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New class offers fun and fitness

Naseema Shidi leads a Zumba class. Participants use exaggerated Latin dance moves to get a full body workout.

It's that time of year again when local health clubs are filled with people trying to lose weight for the New Year. The sounds of the treadmill swish swish under the weight of unhappy feet.

While losing pounds is a noble goal Naseema Shidi thinks there's a better way to get a workout than torturing one's self on a treadmill.

Shidi teaches Zumba, a fitness program that uses exaggerated Latin dance moves to get the body burning calories and shaping up. And while it's definitely a workout, Shidi said it doesn't feel like one.

"You just get lost in the music and don't know that you're working out," said Shidi.

The music is key to the workout. Shidi said while listening to the fun beats of Latin and International music it's hard not to get up and dance.

Although there are some moves to learn, Shidi said Zumba is fairly simple and anyone can follow along. For those that haven't moved in a long time, the workouts can be modified to an individual's fitness level.

"The key is to keep moving," Shidi said.

All that movement equals a full body workout that burns a ton of calories. It sculpts and tones muscles as well.

Shidi teaches Zumba at a number of locations throughout the south metro. From Jan. 27 through March 17 she will offer a class through District 196 Community Education at Parkview Elementary School.

The class is open to anyone and no previous dance experience is needed. Shidi said all that's needed is comfortable clothes, a water bottle and an open mind.

"I encourage people of all shapes and sizes to try it," Shidi said.

Shidi has taught group fitness classes for eight years. She started teaching Zumba three years ago.

Shidi was introduced to Zumba when she worked for the New Hope YMCA. Her fitness director suggested she try the class.

"It is so much fun," said Shidi.

To register or for more information call the District 196 Community Education office at 651-423-7920 or visit

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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