Eagle Pointe Elementary School Music Teacher Deborah Nelson is offering virtual Zumba Kids classes during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep kids moving while at home.
“With everything changing, I wanted my students to have a little consistency in their lives and have something to look forward to,” said Nelson, who has led afterschool Zumba Kids programs for eight years.
Each year, Nelson offers several five to six-week Zumba Kids sessions for students after school on Fridays.
Zumba Kids is an exercise fitness program combining music, dancing and exercise.
The idea to start Zumba Kids classes at the school came after Nelson incorporated a Zumba dance she learned into one of her music lessons to help students better understand a musical concept she was teaching.
“The kids had a great time doing it and that is when I thought I could turn this into something,” she said.
Students start the Zumba Kids sessions with a warmup by copying what Nelson does, then learn two to three routines and end the class with movement games.
At the end of the session, the students put on a performance for their families to showcase what they learned.
“The goal of the Zumba Kids sessions is largely about giving the students an opportunity to explore moving their bodies in ways that are fun and safe,” Nelson said.
“I want the student to realize you don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to look a certain way to have fun and be active,” she said.
Nelson and her students had just started a new session when schools closed, she said. Until the pandemic, Zumba did not allow online classes, she added. Once they changed their policies, Nelson resumed the session virtually over ZOOM.
The virtual session was such a bit hit, Nelson decided to offer more sessions while the schools are closed, she said.
“The nice thing about being remote, is the students were able to have other family members watch their performance that may not have been able to come to the performances at Eagle Pointe,” she added.
Zumba sessions will be held virtually every Friday in May beginning May 8, 2020.