A&Z Zumba fitness studio opens Monday, Oct. 10, at 1911 Lakin Ave. in Great Bend.
Owners Alma Renteria and Zila Torres are certified Zumba instructors. They will offer advanced and beginners classes, as well as a morning class for senior citizens.
“Zumba is a fun way to do your cardio, Renteria said. It can also be a fun way to lose weight, as both women did.
At 200,000 locations in 180 countries, Zumba studios use Latin American beats as well as other energetic music styles to motivate motion. Dancing in a party atmosphere is fun and burns calories, Renteria said.
“It’s going to be fun,” Torres emphasized. They’ve added a disco ball and dance-friendly flooring to the studio, which was previously a jewelry store.
All ages can enjoy the classes, so it can also be a family activity, Renteria said.
“Anybody can do it at their own pace and style,” she continued. She even has a pregnant mom in one of her classes.
In each class, participants have the option to modify the intensity or mix it up, from high impact to intermediate and low impact.
Zumba was created in the 1990s and classes have been offered in the area for some time, but the fitness studio is something new to the community, the women said. Zumba is a way to “shake your stress away,” Torres said.
“Why be moody when you can shake your bootie?” Renteria said.
Torres said there’s no reason not to try it out, especially since the classes are inexpensive and will be free on the Oct. 10 grand opening.
“People say, ‘I can’t dance,’ but you don’t have to know the (choreographed) steps,” Torres said. “You learn and it’s freestyle.” People needn’t be self-conscious either. The dance-room lighting puts only the instructors in the spotlight.
“Zumba really changed my lifestyle,” Renteria said, explaining she previously had health problems and weighed 160 pounds. “Zumba is a fun way to lose weight and keep yourself healthy.”
Torres is a mother of four and said she also lost weight after becoming a certified Zumba instructor 10 years ago. Her daughter Ruby, a nurse in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit at Wesley Medical Center, has also taught Zumba and is supportive of what the women are doing.
Renteria said her husband Jose, a nurse practitioner at St. Rose, is their biggest fan.
At the studio, the women hope to bring ideas about healthy eating and may even share some recipes from time to time.
“We’re not nutritionists,” Renteria said. “We’re just sharing ideas that worked for us.”