Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

    Get into the Zumba Spirit

    Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness class. The Zumba phenomenon is sweeping the nation, taking dance-enthusiasts everywhere by storm. Valerie Boggis of Bergen Zumba is all about the party. She was happy to talk to me about Zumba and “moving the world to a new beat.”

    Valerie is the perfect Zumba instructor: full of energy and motivating thoughts. During any track, she will sing with the song and declare her favorite part a hundred times over. Even as a child, Valerie had a love of dance.

    One of her earliest memories of loving dance happened when she was four years old. Upon hearing some loud music coming from a Sweet Sixteen next door to an event she was currently attending, Valerie left to start dancing at the party for teenagers. She says, “A few songs later my parents realized I was missing and found me tearing up the dance floor!” Her bubbly personality truly adds to the Zumba experience.

    Valerie was “introduced to the fitness world” when she came home from college one summer. Her sister took her to an aerobics class where she was inspired by the group ethic. Zumba embodies what group fitness is about, it’s exercise in a group setting so that the energy from your neighbors rubs off on you, keeping the motivation at a high. The dancing, the music, and the people are contagious, making you smile like crazy.

    Zumba is an excellent way to get the results you want from exercising. Valerie says, “The reason so many people can safely and successfully achieve their fitness goals with Zumba is that they stick to it!”

    Everything about Zumba is designed to make you happy. Any age or fitness level can do it.

    “Ditch the workout, join the party” is what this fun fitness class is all about. While you’re having a great time, you are simultaneously sculpting your body and working out. Valerie says it is “exercise in disguise” because the cardio-based dancing is lively and fun.

    The Zumba choreography varies depending on the song. Each routine is upbeat and easy-to-follow because each track has around four repeated dance moves. Bergen Zumba is made up of a diverse playlist of Latin songs and radio music that changes every several weeks.

    Valerie choreographs the radio tunes herself by “thinking about what movement would fit each part of the song.” The Latin numbers all have special rhythms that are pooled into subcategories. Merengue is Valerie’s favorite, but others include calypso, salsa, reggaeton, samba, cumbia, and flamenco.

    Sharon Gifford, one of the class participants, beams, “I look forward to every Zumba class with Valerie so much and it’s all due to her infectious energy, enthusiasm, and passion. Every class is filled with great Latin music that gets you dancing and shaking your hips. You can’t help but to get carried away! I smile through the whole hour. I love Zumba – it is the most addictive workout ever.”

    Valerie Boggis teaches Zumba on Mondays and Wednesdays in Park Ridge. Check out for more information about time and location.

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