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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Teachers take on Zumba

Colby Wendle
Move to the Music. Librarian Tanya Lucas stretches out her arm while dancing to the music. This dance fitness event took place in the field house after school Nov. 9.

Owner of The Groove Fitness Studio, Jen Burgmeier, taught an after-school Zumba class on Thursday Nov. 9 for teachers and staff. Zumba is a type of dance fitness class that incorporates several types of foreign music, as well as American music. The event was organized by the Wellness Squad.

“It helps you get in shape. It helps you stay fit, but it doesn’t feel like you’re working out because you’re just dancing. You’re just doing something you enjoy,” Burgmier said.  

Guidance counselor Tiffany Johannides agrees; that’s why she organized a class for the faculty. 

“I’m on the Wellness Committee, and the purpose of that is to promote wellness amongst the faculty to do things to keep them healthy, emotionally and physically. I go to the Groove Fitness center every day. It’s fun, and you don’t even realize you’re working out because of how fun and energetic it is. It boosts your mood and is a positive thing to do,” Johannides said. 

The Groove fitness studio is in Juniata, off of East 25 Ave. This studio offers many different types of classes as well as Zumba. Originally, before she owned her own studio, Burgmeier only taught classes. 

“I didn’t set out to own a business, it was originally BrickHouse Cardio. The owner told me that they were going to go out of business which left me with nowhere to teach my classes. I decided to approach the landlord of the plaza and see if I could take over that lease. My main focus was that I wanted a place where people could come and work out and feel comfortable and not worry about what they were wearing or if they knew all the steps. I wanted to just create a welcoming space where people could do something good for themselves,” Burgmier said. “It turns out that is something that a lot of people were looking for, it really caught on and we’ve just grown. That was nine years ago, and we have expanded twice in that period of time. It’s just a great place to come and work out. We don’t just do Zumba. We don’t just do dance classes. There’s lots of other fitness style classes too.” 

Burgmeier believes that everyone needs some type of exercise in their lives, especially one that they enjoy. If it’s enjoyable, then hopefully they will stay consistent with it. 

“I hope people feel good about themselves, they gain a little bit of confidence and they have a little bit of fun, ” Burgmeier said. 

Johannides believes the class went well. Teachers were enthusiastic about continuing with classes in the future and Johannides plans to organize more opportunities each month. 

“I loved it. It was energizing. It was a great stress relief. I kind of wish it was more than just once a month, but I’m glad that we’re doing it,” teacher Karen Oswald said.

“I absolutely loved it. I plan on going to every single one that they have scheduled. It was a great workout, but at the same time it was very exhilarating,” teacher Kelly Sipes said.

“It was a lot of fun after school to relieve stress and tension. I’m much more used to going to the gym and lifting weights so this was definitely out of my comfort zone,” librarian Tanya Lucas said. “I enjoyed it and had fun.”

“It went very well. The turnout was good, people seemed to really like it. Teachers asked for more, so that’s how you know that they are engaged and enjoying something if they want to do it again. We are going to try to do it once a month,” Johannides said. 

This dance fitness event brought together teachers and helped the Wellness Squad encourage fellow teachers.

“It’s so much fun to do that with other faculty members. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of people within the district in the high school. It was a chance to connect with people that also care about fitness and like to do things like this,” Sipes said.

The next class will take place Dec. 7 from 3-4 at the high school bridge.  Junior high teachers are also invited to participate.


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About the Contributor
Olivia McMinn
Olivia McMinn, Reporter
My name is Olivia McMinn, and I'm a senior here at AAHS. This is my second year writing for the Mountain Echo; however, this year I am also the editor in chief of the Horseshoe yearbook. I am excited for both opportunities this year because I enjoy writing, working on new ideas and helping others. Outside my academic life, I am also a member of the track and tennis teams. In my free time, when I'm not playing tennis, you can find me with my dog, a good book and a large cup of coffee.

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