Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Monica James, owner of the new JIGY Monica’s Fitness Studio, is an average woman who allowed herself to gain a little weight before she discovered Zumba, a popular Latin dance workout, she said.
The community is invited to try Zumba for themselves free of charge at the studio’s open house Saturday, March 9 from 2-5 p.m.
“I’m a mom and I got out of shape and unhealthy,” said James, who weighed 200 pounds at one point before deciding to make a change.
She said she tried paying for a gym membership, hoping that shelling out cash would motivate her to go. As she was tripping over herself on the treadmill, she would notice women leaving the group exercise room “hooping and hollering” and seemingly enjoying their workouts much more than she ever had. She looked into it and realized it was a Zumba class, and she decided to check it out.
From January to May of last year, James lost more than 55 pounds through Zumba alone.
“Ever since, I’ve been living, eating and breathing Zumba,” said the Red Bank resident, who became certified to teach Zumba classes in May. “It’s good mood habit-forming.”
She began teaching at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as at the Hixson Community Center.
“It’s physical and very much a workout, but at the end of the hour you’re like, ‘Oh no, it’s time to go already?’” James said.
Since she is now certified to teach Zumba, Zumbatomic (Zumba exercises for kids) and all types of low-impact aerobics, she decided to open her own studio.
Classes start Monday, March 11 and schedules will be announced on the studio’s website at monicajames.zumba.com.
“I wanted to start something in the community that is nonexistent at the moment,” James said of her new fitness studio, which will lack the monthly dues required at a typical gym.
Instead, she plans to charge $5 per class, with punch cards available so clients can pay ahead and cut down on sign-in time before each class. She plans to charge $4 per child for Zumbatomic, or $4 apiece for “mommy and me” Zumba.
“I want to make this something anybody can afford,” said James.
For adults only, she plans to teach Zumba in a club-like atmosphere on Friday nights at 7:15.
Instructor Jennilee Nurenburg will also be offering Zumba Sentao, a cardiovascular workout using a chair.
No child care is available, but a “kid cave” is offered in the back of the studio where children as young as 5 years old can play while their parents get “JIGY.”