By Amy Woolvett
THE COAST GUARD
Youth in the Shelburne area are shimmying and shaking to the beat in what has become a hit for zumba lessons.
One of Debbie Ryan’s Zumba for kids classes. Contributed photo
The youth focused lessons started off slow when they first began a year ago but once word spread, have now become wildly successful.
“The lessons are packed,” said zumba instructor Debbie Burton. “The kids just love it.”
Parents are loving it to when they get to witness first hand all the moves they can learn in just one lesson, said Burton.
Burton took her own first lesson a little over two years ago while taking fitness classes.
“I immediately fell in love,” she said. “I love to dance and it was right up my ally.”
But the zumba instructor from outside the county was unable to continue teaching in the area and Burton disappointed decided to get her instructors course herself.
Burton’s seemingly endless energy makes her a great leader for zumba classes and her background as an early childhood educator combined her two loves of teaching children and zumba.
The Little Starz group that is designed for children grades primary to three attend a 45-minute class once a week.
“We learn moves that the kids perform for their parents at the end of each class,” said Burton. “Parents can’t believe how much their children learn in 45-minutes.”
The Big Starz group is for children from grades four to six and will work towards creating their own dance with their own style of music to perform at the end of six weeks.
Burton takes the youth all around the world in styles of dance from the Merengue, flamenco, hip-hop and calypso.
One favourite for the younger set is belly dancing.
She said that one of the reasons the classes are so successful is that the kids have a whole lot of fun doing zumba.
“With kids obesity rates rising, finding something that they enjoy while getting fit is really important,” said Burton.
Burton is the only one teaching a zumba kids class in the area and as it grows in popularity she is adding classes to the Shelburne Regional High School Community Use programming.
Classes are $30 for six weeks and the next opening for Big Starz is the March 22 sessions.
Burton’s classes for Little Starz are booked up until spring but she is now taking students for May 3.
The love of zumba is spreading to children’s birthday party’s which Burton said is a great success and a fun, energetic party idea.
Burton also offers zumba fitness classes for adults and plans to expand to zumba for seniors and a zumba class for teens sometime in the New Year.
Call the community use coordinator Lisa Landry for more information or to register for zumba classes at 902-875-2831