Why the YMCA Makes Me Smile

ymcapic The music starts and I watch people take their places around the gym. I notice the lone man start to shake his booty to the beat. A few late stragglers wander in and search for a spot where no one can watch their attempts at dancing. While this may sound like I’m about ready to describe your junior high nightmare, I’m actually talking about my favorite YMCA activity: ZUMBA!

Remember how much you hated square dance lessons in middle school and freshman dances where the boys were too nervous to ask you to dance? Well there is this great benefit to growing up and growing older: good-bye childish insecurities! I cannot tell you how much I love dropping my kids off at Childwatch and heading to the gym where Beth, a fellow mom and Y fitness instructor, gets the class energized and ready to go. There is just something exhilarating about dancing (or attempting to dance, in my case) to a good beat, with a bunch of other KC women, while burning some calories. As Michael Scott used to say, it’s a “win, win, win.”

At lot of women are leery about giving a Zumba class a try. I get it. Sometimes it feels a little awkward to be dancing to lyrics like “my girl got a big ol’ booty” while your kids play next door. But let me tell you- the YMCA Zumba instructors know how to make an hour long workout feel like an evening at a Miami dance club. Some of my best ideas have come to me while dancing along with my Zumba friends at either the Vivion Road YMCA or the Parkville YMCA. In fact, one such idea involves all of you KC Moms joining me in a 37 hour long Zumba class. Sound crazy?? I know. Here at Kansas City Moms Blog we like to keep things interesting and we have some great events coming up for you this year, so stay tuned! Keep reading and be sure and head on over to your local YMCA for a free trial membership!

Hello! Kansas City has been our home for the past 3 years and we love it. We moved here after a 2 year stint in Madrid, Spain working for a Christian non-profit. Although I will always have a bad case of wanderlust, I’m a Midwest girl through and through. Educated at Iowa State University as a Spanish teacher, I taught K-6th grade students the joy of learning another language for 2 years. In 2007 I left the world of teaching and became a full time Mama to our first child Renae. Her little brothers Sammy and Colton arrived 2 and 4 years later and between the 3 of them, they keep me busy. I also work for the Skybridge Community which assists American expats as they adjust to and prepare for life in another country. I find great joy in connecting people together, meeting new people, and learning about those that are different from me. Most days you’ll find me spending my mornings at the YMCA where I like to get my Zumba groove on and ending each day watching House Hunters International. I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you great KC Moms!


  1. Whooo! Love the YMCA! Great post Julie. Thanks for inspiring readers to give group fitness classes a try. “Shake your booty” for the good of your heart and your mind!

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