Zumba fitness with Ms. Hyder


Madelyn Bugdonovitch, Student Writer

What is Zumba?

Zumba was invented and developed by Colombian dancer, Alberto Perez in the 1990s. His fitness program applies rhythm and dance movements into a routine for a total body workout.

Zumba has been proven to build muscle strength, flexibility, and balance, all while burning large amounts of calories and having fun. In a one hour class, it is possible to burn up to 360 calories.

Since Zumba is a dance-based exercise, upbeat music is undeniably needed to keep and continue its fast pace. Most commonly, hip-hop, jazz, and music from Latin America are used in each class. However, some may be concerned that Zumba would not be practical if they do not have a dancing background, but that is untrue. Zumba fitness does not require any dancing skills. It is designed so that it can be available for children, adults, and, depending on the level, even the elderly. The goal of such a fitness program is to allow its participants the ability to forget about the workout, dance, and enjoy themselves.

Ms. Amber Hyder, an English teacher here at GNA, participates in Zumba fitness as an instructor after school. The GNA Insider had the chance to sit down and talk with Ms. Hyder about her experiences.

Her interest in Zumba was sparked when she began taking classes at her old dance school. “I got hooked pretty quickly and was taking a few classes per week,” she explained.  

After her instructor recognized her skill and suggested that she should teach Zumba herself, she wasted no time in taking the required courses to become a licensed instructor. “I thought it would be a good way to ring in my 30’s and I started teaching in three different places. I did that for about three years and then took a long break–I just started teaching again in September of 2016,” Ms. Hyder added.

Since her return, she has been teaching for a year and five months. Ms. Hyder told us that, in the beginning, with 7 classes a week, she was able to lose 60 pounds. “So at that point in time, Zumba gave me some extra motivation and improved my health and self-esteem quite a bit; I was at a pretty low point before I started teaching,” she revealed. She continued to explain that during her long hiatus, caused by medical issues, her “life wasn’t great.”

Since she has been back and teaching, however, Ms. Hyder has regained that sense of happiness and motivation. “Although it’s a late class and I’m often very tired, I’m happy that I can get out and help others feel good about themselves and have fun.”  

Students love to take advantage of knowing an instructor and often attend classes with Ms. Hyder. She explained that she is always thrilled when her students come to workout out with her. “I love when my students come! They bring a great energy and life to the class; they actually make up the majority of the people in the class! I told them last night that they weren’t allowed to graduate so I didn’t lose them at Zumba! It’s also flattering that they like me enough to come be with me outside of school!”  

Her classes are held every Monday and Thursday at 7 pm, in the Nanticoke Fitness Center. 

To sum up her thoughts on Zumba, she recapitulated, “I love that Zumba doesn’t feel like exercise and that it’s fun.  I HATE traditional gym equipment and workouts, and Zumba actually burns more calories per hour than running on a treadmill.”

She welcomes everyone to come and try a class.