Zumba class embraces Latin culture, fitness

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Maggie Duly/NW HIPS DON’T LIE—Multi-media production Professor Mark Shevy (left) leads Zumba class in the NMU Fit Zone packed with at least 20 students Tuesday, Feb. 4. The class followed Shevy’s handmade Superbowl half-time show inspired playlist including old and new music from Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

Ashley Beronja

While many could not attend the Superbowl Halftime Show this year, multi-media production Professor Mark Shevy put on his own show with participants in his Zumba class on Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Physical Education Instructional Facility (PEIF).

Zumba is a type of exercise where instead of lifting weights or running on a treadmill, you are dancing to the beats of hip hop, dance hall and pop.

Instead of doing the usual Zumba class, Shevy wanted to do something special to not only tie in the Superbowl performances from headliners Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, but to celebrate Latin culture, strong women and simply a good time to bring people together.

“Latin culture has enriched our country, it’s enriched our campus,” Shevy said. “It enriches our Zumba classes each week and I wanted to take a moment to recognize that.”

The 2020 Superbowl took place this year in Miami Gardens, Florida, the same place that the Zumba Fitness headquarters are located. When Shevy learned about this, he knew he had to take this chance to tie the two together.

“When I heard that Shakira and J.Lo were performing at the Superbowl in Miami where the Zumba world headquarters are, I took this as a perfect opportunity,” Shevy said.

While the Superbowl performance and Zumba celebrate strong women, Shevy stressed that women are not the only ones who are encouraged to partake in the classes. 

“Anyone can take Zumba classes no matter your gender, age, or race,” Shevy said. “Zumba is for anyone who wants to get up and move around.”

Shevy started participating in Zumba classes back in 2008 with his wife. What started as him and his wife going and having fun, branched out into a new opportunity for himself.

“My instructor suggested I become an instructor myself and I used that as an opportunity to stretch myself,” Shevy said. “Stretch my comfort level and push myself. I also wanted to share the fun experience I had with others.”

Shevy wasn’t always in the front of the class. He spent many sessions in the back before finally moving forward in the rows. He wanted to create an atmosphere where everyone felt safe to have fun and exercise to music.

“I have a couple goals for each class,” Shevy said. “One is to promote health and wellness – physical dimensions of wellness as well as mental dimensions. The other goal is to bring people of all different backgrounds together to share a common experience.”

Classes are held at 8:30 p.m. on Tuedays in the Fitzone for students and at 6:15 p.m. Thursdays in the PIEF for community members and those with a recreation pass. 

For more information about Zumba classes contact Mark Shevy at [email protected] or call 227-2046.