Newington Parks & Rec to offer Zumba "Basics" class this fall

Published on Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:27
Written by Erica Schmitt

Staff Writer

NEWINGTON - Anyone who has ever wanted to try Zumba but never had the courage, this class is for you.

Newington resident Mary Woods is teaching Zumba Basics on Wednesday evenings starting Oct. 4, with the town’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

She’s been leading Zumba and Zumba Gold classes in town the last six years. The aerobic dance program incorporates fast-paced choreography with upbeat music for fun, calorie-burning fitness.

Although mastering the steps allows for the most beneficial cardio workout, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for beginners.

“I’ve talked to people who say, ‘I would love to try Zumba but I don’t think I could do it,’” explained Woods, who came up with the idea for the ‘basics’ class to reach those less-confident, who are interested but unsure they can keep up with more well-conditioned participants.

“It’s intimidating to come to a class where everyone seems to know what they’re doing,” she pointed out. “When people are just starting out they get discouraged because everybody seems like a pro.”

Those who do Zumba regularly have a general idea of which moves go with which particular rhythms and can follow an instructor in front of them without getting confused.

This new course will feature Woods breaking down each move step-by-step and at a slower pace. She hopes participants will feel experienced enough at the end of the nine-week session to return for more, this time in the regular class.

“If you like music and you like to dance - even just a little bit,” she said, “Zumba can be a great workout and also a lot of fun. You are getting a complete cardio workout with strength training in your core. All of the movements can be modified.

“Some people have a bad knee or shoulder, and they modify to suit their needs.”

The Zumba program was created by Colombian athlete Alberto “Beto” Perez during the early 1990s. It has since become an international sensation, reaching people of all ages and fitness levels.

Woods became certified to teach it the year she turned 50. She’s always exercised, but never as enthusiastically as during Zumba.

“I did aerobics and body pump in the eighties. I’ve never had anything I’ve enjoyed this much or been able to stick with this long. People stick with it because it’s fun.”

Woods estimated that her curriculum now includes over 200 songs, with a typical hour-long class featuring 10 to 15 songs.

During the course of their workouts participants will learn the basic move-sets of popular dances like the cha-cha, meringue and salsa.

Intro to Zumba will be held on Wednesdays, Oct. 4- Dec. 13 from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. in the Newington Senior & Disabled Center Auditorium. There will be no class Nov. 8 or 22.

The cost of the whole nine-week session is $45 for residents and $56 for non-residents. Registration begins Sept. 7 for residents and Sept. 21 for non-residents. Fill out a registration form online at and mail it in or visit department offices in-person in Newington Town Hall, 131 Cedar St.

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or


WHAT: Zumba Basics

WHEN: Wednesdays, Oct. 4-Dec. 13 (no class Nov. 8 and 22.)

WHERE: Newington Senior & Disabled Center auditorium, 120 Cedar St.

HOW: Register at or at Newington Town Hall, 131 Cedar St.

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:27. Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2017 14:29.