been invited to drop in on one of these classes.”

With so many people jumping on the Zumba bandwagon, it’s clear that the class is worth a try. Find Jacks’ class in the Bear Athletic Center Multipurpose Dance Studio on Mondays from 12 p.m-1 p.m. or 5 p.m.-6 p.m., and Wednesdays from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. 

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Armil at Zumba Class SydneyOct 10, 2010 at 3:33 am

    yeah I love Zumba so much that my day wouldn’t be complete if I don’t do Zumba dance routine.