Get Out and Dance! The Rise of Zumba

Originally published on The Purchase Brick

The rise of Latin-Dance inspired recreational classes has become a popular hit at Purchase. So much so that they are making their most popular class, Zumba a credit base class in the spring of next year. The class is located in Aerobic Studio second floor across from basketball courts in Physical Education Building. Zumba is one of the few new recreational classes to be taught here at Purchase, which has been gaining recognition over the last few years all across the world.

An aerobic fitness class that combines Latin inspired dance moves has made a wave here at Purchase. There is are Monday and Wednesday night classes at 7:30, as well as an afternoon class on Fridays at 12:00. The classes go for an hour.

“The evening classes have been really busy, like between 20 to 30 people. The afternoon classes are a little slower. We get around five to twelve people in the afternoon classes” says Suzi Tipa, instructor of for Zumba.

Tipa who has 15 years of experience in international dance has been teaching Zumba for little over a year now. She notes her experience in different areas of dance that drives her passion to teach Zumba because it combines keeping people fit as well as being fun.

George Evermann, Director of Intramurals and Recreation at Purchase explains that Zumba was bought here, along with the other classes because it was gaining popularity in the fitness industry as well as the Purchase community.

For a class to have staying power all it needs is to have an average of eight students or faculty going on a daily bases. Because of the huge outcome for Zumba the classes will stay for next semester even though they also created credit base classes.

Evermann is also hoping that the popularity of Zumba will also help him push for the creation of other classes such as cardio Kick-boxing, another boot camp class, hip-hop dancing, and more total body conditioning classes. A lot of the recreational classes this semester are dance or wellness based, so he is hoping for an intense body conditioning course.

Overall students are enjoying the classes.

“I’ve taken Zumba before, over this past summer and I really did enjoy it. What’s good about the class here is that it’s free and you get a really good workout”, says Arts Management student Stephanie Blum.

If Zumba is not for you, there a host of other classes this semester. There is Latin Dance Workshops that is also taught with Suzi Tipa on Wednesdays at 6:30. Caperioa is also being offered which is a Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance is now being offered. Just like Zumba, there has been a good turnout for this class. There have also been Ta Chi Workshops going on this past month as well as Mat Pilates with Art of Control classes for all different levels.

“The biggest thing is getting the participation. Once we get people participate at least once or twice and then they’re hooked. And they get into it. It’s just a matter of getting out of the dorms walking down here and enjoying the classes because one of the concerns we here all the time is that the gym is too far away from campus. But if you’re looking to work out then you’re warm-up could be the walk down here to the gym”, says Evermann as words encouragement for not only students, but faculty to get out of their dorms this winter to work out.


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