Students lined up in the Student Recreation Center gymnasium as the fitness department at Campus Rec held its first annual Zumba Glow event on Tuesday night.
Zumba instructors Sedara Peacock, a sophomore dance major, and Samantha Sayah, a junior musical theater major, led the dances with assistance from Brittany Tierney, a senior exercise science major.
Zumba Glow came about after seeing the success of Yoga Glow, a glow-in-the- dark event held at the Rec Center. “We wanted a big event, and we had a lot of people suggest it. Yoga Glow has become really popular over the years,” said Peacock.
Tierney, who has been an instructor at the Rec Center for the past three years, described Zumba Glow as, “a glow-in-the-dark Zumba fitness party.”
“There’s a mix of older and newer dances,” Peacock said regarding the dances she and the other instructors have taught in their weekly Zumba classes, which would be featured later that night.
“I never realized how much I’d love teaching,” Sayah said. This is Peacock and Sayah’s first year teaching Zumba on campus and they’ve loved interacting with the people who attend their classes.
Due to the larger space of the event, the instructors stood on an elevated platform so students were able to see all the steps clearly. The addition of two instructors gave the dances an entertaining party atmosphere compared to attending a regular class.
“I liked how they were up higher, so it was easier for everyone to see,” said Nataly Brown, a junior business finance major who has taken Zumba classes with all three instructors before.
All three instructors interacted with the students, whether it was by weaving through the rows of people dancing, giving energetic and silly looks or lip syncing to the lyrics of a song. The energy never wavered throughout the full hour of dancing.
“The ambiance was really great,” said Ashley Mondragon, a senior nutrition and food science major, who added that it was great to have a workout that’s also fun and different. “[The instructors] were amazing. They keep you motivated and they really push you.”
“They were good, especially when they walked around and danced with everyone,” Brown said of the instructors. “I loved it. It was a lot harder than the usual classes, but there was a lot more energy, so it was a lot more fun.”
One of the highlights was when, in addition to running through the crowd, Sayah would jump down from the platform and run up to someone and start dancing with them.
About 70 students attended the event and were given glowsticks to wear. Neon green shirts that would glow in the dark from the blacklights in the gym were available to buy for $2. Raffle tickets for fitness and health related prizes were also sold, and all the proceeds went to Montclair State’s Food Pantry.