Zumba with Sheila:

shake and shimmy your stress away 

 
 
 
 Sheila teaches BOTH Belly Dance and Zumba classes. Leilah is her Belly Dance alias. Pick the class you'd like to take, depending on what strikes your fancy!

Sheila teaches BOTH Belly Dance and Zumba classes. Leilah is her Belly Dance alias. Pick the class you'd like to take, depending on what strikes your fancy!

 

Long gone are the days of high school Proms and bar hopping. Now, to get my dance fix and release some good endorphins I resort to shaking my rump while cooking dinner or folding laundry. Aside from the seasonal wedding, I lack the opportunity to feel the music with reckless abandon…until Sheila entered my life.

Googling for a new form of exercise during the frosty Ann Arbor winters, the search engine led me to Zumba with Sheila. I was intrigued, and the affordable price caught my attention. In the era of 22 dollars for an hour to lift-tone-burn, finding a class that doesn’t break the bank was welcomed.

I’ve done Zumba before, with my mom, which I’ve discovered is the typical age demographic expected at a Zumba class. Before you get your panties in a bunch, there is NOTHING wrong with that. If the universe allows it I hope to live on well-passed 30 (you also may like to know I plucked a grey hair from my right eyebrow this morning), but because of this generalization I noticed my friends slightly cringe when I mentioned my after work bump-and-grind work out.

To this reaction, I say two things: 1) The class holds all ages, and the various ages bring some spice to the room that honestly is a refreshing switch from the standard uniformed spandex-wearing youth I’ve been seeing in my other classes, and 2) Sheila’s dances are A BLAST.

I’ll repeat…and absolutely f’ing blast. The music is an eclectic mix of Bollywood, hip-hop, and the classic Latin Zumba style. We shake, shimmy, and roll our abs into shape, and since the room doesn’t have mirrors your fellow dancers could care less if you look as if a spider just fell down your shirt. About two songs in and I really start to get into it.

My worries fade, and I’m reminded of a scene from End of the Tour, when Jason Segel, playing David Foster Wallace, is completely immersed in emotion of a Baptist church gathering. There is something satisfying on a primal level about dance that allows us to step out of our own heads and join the party:

 

The room’s aesthetic adds to the appeal. It’s located on the second floor at the Phoenix Center, which is right in downtown Ann Arbor near the Pretzel Bell restaurant. With the longer days comes more sunlight, which spills into the room and shines on the old wood floors. The glow contributes to the dancing euphoria you are about to enter.

Sheila isn’t the only instructor, Sam also takes over a couple days a week, and does an equally impressive job. Also, Zumba is Sheila’s only specialty. She’s a trained Belly Dancer and offers classes for all levels. I have yet to take one of these, but it’s on my radar when my Zumba Groupon runs out. Speaking of Groupon, I was able to purchase 12 classes for 35 dollars. You can read that again if you want because it’s that unbelievable. That comes out to about 3 dollars per class. On a final note, I highly recommend registering for a class before you go. Word spreads quickly, and I’m surely not the only one bragging about my fun work out.

 

To learn more about the classes offered and her schedule, click here:

Zumba with Sheila

 

 
 All the shaking takes place at the Phoenix Center, located on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Don't let the paper on the windows fool you (not sure what's going on there). To find Sheila's classes walk through the entrance on the left and head to the second floor.

All the shaking takes place at the Phoenix Center, located on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Don't let the paper on the windows fool you (not sure what's going on there). To find Sheila's classes walk through the entrance on the left and head to the second floor.