Did somebody say Zumba?!

FEATURE / OPINION— As a teenager or early college student, if I had been able to look into my future and see my 32-year-old self, I wouldn’t recognize this person. I always pushed through school, graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in health and fitness at the age of 21, feeling all along like I was missing my thing or my passion. After I married at 22 and had a couple children by 26, although I was happy, I was still seeking something to make me, me.

That’s when I stumbled upon Zumba fitness. My first class was truly a bit of a nightmare. “How are these people moving like that? I look so ridiculous. Is that humanly possible? What am I doing here?” were all thoughts spinning through my head as we pivoted, jumped, yelled and shook everything.

After 60 minutes of the most sweaty, amazingly fun party, I knew I would be back. That insecure, stiff, two-left-feet, young mom was about to change her stars and didn’t even know it. I cry just typing that last sentence, I still don’t know if I quite recognize myself. I had finally found my thing and my calling. Fast forward six years and I now instruct several Zumba fitness classes a week at Summit Athletic Club. I teach Zumba, a new Zumba format called Zumba Step and Aqua Zumba.

My passion isn’t all wrapped up in the dancing and moving but rather in my students. Being able to recognize the scared new-timer and comfort and encourage them and see them transform from introverts to loud, dancing maniacs is my joy.

When I say anyone can enjoy Zumba, I mean anyone. I have young girls, to middle aged women to 70-year-old men in all of my Zumba classes. We become a Zumba family and can encourage each other along the way. I look forward to each class, knowing my students are counting on me to help them forget worries or make them smile for an hour.

Zumba isn’t all about fun and no gains. We are working every muscle and burning anywhere from 400-800 calories in an hour. I’ve seen person after person become a self-proclaimed zumba addict and drop anywhere from 10-100 pounds in a few months. I always encourage my class to drink lots of water and cut out extra sugar (especially soda) and increase their protein intake.

My philosophy about fitness is: 20 percent is results and good health; and 80 percent is good health is the nutrition we put in our bodies.

You cannot out-exercise a bad diet; I promise, I’ve tried.

Surprise yourself, no one is ever too old, too uncoordinated, or too scared to find joy in music and movement. I always start my classes with the same sentence: “It doesn’t matter what you look like, calories come off no matter what you are doing.”

See you on the dance floor!

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Camilla Clawson

Written by Camilla Clawson for St. George Health and Wellness Magazine and St. George News.

Camilla Clawson, her husband Todd and their three young boys love calling St. George home. She received her Bachelor in Human Performance Management from Weber State University in 2004. She is licensed in Zumba Fitness, Aqua Zumba and Zumba Step, as well as licensed in Group Power. Camilla has made a name for herself in the fitness community of Southern Utah, especially in the world of Zumba. Aside from being a wife and mother, sharing positive energy and spreading health and wellness is her passion.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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20 Comments

  • Roy J January 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    My philosophy about fitness is: frazza izza wazza huh?!? Didn’t quite catch that.

    • Fitness Freak January 2, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      It’s saying 20% of results are from fitness and the other 80% is from nutrition.

      • Roy J January 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        Hmm, it would be nice if that is what it actually said, and not what it meant. Too mas bad grammar.

  • Plastic & Fake January 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I wonder if the picture is a correct depiction of the phony image of women in St George; blush, lip gloss, eye liner and other make-up put on just right, hair perfectly styled, teeth bleached pearl white, fashionable clothes and surrounded by people with like makeup, hair, bleach teeth, implants and fashionable clothing. It’s odd that St George women get all dolled up to go to the gym, to impress each other, but none will go out dancing with their boyfriends or husbands. They probably spend more time preening and dressing to go to the gym than they actually spend at the gym.

    • ladybugavenger January 2, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      That’s what they do right before they spend their food stamps too

    • Fitness Freak January 3, 2015 at 12:05 am

      How about visit a Zumba class and see for yourself. You’ll be surprised to see all fitness levels and ages are in there building confidence and making their days and lives better from getting off Facebook and sweating!! They are focussed on bettering themselves instead of worrying about judging and stereotyping others!

    • evil twins mommy January 3, 2015 at 3:12 am

      It’s really hard for you to get a date isn’t it..? LOL I can see why

      • koolaid January 3, 2015 at 10:18 am

        Aren’t the women here only attracted to guys with big trucks and lots of guns and who hunt and fish? Isn’t the idea woman one who can skin a buck and run a trot-line?

  • Dave Rabbitt January 2, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    If more St. George men were willing to comb their hair, brush their teeth and put something on that wasn’t in style in the 80’s, then perhaps their perfectly primped wives or girlfriends, would actually consider being seen with them in public, to dance with.

    If more men is St. George would actually get off their corn-fed rumps and be willing to dance with their women, when they go to a bar, then perhaps it would show that they appreciate being seen with their perfectly primped wives or girlfriends.

    You sound like you’ve got some issues, “PLASTIC AND FAKE”…. Are you’re an envious woman, or a misogynistic male, with a lotta social issues? Either way – If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, then please – sit by me!

    • plastic & fake January 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      Nothing to be envious of with your St George women. They’re all about looks and image and being very shallow. Dumb and shallow and high maintenence must be how the guys here llike them.

    • NewGuy January 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      In defense of Plastic & Fake, go easy on him or her. Sound like she/ he has one giant hangover from New Years, Bloody Mary’s aren’t doing the job, doesn’t feel real pretty today and social issues be damned.

  • Shelly January 2, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Be careful with Zumba , I’ve heard of a few people who had to go to a chiropractor for a while after a few sessions. You can’t just jump into all those wild moves if you’ve never done it. (Need to be in half-way decent shape first). Also, most of the women in the classes don’t look like they’re from Hollywood, as shown in the photo!

    • Fitness Freak January 3, 2015 at 12:12 am

      You can also pick up a toy off the ground and hurt something. I prefer to do things out of love and not fear. Anyone can do Zumba that can walk a few blocks. You just go at YOUR level and your body will surprise you how fast you will transform and start moving like never before. It just takes consistency and sticking with something 🙂

      • Shelly January 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm

        I prefer to do things out of common sense, not fear. If a person is 80 pounds overweight, yes they can still walk a few blocks slowly, but Zumba moves might be a bit much in the beginning, even though they start out at THEIR own level. Most people do not dance and swing their bodies in every different direction, at a fast pace, especially in St. George, Utah.

    • koolaid January 3, 2015 at 10:12 am

      They smell funky, too, when they go shopping afterwards in their tight workout clothes, kinda like real stanky.

  • ladybugavenger January 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    And that’s why I don’t go to the gym, my fat …* around all these skinny people….pleeeeeze give me Prozac
    Ed. ellipsis: …*

  • San... January 3, 2015 at 2:42 am

    What I find most interesting about Zumba (and my experience is limited) is that the tone of the ‘dance’ can be so different from instructor to instructor and none of it seems to be right/wrong. If you are moving it’s all good. My favorite experience…I think I’ve done this twice, total…was with a teacher who was more about street/hip-hop style dancing and less aerobics. I don’t want to be compared to Jane Fonda. I also don’t want to be in a room full of pink sweatpants and designer tennis shoes….I get intimidated. We had a wellness day event at work and I was terrified of looking old/fat/clutsy…maybe all applied but wow I had fun. Not sure if I’m allowed to say this here…If you can find Laci Wall teaching somewhere go give it a shot.

    • JM January 3, 2015 at 10:33 am

      I’m an excellent dancer, but I think Zumba is aerobics, not dancing. I would never ask a date to go Zumba. I dance one on one, hand in hand and face to face with my partner, not lined up facing someone howling out moves that everyone mimics. My way is much more fun, more romantic, more stimulating and more rewarding. I’d much rather dress up in nice clothes and my dance shoes and spend the evening dancing with my date and not caring about what others look like or how they dance. That is my resolution this year, to go dancing more.

  • koolaid January 3, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Do they have the proper city permit to be dancing?

  • herd January 4, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I absolutely hate that celestial enlightened look

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