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HEALTHY LIVING: Zumba on the Meriden Green

HEALTHY LIVING: Zumba on the Meriden Green

MERIDEN — I recently participated in my first ever Zumba class, held on the Meriden Green.

Jaime Fisher is a Zumba teacher from Meriden who partnered with Parks and Recreation to host Zumba classes for the community.

“I’ve been thinking about doing fitness classes in the community for years” said Fisher.

Fisher contacted Katharine Matula, recreation coordinator, to plan these events.

“We’ve redone this park and it’s beautiful,” Fisher said. “It feels like a resource that should be used.”

Zumba is all about letting loose. As the instructor, Fisher gave the class cues as we mirrored her movements. She pointed right, left, up, and back to direct us where to step. Each movement built upon the next and every song had its own choreography.

“It’s not about getting every step right, it’s about enjoying the music and having fun,” Fisher said, referring to beginners like me.

“Let go of perfection,” she added.

When I forgot a step, it was easy to jump back in.

Fisher said that coming to Zumba with a family member or friend will help you relax and enjoy the class, especially if you’re new.

Comfortable clothing and footwear are essential. Fisher also recommends that attendees bring a water bottle and a towel for perspiration.

“It’s a steady cardio workout” said Fisher.

Fisher said that Zumba is ideal for people who don’t like to get on the treadmill or elliptical. The constant movement gets and keeps the heart rate up. Cardiovascular exercise is an important tool for weight loss and maintaining health.

Working out in a group is another health benefit. Zumba builds camaraderie with attendees.

Jessy Hart of Meriden also attended the class.

“I found it on the Meriden forum. It was my first-time doing Zumba” Hart said after the class.

Over the course of 45 minutes we sequenced through a number of routines that incorporated movements from classic dances, such as salsa and merengue.

During the first few seconds of each a song Fisher broke down the movements. She held up her fingers to show the class how many steps to take in each direction. As the songs progressed, so did the dance.

The cool down portion of the class was stretching, combined with choreography. Every basic stretch became a Zumba move.

Fisher said that she plans to make Zumba on the Meriden Green a regular weekly event. Children are welcome to join.

For more information about fitness classes on the Meriden Green visit:

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris–