Local Zumba classes help start the day on the right foot

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Two new Zumba instructors have been added to the upbeat dance mix at Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2).

Celine Mauger, who has been with the program since October, and Joanna Newcome, who started in December, are gearing up their accessible workout classes for the new year.

Mauger and Newcome are two of three instructors who teach the aerobic exercise that incorporates Latin American dance for an alternative workout routine. Health benefits of the 55-minute classes include helping the cardiovascular system, toning the body and increasing metabolism.

“Each instructor brings their own uniqueness,” said Heidi Holmes, the BBBPRD2 program manager who has watched the Zumba classes grow since their inception in 2012. Zumba was first added to the group workout classes as a fun way for people to work up a sweat while socializing, Holmes said.

Mauger started teaching Zumba five years ago in Whatcom County after experiencing its benefits firsthand. Zumba was the first time she had enjoyed exercise, and the benefits began to show as she lost weight from the classes. Mauger puts an emphasis on making her classes accessible for everyone, with participants ranging from 17 to 77 years old.

“A lot of people say they didn’t want to come because they were worried, but they end up glad they came,” Mauger said. “It’s cheaper than therapy and good for the body and soul.”

Linda Cline, whose retirement allows her to take Zumba every week with Mauger, attributes the classes to starting her day off on the right foot. Cline said the program has great instructors like Mauger who keep the classes energized.

“It’s nothing to be afraid of because everyone goes at their own pace,” Cline said.

People interested in trying Zumba are encouraged to come to the judgement-free classes, Mauger said.

Holmes said prospective students should drop into the studio and fill out a registration form. There is no set amount of times that people have to take the classes or any long-term commitments.

The $3 Zumba classes are offered at the Birch Bay Activity Center at 7511 Gemini Street as well as the Blaine Pavilion at 635 8th Street. Non-expiring $15 punch cards for six classes and $30 unlimited monthly passes are also available for purchase.

Classes are offered Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Check bbbparkandrec.org for additional information on teachers and locations.

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