Zumba beat helps popularize Adamstown facility

By on August 17, 2016


The Adamstown YMCA on Main Street is becoming anew at the same time residents are buzzing about the new northern Lancaster County library which will be coming to the borough, hopefully next year.

Watch out for Adamstown to be the next “small cool” town in the county.

Jenni Bower is a traveling Zumba instructor. She has “followers” from members of other fitness locations, such as Body Zone in Wyomissing, who come to the Y for her class which meets two days a week.

Photos by Michele Walter Fry The  Zumba class with Alyssa Raven, executive director, on the left.

Photos by Michele Walter Fry
The Zumba class with Alyssa Raven, executive director, on the left.

Zumba is dance fitness which is “exercise in disguise,” but has a stigma that everyone who takes it is “perfect.”

“There’s no judgment,” said Shannon Gentile. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, are people going to look at me like I don’t know what I’m doing?’ It’s not like that at all.”

Gentile primarily goes to Zumba class and works out on the machines at the Y.

“The first time I came, I was like addicted,” said Gentile. “She (Bower) makes it so much fun. She’s always smiling. You can come in a bad mood and you will leave in a good mood. The workout is a bonus.”

Shannon Gentile is having fun with one of Jenni Bower's "followers" from Planet Fitness in Ephrata.

Shannon Gentile is having fun with one of Jenni Bower’s “followers” from Planet Fitness in Ephrata.

Zumba is for any age, ability, or size.

“You can have two left feet and still Zumba,” said Bower.

“We’re laughing, we’re having fun! There’s no wrong moves in Zumba, you can move however you want to move. I have teenagers to very seasoned adults.”

Membership at Adamstown Y is close to half the price of areas Ys such as those in Sinking Spring, New Holland, Mifflin, and Reading, but a membership at Adamstown allows members to use the facilities and classes of any of those Ys.

The Adamstown Y is different from other area health clubs because all their fitness classes, including Zumba, are included in the monthly membership.

Shannon Gentile (left) is no longer "outnumbered.”

Shannon Gentile (left) is no longer “outnumbered.”

Alyssa Raven is the executive director for the Adamstown and Mifflin Ys. She received her undergraduate degree in elementary education from The Pennsylvania State University and is studying for her master’s in business.

“This is a small Y, it’s very homey,” said Raven. “People know each other, they talk to each other, they’re social.”

Curves in Denver closed last spring and the Y has been getting their members.

“One person came here and just told everybody,” said Raven. “It was this trickle affect.”

Kathleen Ebling is one of them.

“It’s really nice for older people like me!” said Ebling, who is in her early 70s. “Curves closed and I wanted to do Zumba, so I started this before they closed, and I decided I wanted to do more stuff like the machines, so I stayed.”

Ebling lives in Reinholds.

“I feel comfortable here and they are really friendly and helpful. It’s really handy for me, I don’t like to go far to exercise.”

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at michelewalterfry@gmail.com.

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