The Ann Arbor Sampler – ZUMBA at Arbor Fit Club

I’ve been away from Ann Arbor for a while and it’s about time to get back to sampling the city!  I’ve been a member of Arbor Fit Club almost the entire time I’ve lived here, since I moved in 2009.  It’s close to home at 2723 Oak Valley Drive, convenient, near Target, and generally a nice place.  Over time, some of the equipment has aged and could probably use an update- as with some of the locker room areas (is it just me, or are there now about three lockers that function/aren’t locked?)  It feels nice, modern, and comfortable, mostly.  I would call it pricey, but I guess that’s just normal for the area.  My husband and I pay around $70 a month for the couple’s membership.  I can feel the rest of the nation gasping.  Again, this is about convenience.  But this post isn’t about the club itself.  This is about the Zumba class I attended today, hosted by the lovely Erin.

During my tenure at Arbor Fit, I’ve always desired to be a part of the “class culture”- which I believe most people need to keep their workouts interesting, engaging, and fun.  Each month, I pick up a new schedule and plan to work it into my routine.  I’ve found I had a really hard time committing to some of the classes for various reasons, including the time of the class, the intimidation factor, and the likability of the instructors.  I’m not about to call anyone out, but I would like to address that for many of the classes, if you’re not a “regular” you get a bit of the stink eye.  Also, be ready to lie, cheat, steal, and kill for a spot in some of these classes, including Spinning, where you have to drag your own bike across the floor and set it up yourself.  Can you see how an intimidated newbie might be discouraged?

Anyways, that leads me to today’s class.  I tried Zumba at Arbor Fit a handful of times before.  A few times at the former Saturday morning class, with an instructor who seemed just as hungover as me, she looked almost pained to be there.  Then I tried Thursday with Erin.  The difference between the two was night and day.  I could immediately see Erin’s Thursday Zumba at 6:30 was heads and tails above my previous experience with what’s-her-name.  I should probably also mention, she kicked my butt, and has the energy of someone who didn’t just have a baby.  (She did though!)  I left feeling energized but still unable to commit to Thursdays for scheduling reasons.

Recently, I saw that Erin took over the Saturday morning class (thank goodness!)  I returned this morning, post-back injury, post-months of illness, and looking for an uplift.  She delivered, as did the members of the class.  I recognized most of the ladies as the same women who worked out in the Thursday class I sampled before.  All different shapes, sizes, and ages, they were welcoming, enthusiastic, and all had their own groove.  I felt like a part of the class.  Erin welcomed us and gifted myself and a few other joiners with Zumba bracelets.  “Live to Love – Zumba,” how could you not get excited?  Also, many of the members were pumped that Erin was helping them order Zumba inspired workout gear, featuring really cute, bright, feminine wear to jazz up your dancing.  I realized in that moment that Erin had not only breathed fresh life into Saturday morning Zumba, but she also had created a Zumba culture, the culture many of my friends living in New York have become obsessed with.  I loved it.

The best part about the class, besides just having a great time and feeling the music, was that Erin reminded us all to keep moving, even if we got lost.  She promised never to call us out, (which literally, has happened to me twice at other Arbor Fit classes- NOT cool,) and performed the entire class with incredible energy and a smile on her face.  Adding to my list of girl crushes?  Perhaps.

+ If you are looking for a clean, nice gym to join, give Arbor Fit a shot.  If you want to sample a class that will make you sweat, smile, and feel like a part of the party, join Erin for Zumba, Thursdays at 6:30PM, and Saturdays at 11:15.

If you are looking for other classes to try, make sure you arrive EARLY, especially for the Spinning or Body Pump classes.  Be ready to fight for a spot.  There is a sign up at the front desk, I think about 20 spaces available.  Ready, go!

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