GET ACTIVE: Libraries provide a workout for mind and body

From A to Z – autobiographies to Zumba, yes Zumba – the Dayton Metro Library has it all.

“Fitness is important because it contributes to the overall wellness of our patrons and our community,” said Tanela Hicks, Dayton Metro Library programming manager. “We have a variety of health and wellness programs, a little bit of everything.”

On the fitness front, local branches have hosted a variety of classes including yoga, line dancing and meditation. A recent partnership with Salsa City Studio is bringing a new series of dynamic Zumba classes to the community. From New Lebanon to Miami Township and Trotwood to Kettering, 16 Zumba programs will be held at 12 different branches from April through August, all free of charge.

“The library is more than books,” Hicks said.

Zumba basics

A high-energy dance workout, Zumba is a worldwide fitness trend with classes offered in 200,000 locations in 180 countries.

With upbeat Latin and international music, Zumba blends fun and fitness in a dynamic, effective cardio workout that mixes low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance party.

“It’s great cardio and a lot of fun,” said Liza Harbour, Salsa City Studio owner and instructor. “And there are ways to modify it for just about anybody.”

Two left feet? No problem.

“Some people pick up on the routines more easily than others, but everyone is too busy focusing on themselves and having fun to notice,” Harbour said. “We always say there are no missteps in Zumba, just unplanned solos,” she said, smiling.

Zumba benefits

The fun routines feature interval aerobic training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that help tone and sculpt the body as you dance.

“It’s really a full-body workout,” Harbour said. “It also helps develop hand-eye coordination and provides a natural serotonin boost. We have people who say they weren’t in the mood to come and then were so happy they did.”

Other benefits include improved balance and flexibility not to mention camaraderie. The Zumba community – more than 15 million people and counting – is a welcoming one.

“It’s a fun way to meet new people,” Harbour said. “And having these classes at the library might be a little less daunting for people – being in a place that is familiar and less intimidating.”

Upcoming Zumba Classes - Dayton Metro Library

April 1: Huber Heights Branch

6243 Brandt Pike

When: 6-7 p.m.

April 8: Northmont Branch

700 W. National Road

When: 6-7 p.m.

April 12: Brookville Branch

120 Blue Pride Drive

When: 11 a.m.-noon

April 15: Kettering-Moraine Branch

3496 Far Hills Ave.

When: 6-7 p.m.

April 17: Trotwood Branch

855 E. Main St.

When: 4:30-5:30 p.m.

A signed waiver is required to participate. Copies are available the day of the event. For a complete list of classes, visit

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