A new after-school program at Morehouse Junior High has students dancing to Latin American dance music, and it is great exercise too.
Zumba, an aerobic fitness program with moves inspired by different styles of Latin American dance, has begun at MJH.
MJH Site Coordinator Sheila Davenport said the program began in January and the students are really enjoying it.
"Students participating in the 21st Century After-School Tutoring Program are involved in Zumba and nutrition classes, in addition to learning experiences that are tied to a regular school day," she said. "Zumba is a popular aerobic fitness program that combines dance and exercise. It requires reactivity and dynamic motion, and students have to follow the teacher's instructions and move in all different directions."
Zumba Coach and Fitness Instructor at INFIT Gym Cesar Camacho said Zumba helped change his life.
"I was once overweight and unhealthy, and Zumba helped me to get healthy," he said. "It's not about working out, it's about moving."
Davenport said there are approximately 70 students enrolled in Zumba at MJH.
Child Nutrition Supervisor April Temple said nutrition is important and presents healthy eating lessons.
Temple provides demonstrations on preparing healthy foods and provides healthy samples of foods for the children to eat after Zumba class.
Davenport said the program helps to educate the children on healthy choices, while getting them to move and have fun during Zumba.
"The nutrition class is designed to promote healthy living and was inspired by recent health studies which indicate an alarming increase in obesity and overweight children," she said.