The Recreational Musical Masterpiece

photo courtesy of Danielle Shwartz

I have discovered Vassar’s newest musical masterpiece.


So— did I witness a new, extravagant musical in the making? Or, perhaps, a new harmonious acapella group? Well, no. But what I found is arguably just as exciting… 


On Friday, Sept. 10, high-energy music pierced through the Athletics and Fitness Center (AFC). This cheerful music emerged from a boombox, beautifully coalescing with the melodies created by Vassar students’ feet as they stomped and tapped in unison. The first Zumba class of the academic year, held in the multipurpose room of the AFC, was a lively experience filled with music, dancing and blossoming friendships. 


Led by Annabel Azaro ’23, the Zumba class was a judgement-free zone for students to exercise, dance and come together as a community. Azaro guided the students through several different dances, each one to a unique upbeat song. As a result, students with all levels of dancing experience were able to participate in the energetic movements. “Zumba is a fun way to work out while getting to dance at the same time,” Azaro said. She added,“In fact, Zumba is for everybody and every body.”


After the Zumba class concluded and people streamed out of the multipurpose room with smiles on their faces, I heard the following exclamations: “That was so much fun.” 

“I can’t wait for next week.” “Where’s my water bottle?”


Tori Kim ’25 expanded on her positive experience. “I loved the class— it is truly a gem. It made me feel so energized and de-stressed which is exactly what I needed,” she stated. “The energy was amazing. Everyone got so into it and they were non-judgmental, which was something I was worried about in the beginning. I’m so excited to go back this week.”


Recreational fitness classes like Zumba are more than just entertaining. The wall-length mirror in the AFC’s multipurpose room promotes body positivity, and personally it felt extremely empowering to dance in front of a mirror; the mirror made me feel more in tune with myself, and I felt a greater appreciation for my body by seeing a direct reflection of my strength. Azaro herself led the class with positivity, as she constantly shouted uplifting and confidence-boosting messages.


Vassar has a wide selection of free fitness classes for students to choose from. In addition to the Zumba classes, students can also have access to yoga classes, non-contact boxing classes, pilates classes, SOULfusion classes, Taijiquan classes, Judo classes and functional fitness training classes.


The goal of Vassar’s fitness classes is to help students develop healthy lifestyles. All of the classes are taught by certified instructors who guide their group through a workout with ease. 


Students must pre-register for Vassar’s fitness classes and are required to wear a mask when participating in them, regardless of vaccination status. Classes are available Sunday through Friday every week and run until Dec. 17 during the fall semester. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, the fitness classes will likely be able to fit into your schedule; the classes start as early as 7:30 in the morning and end as late as 8:30 in the nighttime. 

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