Jour 220 Final Project
After a lot of hard work and planning, the International Student Center at Liberty University was able to have it’s first Zumba Fitness club meeting at the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center dance studio on March 23, 2017.
According to the founder, Estefania Whitesell, who works at the International Student Center as an operations assistant and health insurance representative, the Zumba Fitness club is the only Latin-based fitness club on the Liberty University campus, so far.
The idea to start this club began during the fall semester of 2016 at the Latin American open house, where Whitesell and two other international students, Brenda Barboza from Venezuela and Miguel Montoya from Honduras, performed a small Zumba demonstration. Students from all around campus who attended the event showed a lot of interest in the Zumba demonstration, not hesitating to join their fellow students in dancing to the the simple, yet mesmerizing choreographies.
During the Taste of Nations, an annual event hosted by the International Student Center, Barboza and Montoya performed, once again, their Zumba routine. At that moment, it became evident to Whitefield that a Zumba Fitness Club would be a huge hit among both the international and American students on campus.
“It was definitely not easy starting the club”, said Brenda Barboza, when asked about the process that they had to go through to get approval from the Student Government Association in order to officially start the Zumba Fitness club. “The SGA did not immediately approve our request, since dancing is supposedly banned on campus, however, once we changed the club’s name from Zumba Dance to Zumba Fitness, our request was finally approved”. It took a lot of hard work from Whitefield, Barboza, and Enrique Caycedo a student from Colombia, and another key member of the club, to finally get the approval to officially start the club.
When asked what she thought about the Zumba Fitness club, Martha Miranda, a Liberty student from Peru, said “ My favorite part about the club is that we are a community. We are just friends who get together and dance, exercise, and have fun, while allowing other students to experience our culture.” The environment at the Zumba Fitness club is very amiable and friendly. It is very easy to see that the students and faculty members are very enthusiastic and passionate, but they are clearly not afraid to laugh and simply have a good time with their friends.
Now, around 30 students, and even some faculty members meet once a week on Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center’s dance studio. The purpose of the club is to provide an enjoyable environment where the students can exercise, socialize, and learn more about Latino traditional dances. Whitefield, who is a type B-2 Zumba instructor teaches the Zumba classes. Barboza and Cayacedo are hoping to get certified as type B-1 Zumba instructors over the summer.
Eventually, the Zumba Fitness club hopes to partner with the LaHaye Fitness and Recreation Center, and even with other churches in the Lynchburg community to do Zumbathons and events in order to be able to raise funds for mission trips, churches, and other charity events.
The Zumba Club will remain active during the summer, providing the students who stay on campus an opportunity to exercise and meet up with their fellow classmates. It will also continue all throughout the Fall 2017 semester where it will hopefully continue to grow and accomplish great things.