Exercise or party with your friends? Desree Bennett says, why not both?
For someone who is natural people-person, Desree looked for a fun and social way to get in shape after she gained 60 pounds with her first baby. She tried a group fitness class and loved it — so much, in fact, that she became a group fitness instructor herself.
Six babies and 19 years later, Desree’s still at it (and she’s “still got it”). She looks amazing and has really found her groove with Zumba®.
Zumba was created in 2001 and Desree became a licensed Zumba instructor in 2008. She’s proof that it wasn’t a passing craze: just look at the huge flock of women — and some dudes — that shimmy their way into her classes every week. (We’ve seen the Facebook posts… these people are pumped!)
For those who haven’t tried Zumba, it’s a high-energy interval cardio workout with a sassy international twist — it incorporates music and dance moves from salsa, merengue, flamenco, tango, African dances and more.
“I realized I wanted everyone to feel so amazing, like I felt in that first Zumba class I took,” Desree says. “You feel beautiful. It doesn’t feel hard. It doesn’t feel like you’re getting run over by a truck for your workout.”
Meanwhile, people are dancing the pounds away. “I’ve seen so many ladies and men shed pound after pound, just because they want to dance,” she says. Some of her students have lost 50, 60, even 80 pounds doing Zumba.
Ultimately, Desree wants people to see that they can be healthy their whole lives — even if they have babies, or have to give up exercise for a while. They can always come back.
The vibe in Zumba is forgiving, supportive and fun. Desree says that creates a different emotional attachment to the class than what she’s seen in traditional fitness classes. “You get your therapy and it feels really good,” she says. “The people that come to take the class, they just wanna have fun!”
Have you found your #ideal workout? Is there something you could be sharing with others? Check out Desree’s video for inspiration.
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By Chelsea Ratcliff