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Fit For You: Zumba Fitness

Mike Sharafinski
Michelle Streng

There’s invariably a flurry of stories about personal fitness near the first of the year – around the time people make a commitment to eat better, spend less time on the couch and generally get into shape.

But by mid-May, that commitment can fall by the wayside for various reasons. Featured in Lake Effect's first fitness segment, Fit For You, is the Latin-inspired and infused exercise Zumba Fitness.

"It's bringing the 'party' to exercise. That's what I try to bring to my class is a party, to make everybody feel welcome. Whether you're in the front row and you know exactly what the instructor is doing count for count, or you're in the back row and you have no clue. As long as you have a smile on your face and everybody welcomes you into having a great time and just moving. That's what it's all about," says local Zumba instructor Michelle Streng.

Any dance-based exercise can easily intimidate both novices and experienced gym goers alike, especially a group fitness class. However, with Zumba there is an appeal that reaches across all fitness levels and all ages.

Zumba Fitness offers several variations that ranges from Zumba Toning to Aqua Zumba. All it takes is simply trying a class to find what you enjoy the most, and keep you returning every week for more.

"All it takes is that one step in the room," says Streng. "It doesn't matter if you've never been to a class at all or have never stepped in a gym. Just make that first initial step."

Michelle Streng is a licensed Zumba instructor (Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumba Sentao, Aqua Zumba, and Zumba Step), as well as a AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor. You can find out more about Zumba fitness and find a class near you on the official Zumba website.

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.