Zumba-Yah: The Only Acceptable Dance on Campus
Andrews University is on a mission to become the healthiest university in the world and noticeable changes have been occurring all over campus. This past weekend marked the third annual Health and Wellness Festival. As part of this festival, on Saturday, March 3, the Health and Wellness Department invited the student body to join Deliverance Mass Choir in Johnson Gym for an interactive sing-along rehearsal. The director, Carl Cunningham (assisted by choral section leaders), instructed the participants in vocal exercise—literally, exercise with vocals. The session began with a warm up and led into a performance of the Walter Hawkins’ memorable gospel song, “Going Up Yonder,” with Deandra Joseph, soprano, as the instructor. It was a unique and interesting opportunity to experience breathing the same musical air as the iconic DMC and observing the rehearsal dynamics.
The event was enhanced by the healthy snack options of fresh apples and grapes provided, and as the rehearsal closed, the energy went up. The gym lights went off and the neon lights came on. Two instructors from Berrien LifeRX administered a Zumba session. This began with exercising to Waka Waka, the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa. Many people know that when Shakira starts playing, bodies are in motion. The leaders taught the class basic Zumba moves such as single and double actions. An energetic playlist of chart-topping hits continued without interruption as the seemingly tireless instructors led choreographed exercises that used close to the body’s full range of motion. This was exhausting but very enjoyable. Middle-aged mothers, children, university students and workers all body-rolled on command.
The activity lasted for about two hours in the gym as the atmosphere of dancing and energy motivated everyone to keep going. Dominique Gummelt, director of University Health and Wellness was also present to moderate events and transitions between activities.
If you were not at this event, you missed an opportunity to see what happens when the lights go off and the music comes on; the motivation to exercise increases and judgment hopefully decreases. If, however, you were absent from this event but love Zumba, there are Zumba classes at LifeRX every week and the University Health and Wellness office has more information on contacting the instructors, Erin and Gabby. If you were there and would like to see this kind of activity repeated, contact the Wellness Office with encouraging feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org—that is, if your joints aren’t too sore.