Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Penny Teaching Zumba Gold in Mazatlan


     My Zumba idol is Penny Fuller, a Zumba Instructor during the winter months in Mazatlán, Mexico. Penny started to do Zumba in her late 60's and now, at age 72, she teaches Zumba! If she could accomplish this, other seniors can, too!
     I've heard the excuse that “I’m too old to Zumba” more times than I can count. I even wondered if people thought that I am too old to Zumba, now that I’m 57 years old and just starting to learn Zumba. But, then I met Penny, teaching a large group of retirees Zumba Gold in Mazatlán. She is such an energetic, enthusiastic, fit and trim woman, that I could hardly believe it when she told me that she is 72 years old! What an inspiration! Now I know that I’m definitely not too old to Zumba! I also believe that anyone can participate in Zumba at some level, regardless of age.

Penny Leading Zumba at Diego's 
     Zumba Gold is the low impact version of Zumba, designed for beginners and seniors. It is an ideal way to try Zumba for the first time. There are several good Zumba Gold DVDs available, for exercising at home, or if you want to practice the moves before you venture out to attend a Zumba Gold class. The company, Zumba Fitness®, sells a DVD called “Zumba Fitness Gold, Live It Up – DVD Set for the Baby Boomer Generation” and another called “Zumba Beginners". There is even a video for sale on the internet that teaches “Chair Zumba” for those who are unable to stand. These videos demonstrate how you can learn Zumba, no matter how old you are, or what physical condition you are in.  Just start out easy, at your own level, and don’t give up.  Soon you will find that you are stronger, have more energy, and will be able to exercise for longer periods of time.  Don’t forget, you can have fun while you exercise. That’s the beauty of Zumba!

     Penny Fuller gives a Zumba demonstration at Diego's on the beach in Mazatlán periodically during the winter. I was glad that Jon and I were at Diego's during one of her Zumba Beach Parties so we could join in. She was up on the stage, encouraging everyone to give the simple Salsa steps a try.She made it look like so much fun that many in the audience kicked off their flip-flops or sandals and started dancing in the sand in their bare feet. This crowd was mostly retirees, a fun-loving bunch who spend much of the winter in Mexico, and they really enjoyed joining Penny's Zumba Beach Party. They just couldn't resist the lively Latin music and Penny's encouragement! This was proof to me that seniors can do Zumba and enjoy it!
     You are never too old to Zumba!  I love to watch the older seniors in Zumba Gold class, moving to the music. Some are barely moving their feet, but they are moving, and they are having fun! That’s exercise -- but they probably don’t even feel like they are exercising.  They are just feeling the music, and their body naturally responds to it. Then, there are those that have attended a few more classes, and I see their hands begin to move to the music, too.  Before long, their hips are swaying a little, and they are dancing!  The best part is when a song ends and I notice them smiling, and even clapping because it was so much fun.  
Statue of Dancer on Mazatlán Malecón
     Give Zumba Gold a try and I know you will see how enjoyable it is! Of course, always consult your physician before trying Zumba. The first time you go to a class, you may feel a little discouraged, if you try to do everything the teacher or other class participants are doing.  Just start slowly, maybe only moving your feet a little to the music during the entire first class.  Then, don’t give up!  Go back again for a second and third class, and each time, you will feel a little more comfortable with the moves, and find you are having more fun.  Soon, you can’t wait to go to Zumba class again! Be careful, it IS addictive!
    I became addicted to Zumba in Mexico. At the end of the winter season, I took my love of Zumba with me back to Ashland, Oregon. Every time I go to Zumba or Zumba Gold class in Oregon, I am reminded of how much I love Mexico and the people there who make music and dance an integral part of their lives. Music, dance, and Zumba are such healthy additions to life!                            
                                                                    COPYRIGHT ©2014 by Terry L Turrell
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