Zumba: Sandi P. Jones of Newark, Delaware

Zumba is more than exercise and fun to Jones, an instructor—it was her ticket to independence. Requests for her services have been so great that, five years ago, she left her job of eight years as a business administrator for AstraZeneca to be a full-time certified sports and nutrition consultant. Her SPJones Fitness Plus offers Pilates, step aerobics and other classes, but it’s Zumba that has captured her clients. “I was doing it a little bit before, but after I got certified as a teacher, I pretty much jumped right in,” says Jones, who teaches at several locations, including Christina Cultural Arts Center in Wilmington. “If you want to begin exercising, the first step might be to try Zumba. It’s passionate. It’s explosive. It’s fun.” It increases cardiovascular health, flexibility and bone density, and it can lead to the sort of clearheadedness that motivates practitioners to reach other goals. “As you release stress, you see more clearly,” Jones says. “I teach, ‘This is the way I want to feel.’”

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