The return of Zumba was a big hit, with over 30 dancers attending the community class last week. It was a great mental and physical workout for those who participated.
Classes were organized by several community members and spearheaded by Councilmember Alex Garcia.
"It is a different option for residents to stay active, get out of their homes and socialize with their neighbors," said Councilmember Garcia.
Owners Oscar and Ruth Ramos donated the space for the classes at their Wasco K&R Banquet Halls.
"It's a beautiful room that can accommodate up to 100 people. They graciously offered their facility for our residents to enjoy themselves in a cool environment given the hot summer months."
Previously the classes were held at South Gate Park outside in the courtyard.
The program is open to all ages and tailored for beginners and advanced levels; no prior experience is needed. It is free and intended for both men and women.
Roberto Banda said, "As a male, I think with Zumba, some people think it's only for women when it is really for anyone."
"It was my first class, and I was surprised at how much fun it was. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. I could follow along and keep up with the rest of the group."
Instructors Cecy Gonzalez and Arlette Lopez are highly passionate about the sport and donate their time.
"I'm from Wasco and love to give back to the community. It's a big part of humanity, and sharing a gift with others is fulfilling," said Gonzalez.
"I have been doing it for over ten years, teaching for three. It doesn't feel like a workout. Instead, it feels like you are out dancing with your friends at a nightclub."
Lopez said it is amazing to be able to help people stay healthy.
"Both are so talented, and you can tell they love what they do," said Myra Maldonado.
Zumba is an excellent way to lose weight and burn calories.
"I come because it helps me with my health. I used to be 300 pounds, and Zumba is what made me change my life around," said Cathy Robles.
The best part for Robles is the music.
"It just soothes you and takes you to another place where you forget your problems and issues and whatever is going around you and puts you in your own little circle."
For others, it is the camaraderie that they enjoy.
"It is about working out with other ladies who also appreciate the dancing and the exercise and that also want to better themselves," said Liz Garcia.
"I like connecting with people, and Zumba does that; it brings us together," said Maldonado.
More classes are planned for Aug. 9 and 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. at 714 Broadway St.
The plan is to host Zumba twice a month with dates to be determined.
"Come out and bring your children for what I promise will be a memorable experience," said Councilmember Garcia.
For information or questions about upcoming classes, reach out to Councilmember Garcia at 661-910-2407.