Zumba an option for exercise in the Copper Country

LAKE LINDEN – People in the Keweenaw can find a Zumba class any day of the week.

First coming to the Keweenaw about three years ago, Zumba has spread, now including nine classes in Houghton and Keweenaw counties.

It began in the 1990s, when Colombian dancer Alberto Perez improvised a workout to salsa and meringue music after forgetting his normal workout tape.

Latin dances are still the foundation of Zumba. They include reggaeton (stop, knee lift, two steps and bounce, brushing your shoulders off, swing arms, then push them out) and salsa (side to side, front to back, two steps, rock back, then roll your body).

There are about 200 students in the area, said instructor Cindy Crabtree. The hour-long sessions work the abs, legs and arms, and can burn about 1,000 calories.

You’ll feel it afterwards, you do sweat quite a bit, but it doesn’t feel like a workout,” Crabtree said. “It feels like a party, and everyone’s smiling and having a good time. Seeing that actually is what I love about it – making people smile, and making them feel good. You do lose quite a bit of weight.”

Crabtree started Zumba about a year and a half ago, then became certified as an instructor, taking an eight-hour course in Green Bay. Since starting her own class in January, she’s taught everyone from 14-year-olds to people in their 70s. The only difference is that older people can alter the workout to eliminate more strenuous moves.

“It is for everyone, and there’s no limitations,” she said. “People modify it themselves and they do what they can. It’s all about fun.”

Tuesday evening, Crabtree led a class in dancing to high-energy songs from the likes of Pitbull and Daddy Yankee.

Sarah Pini and her aunt, Mary Lou Jackovich, both of Lake Linden, began doing Zumba last summer. Pini said friends and family had recommended it.

“I like just being able to get up and move – it’s a good workout,” she said.

Bonnie Anderson of Lake Linden started about two months ago, when Crabtree put up a flyer in Louie’s Super Valu in Lake Linden.

“It’s not just fitness, it’s dancing, and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Instructors in the Keweenaw are:

Cindy Crabtree: 7-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday (8-9 p.m. third Thursday of month), noon-1 p.m. at Lake Linden Village Hall. For more information, call 369-5401or e-mail zumbafitnesswithcindy@gmail.com.

Sarah Fraser and Jessica St. John: 6:15-7:15 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 Vivian St. in Ahmeek. Call 369-2350 or email sarahfraser@zumba.com.

Melanie Keteri: 4:45 p.m-5:45 p.m. Mondays at Range Lounge in South Range. 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at C.J. Sullivan Elementary School in L’Anse. Call 482-2985.

Abby Storm: 6-7 p.m Tuesdays at the South Range Elementary School gym. Call 281-1000.

Amanda Altobelli: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Portage Health Fitness Center in Houghton. Call 483-1149.

Adria Laplander: 5:45 p.m.-6:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Houghton Elementary School gym. 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday at the Lake Linden Village Hall. Call 231-5757 or email zumbafitnesswithadria@gmail.com.

Royale Johnson Walter, Bobbie Jo Kositzky and Kelsey Johnson: 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Gordon G. Barkell Elementary School in Hancock. 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 to noon Saturday and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Laurium Village Hall Ballroom. For dates and times beyond May 5, call 934-2426 or go to zumbawithroyale.wordpress.com.

Toni Larche: 6 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through May 1 at the Student Development Complex dance studio at Michigan Technological University. Call 487-2578.