Dance your way into shape at Body ‘n’ Soul in Bosque Farms
“Ditch the workout, join the party!”
That’s the fitting slogan for Zumba, the new sensation sweeping the nation, and the cornerstone of Body ‘n’ Soul Wellness Center in Bosque Farms.
Renee Mollineda says it was her daughter, Jacqueline Davison, that inspired her to begin doing Zumba, and open the center in January 2010.
Mollineda said her daughter, who will be 16-years old this month and is planning to become a certified instructor, became an avid Zumba-goer a few years ago and would beg her to take her to Zumba classes.
Eventually, Mollineda said, she thought, “Lets just do it ourselves.”
So without ever having taken a Zumba class herself, she registered for the next available Zumba instructor training course and got herself certified to teach.
“When I started, I was like, ‘What the heck was I thinking?’” said Mollineda.
She said when she began Zumbaing she had had knee surgery and considered herself overweight, making leading the vigorous class a challenge.
“I used to cry at night. I was so sore after each class, but now I feel fantastic,” said Mollineda. “It’s such an inspiration to see myself transition.”
Mollineda teaches a one-hour Zumba class twice a day, five days a week and has dropped 25 pounds all together. The center provides a free health analysis that helps patrons trace their body mass index and body fat percentage. It also offers a family friendly environment with a special kid’s room where mothers can bring their little ones to hang out and play while they are in class.
There is also a relaxation room, with WiFi, where participants can hang out after a class.
“We’re like a family here. We all love each other, never any negative stuff,” said Naomi Glaser-Chory, a regular class participant and longtime friend of Mollineda, who says because of the center’s Zumba classes, she is able to walk and breathe better.
The classes are $3 a pop, or $1 for people under 13 and over 65. Punch cards are also available at $25 for 10 classes, with a 30 day expiration, or $50 for 20 with a 60 day expiration.
It is also not unheard of to barter your way in. Mollineda says one lady trades handmade jewelry for classes while others clean or help out in other ways.
The center also holds a class called La Vida for handicapped individuals. Through October, the center will be running a special: bring a paying friend and receive a free class.
Mollineda’s main objective is to make Zumba accessible to everyone and share the gift that helped transform her life as well as her daughter’s and many others who come to her class.
“I lost 12 1/2 pounds in 4 1/2 months,” said Christina Moya, a regular face in class. “I was loosing like three pounds every week.”
She said her cholesterol also went down.
Another testimony came from Zumba-goer Melanie Valdez, who said she has lost 25 pounds since April.
Mollineda said she also has a 77-year-old lady who comes to class and that Zumba is suitable for all shapes, ages and sizes.
Classes are seven days a week, twice on Fridays, once on Saturdays and Sundays, and at 9:15 a.m., 5:15 p.m., 6:20 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Besides Mollineda, there are four other instructors, Lauren Shulz, Lisa King, Michelle LaPorte and Bridgette Guasp.
This local Zumba-joint is hard to miss. Any new patron merely has to follow their ears and the sound of Latin dance music that you can’t help but want to shake your booty too.
Younger or older, bigger or smaller, it brings out the JLo in everyone.
The Body ‘n’ Soul Wellness Center is located at 2195 Bosque Farms Blvd. For information, call Renee at 505-480-6598.
Contact Ungelbah Daniel-Davila