Zumba instructor makes fitness fun

Jan. 18, 2014 @ 01:51 PM

An aerobics instructor from Colombia created the concept of combining dance and aerobics –known as Zumba -- and so goes the story that all across the nation, people are using dance to lose weight. Zumba instructor Michelle Pendergraft of Orange County knows how to dance and knows how to encourage her students to groove and sweat. “I live my life with purpose -- I love dancing, moving and losing myself in the music. I wanted to share and pass on the way I felt after every Zumba class,” Pendergraft said.
She says this with a breath of energy and enthusiasm that is obviously rhythmically inspired. “I became an instructor as I knew that I wanted every Zumba class to be a place to come where one finds love, positivity, uplifting-antics, encouragement, smiles, laughter and of course whooping and hollering are all part of each Zumba Party. My class is a time to turn off the world; whatever you brought in with you and to just get lost in an hour of fitness music fun!” Pendergraft said.
For Pendergraft, the aerobic exercise is only part of the reason why people come to her classes. “It is awesome to be surrounded by people that aren’t afraid of inhibitions and allow themselves the ability to laugh, even if they cannot dance,” she said.
According to Pendergraft, her classes are about progress and not perfection. “If someone stumbles or is out of rhythm, it just becomes part of the move.”
For Pendergraft, the mission to inspire and be inspired is her own personal philosophy to be surrounded by people that make you happy and inspiration for life becomes part of why people attend her class. “It’s hard enough to commit to fitness, but when someone else is encouraging you and the fitness is fun and full of laughter, it makes coming to a class all the more rewarding,” Pendergraft said. “I will push you-because I believe in you and genuinely care about each and every person in my classes. Each day is a celebration of life and I am thankful for the opportunity to express the emotions of life during our Zumba fitness time together,” she said. The idea that aerobics and fitness can be rewarding physically and mentally are what gives Pendergraft the motivation to spend two-nights each week, teaching and helping others find rhythm. Currently, her classes are offered at Pleasant Green United Methodist Church on Pleasant Green Road and at the Efland Ruritan building in Efland. For information regarding classes and specifics, Pendergraft can be reached on face book or through her website www.michellependergraftzumba.com.

Jason Hawkins is searching for a special Valentine Story for Valentine’s Day. If you know of a unique or special story of love, please email him at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.