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  • By by. Staff Sergeant Larua Montgomery
  • 145th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The gym floor rumbled as more than twenty individuals from the North Carolina Air National Guard participated in bootcamp-style Zumba in honor of October’s National Hispanic Heritage month at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, October 5, 2019.

Amongst those enjoying the music and exercise was U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeniffer Miraespinoza, a paralegal with the 145th Airlift Wing, who was a key member of getting the Zumba classes set-up.

“We have a staggered schedule, so we planned for two classes to ensure more members are able to attend,” said Staff Sgt. Miraespinoza. ”We thought it was a good way to celebrate our Hispanic Culture.”

Staff Sgt. Miraespinoza teamed up with Master Sgt. Jorge Bedoya whose cousin, Will Fields, a Marine and current Zumba instructor, came out for the event to teach the first class which consists of intense instruction.

“I think working out is important in general, whether it’s Zumba bootcamp, or running,” said Master Sgt. Bedoya. “I was trying to help bring something different and fun to get people to work out and always be ready and, of course, increase morale.”

Zumba is normally open up to the 145th Medical Group monthly as a work-out option, although anyone from the unit is encouraged to join. Recently, units had started conducting group lead, and even mandatory physical training. Only one of the participants in the first class was a male, but his smile and enthusiasm lit up the room.

“I believe some of the males may not be interested in Zumba because they think it’s a type of dance thing, but I think they need to try it; Zumba is just a great work out that includes Latin music but it could be as hard as the instructors make it,” said Master Sgt. Bedoya.

As the number of people joining in the class seems to increase with interest, there may be a rise in classes.

“I do understand that people have different schedules and busy days,” said Master Sgt. Bedoya. “I personally would love for this to happen for everyone, more classes; people keep asking for the classes!”