Dancing has a way of bringing people together. This is especially true in Zumba class at Paul’s Run, led by the community’s Resident Wellness Program Coordinator, Kate Pinker. Kate has worked at Paul’s Run for four years, and enjoys uplifting residents’ overall well-being through exercise. “I have a degree in Exercise Science and have a certification in Zumba Gold, which is a version of Zumba that’s modified for older adults to practice it safely,” Kate explains.
Zumba is a fitness program that pairs music and dance moves for an engaging cardio workout. “Zumba really gets your heart rate going while working every muscle in your body. And it’s dancing, so you don’t really feel like you’re exercising,” Kate reflects. Kate offers Zumba class to residents once each week and classes are always well-attended. “The classes are full every time,” she says.
Kate begins her Zumba program with a warm-up song that prepares residents’ muscles and joints for their upcoming exercise. “After the warm up, I have about five different songs with dance routines that I’ve memorized beforehand. I will demonstrate the movements and cue the residents as we go so that they can see me and follow along and understand what moves are coming next,” Kate notes.
As Kate engages residents in an active aerobic workout, she helps them maintain more than just their physical health.
Zumba clearly benefits residents physical well-being, but it’s also fun. Especially after the challenges during the pandemic, being able to come together and not only be in the same room, but dancing together and laughing, it’s really great.Resident Wellness Program Coordinator, Kate Pinker
“I see the big smiles on residents’ faces and I can tell they’re enjoying themselves,” Kate reflects.
Resident, Adele, certainly enjoys attending Kate’s program each week. “I like Kate very much and I participate in all of her exercise classes. I like to be active, and Zumba helps me do that. What I especially enjoy about Zumba is being with other residents and participating with other people,” Adele affirms.
Kate agrees. “Residents come to Zumba and do something fun with their neighbors who they may have never met otherwise. It’s exciting when a resident attends class for the first time and loves it so much that they tell a friend. And then that friend will show up next time and new people continue to attend. I guess dancing really brings you together,” Kate says smiling.