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Exercise class dances its way to DLCCC

There are many health benefits to working out, both physically and mentally, but for many people, the difficulty of maintaining a regular exercise regimen is that it lacks one important element: Fun.

What if there was a workout that maintained all of the above-mentioned health benefits, while adding that important missing element? Enter Zumba, the latest exercise craze to dance its way into fitness centers across America.

Now offered once a week at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center, this fusion of exciting Latin rhythms with easy-to-follow dance moves combines elements of toning, sculpting, fat burning and cardio fitness into a single workout routine.

"It doesn't even feel like a workout -- it feels like you're at a party!" promises certified Zumba instructor Daniela Ferrio, a lifetime dance enthusiast who relocated from Brazil to Fargo several years ago.

"I took ballet tap, modern, jazz, Latin... a little bit of everything," said Ferrio, describing her past dance experience.

But when she moved to Fargo 3½ years ago, Ferrio was unable to find a dance class that would fit into her work schedule at Pepsi Cola -- until she saw an ad for a Zumba class that was starting at Inspire Dance Studio.

After a few short sessions, Ferrio was hooked -- in fact, she was so enthusiastic that she decided to get certified as a Zumba instructor.

"I wanted more people to know about Zumba," she said. "This is something I'm really passionate about. It's fun, it's fulfilling, and it's good for me and everyone else."

Ferrio currently teaches Zumba three times a week at Club Soleil in Fargo, as well as an occasional class at Inspire. Two weeks ago, on May 30, she held her first dance class at the DLCCC.

"My first class had 23 people," Ferrio said, noting that before class, she overheard students talking about how worried they were that they would get the steps wrong.

"There are two rules in Zumba," she told her students. "Have fun... and there is no right or wrong.

"We're just here to have fun, and to party!"

The students took their lesson to heart, and by the time the first song was over, Ferrio noticed they were "glowing and happy."

"It's an unbelievable experience," she said. "You can't screw up -- it's all about having fun!"

Kesley Myhre, media coordinator at the DLCCC -- and a class participant -- said she's already gotten e-mails asking if more classes will be added in future.

"The buzz is really out there --  people are excited!" she added.

But for now, Zumba is currently being offered just once a week at the DLCCC, on Saturdays from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. For more information on how to sign up, call the DLCCC at 218-844-4221 or visit the Web site,

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454