Party people

Amy Mesner-Burdock

Photo By Dana Nöllsch

Heard of Zumba? It’s the latest fitness craze sweeping the nation—not to be too clichéd. It’s based on Latin dance, with an eye toward aerobic exercise. Instructor Amy Mesner-Burdock is participating in a Zumba party at South Reno Athletic Club on May 1 from 2-5 p.m. with a rotating team of instructors. Cost is $15, $20 at the door. Check out for more information.

Tell me about Zumba.

Zumba is a Latin dance, aerobic fitness program. So you’ll see Zumba at various gyms around town. We have a cardio workout that’s full of Latin dance moves and fitness moves. It’s a lot of fun. It’s like a party.

When did you start doing Zumba and when did you start instructing?

I did Zumba over a year ago, and I fell in love with this group fitness program because I love Latin moves. So from that initiation of taking a class, I thought, ‘I have got to instruct.’ I’ve been instructing for about six months now.

What was your preferred method of aerobics before?

Well, you know, I loved the step. But I’m a petite person, so if I miss a step on that step, it’s kind of tricky. Have you ever done steps?

No, I’ve never done step aerobics. What kind of person did you say you are? Petite, maybe?

Yeah, petite. I’m not quite 5 foot tall.

OK, I get it, if you miss a step, you could hurt yourself.

Oh yeah, because the step—you have to step up on this thing, and there are certain counts you have to be on. But Zumba is so much more fun because you don’t have to worry about the step and falling off, and you know, it’s like a party. It’s like a good party.

And you have a literal party coming up.

Yes, we do. We have Zumba Party 2010 coming up this Saturday.

What’s it entail? Is there liquor or is it just a Zumba class?

Good question, good question. It entails a fitness party for three hours. What we’ve done is combined our efforts and collaborated with certain sponsors in Reno. So not only will we be dancing and doing fitness, but there will be prizes and giveaways.

Are you going to instruct?

Indeed. There are seven different instructors, and we’ve choreographed routines to our own songs. We’re just going to introduce Zumba to the masses again in Reno.

I’ve seen you at SportsWest.

I’m on the sub list over there. They’re trying to decide if they want to put in a new class. Right now, I sub there, but hopefully, soon I’ll have my own class over there. We’ll see.

What else can you tell me about Zumba?

I just want to encourage people to do it once in their lifetime. There’s many of us who have a first-time free class—I know I have that. Some people might sit back and say, “I don’t know how to dance, I don’t really like to dance, I don’t know if I want to do this. But those people who like to move and even meet new friends, and meet new people—it’s such a blend of adventure and dancing. It’s not only Latin and dance, but there’s Bollywood movements now, there’s hip-hop. There are 70,000 instructors throughout the world, and it’s in 80 different countries.

Do you also have a class at the Studio?

I do. It’s or if you want to go the studio, it’s right above the Spy Shop on Virginia Street. I also instruct in Sparks, at a place called IM=X Pilates, that’s Tuesday mornings at 10 o’clock.