Behind her desk, Cheryl Louie crunches numbers as a certified public accountant for Safeway Inc.
But when the Union City resident steps into Newark’s the numbers are all about rhythm, movements and fun that come to life in the form of Zumba.
Louie – a longtime fitness instructor – opened Studio Z in October 2011 with the intention to share the Latin-inspired fitness program with the Tri-Cities for an affordable price.
Class costs are $10 for drop-in classes, and $120 for a 20-class pass. The first class a person takes with Studio Z costs $5.
Zumba was created by dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez in in the 1990s, after he improvised a class with Latin music when he forgot his music for an aerobics class he was teaching in Colombia, according to Wikipedia. He brought the upbeat fitness program to the United States in 2001.
Louie said creating a positive, high energy, fun workout is what she strives for at Studio Z. See highlights from Zumba classes in Studio Z in the video above.
“Zumba is all about having a party,” Louie said. “You work out various muscles without even knowing.”
"[We say] shake what your mama gave you,” she added as she energetically demonstrated some common Zumba moves. “You’re chest bumping and booty shaking.”
But having rhythm is not a requirement and classes are open to people of all ages, said Louie, who added her youngest student is 16 years old and her oldest is in her 70s.
Students also raved about the easy-to-follow steps of Zumba.
Claudine Reyes started going to Studio Z late last year and said the classes have been enjoyable and have benefited her health.
The Fremont resident said she’s lost 30 pounds and feels healthier, which she said helps her keep up with her 2-year-old son.
But what Reyes said really kept her driven to come to Zumba classes was the intimacy she found among the instructors and students of Studio Z.
“Everyone’s like a family,” Reyes said. "When I first came, I didn’t feel like a stranger… It’s good encouragement and keeps you positive and motivated to come to class all the time.”
Building strong relationships while building muscles is why Louie said she decided to open up a Zumba studio.
“The pleasure is not the money, it’s seeing the pleasure in my students, smiling and having a good time,” said Louie, who called her students her Zumba family. “We want to make you successful and healthy.”
Studio Z also holds special classes in which guest instructors come in to teach students other music-based programs, such as Bollywood, Burlesque, Tahitian and more, Louie said.
Class times vary. Studio Z is located at 5437 Central Ave., Suite 6 in Newark. For more information, call 510-325-9674 or visit www.szfitness.com.
**Promotion: Studio Z will be offering Newark Patch and Union City Patch readers a deal in which a person can buy one 20-class pass for $120 and get a second 20-class pass half off. This deal expires June 30.