Tribal Recreation kicks off the New Year with lights, rhythm and Zumba
Gila River Indian News
The Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley – Sacaton Branch was illuminated with 183 Community members of all ages swaying to the rhythm and direction of Zumba instructor Frances James during Tribal Recreation’s Glow Zumbathon on Jan. 10. Community members from all over attended the event with elders and youth making up half of the participants.
“It was amazing seeing so many people there. It was a great showing for my second zumbathon event,” said James.
James has been instructing Zumba classes across the Community since 2014, and she has seen a steady increase in the dance-style aerobics. James attributes the music as the draw for people of all ages to try. But ultimately, she believes in its effectiveness because “everybody can do it.”
The dance routines are a go-at-your-own-pace and cater to elders with limited mobility. At the Glow Zumbathon elders danced in chairs, holding lite dumbbells, and swaying to the instruction of James on stage. Due to its moderate and low impact movements, classes generally are suitable for families to enjoy together.
Angel Orque, Tribal Recreation Program Manager, noted that the first Zumba event of the year was a success with new people in attendance. Orque said, “I attribute the attendance to Frances, since joining the team, she’s pushed Zumba out in the Community to all ages.”
When asked why Zumba seems to be gaining popularity, Orque said it boils down to the instructor and their ability to connect with the clientele. Orque said, “it takes a lot to put yourself out there and move your body the way Zumba requires, but Frances makes it fun and includes health and fitness education too.”
This year Tribal Recreation will be increasing their Zumbathons throughout the year and hopes to hold a big one in the West End in the near future. Zumbathons will continue in addition to the regular classes they offer throughout the Community. Lastly, a highlight for this year will be the “Sister Tribe’s Zumbathon” this summer. This event invites Ak-Chin Indian Community, Tohono O’odham Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and GRIC members together for a vast Zumba event.