You will definitely notice a difference in your Dacula friends and neighbors that are on their way to a class with local fitness instructor Isel Simpson. They are not dragging their feet, they are not dreading their workout. In fact, oddly enough, they are ramped up and ready for fun. Simpson’s Zumba classes have developed quite a large following of students that have discovered a way to incorporate fitness and health into something fun.
“When people try out the class they just have a great time,” Simpson explained. “The smiles on their faces tell me they are having fun. I think the music keeps them going and motivated. After you try the class one time, you are hooked. It is a lot of fun, there is a lot of energy, and it is a great workout as well. You are having so much fun that you do not even notice that you are working out, you are just having a great time.”
With Zumba you are dancing and moving around so obviously it is a great cardio workout, but this class also brings a lot more to your workout than you would think.
“I try to incorporate a lot of different exercises and workout every body part along with the dance routines,” Simpson said. “When we are dancing we workout our arms by flexing, we do a lot with our abs by crunching while we move, and we work on our legs and buttocks by adding squats. For me, helping people have fun while they are working out is the biggest thrill.”
People of any age and any gender can participate in Simpson’s Zumba classes. “I even had a 91-year-old man come to my class once,” Simpson said.
She is also dedicated to teaching children the importance of fitness and helping tackle childhood obesity. Simpson welcomes all children 10 and up to participate in her Zumba classes.
“I will be offering summer programs for children,” Simpson said. “I will be doing three day camps that will incorporate Zumba, cheerleading and hip hop at my studio this summer. Bringing fitness and fun to Dacula is what it is all about.”
Simpson says that her biggest challenge is that many people do not try Zumba because they think that they cannot dance, or say that they do not have any rhythm.
“People see just by coming and trying it out, that if you can move, you can do this,” Simpson said. “I always tell people if you get lost with the steps or do not like a step, just keep moving your feet and your hips, and you are good. The music will get you going because it has a lot of Caribbean drums and beats and that will just get your whole body going. Once you try it you get hooked.”
Dance is Simpson's passion and it has been a part of her life even as a small child. She is also dedicated to staying fit. When she discovered Zumba and the way that dance and fitness can be combined into one, it was a perfect match.
“I started teaching fitness classes after I tried a class called groove,” Simpson explained. “It was a cardio hip hop class. I absolutely loved it, and ended up getting certified to teach the class. Then when the Zumba class was brought to Gold’s Gym, I took that class, and absolutely fell in love with it. It was totally me. I have a Latin background, and I was brought up dancing the types of dances that Zumba incorporates which are meringue, salsa, reggaeton, and cumbia. These were all dances that I just did growing up at home. I got certified about three years ago and started teaching Zumba classes immediately.”
Simpson teaches approximately 20 classes per week at difference places in and around the Dacula area. She teaches classes from her studio in her home in Dacula off from Auburn road. She offers two nights a week on Tuesdays at 6:45 p.m. and Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. In the mornings, she has classes on Thursdays at 9:40 a.m., Fridays at 11:40 a.m., and Saturdays at 9:15 a.m. She also teaches three Zumba classes at Gold’s Gym in Hamilton Mill on Mondays at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. In addition, she teaches at Anytime Fitness at their three locations in Auburn, Dacula, and Hamilton Mill.
“Anyone who wants to try it out is welcome,” Simpson said. “You do not have to be a member at any of the facilities where I teach. It is a two-hour fun party. You do not have to dance the whole time, but if you want to you certainly can.”
Simpson says that Zumba is a great exercise program that incorporates fitness and health into something fun that people will want to stick with.
“This is my way of offering a fun health and fitness opportunity to the community of Dacula,” Simpson said. “People have to try something and find something that they really enjoy as an exercise program so they can stick with it. If you are going to start something that you really do not enjoy, you are not going to stick to it. With Zumba, once you try it and enjoy it, the majority of people I teach stick with the exercise program because it is just fun.”
For more information on Simpson and her Zumba home studio classes you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-490-6451. Click here for class schedules at Gold’s Gym and click here for Anytime Fitness. To register for the Zumba party on March 31, please click here.
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