Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 2, 2013

At the Zumba zoo

A new class is geared toward older, younger, and physically limited folks.

TAHLEQUAH — The flyers for the new Zumba Gold classes invite participats to “Party Yourself into Shape,” and “Shake It at Your Own Pace.”

Those attending the first Zumba Gold class at the Cookson Tenkiller Area Community Organizarion building Wednesday smiled as they sweated and danced to upbeat tunes, led by Joyce Barnes.

With smiles of her own, Barnes blew her bangs out of her eyes, never missing a beat and offering encouraging nods, words, waves and thumbs-up to the new students.

“We just want to encourage people to get up and get moving,” Barnes said. “I tell people not to worry about the moves, they’ll get them after a while. The first class is always free, so come and have fun!”

Zumba Gold is slower-paced, with less complicated steps than Zumba basic. It’s a good beginner level for those not ready to shake, bounce, bop and wiggle – or for children and grandparents.

“The focus is more on footwork than cardio,” said Mickel Yantz, student and husband of instructor Barnes. “I like Gold because I can figure out the moves with my feet. I’ve tripped over my feet a few times.”

Yantz likes that he can spend time with his wife and support what she does.

Barnes and partner Tanya Smith have been teaching Zumba basic at TACO for four months, and were asked to offer the easier class, too.

It’s great for all ages

Nearly 20 students, ranging in age from 7 to 70-something, attended the first Gold class.

Rachel Murphy brought niece Arianna Santana, 7, with her.

“It’s our girls’ night out,” Murphy said. “Arianna thought this would help her with her cheer moves.”

Afterward, Murphy wanted to try the easier class to compare.

“I’ve been coming weekly to Zumba and I had to try this. It’s a good workout. It’s a little slower-paced, but oh, my goodness, it’s hard to keep up,” Murphy said.

Arianna Santana danced on the front row, all confidence and happy smiles, as she followed the moves demonstrated by Barnes.

Santana didn’t look like a beginner, but like someone who had done the steps many times.

“I do cheer and hip hop dances,” Santana said, “I like the shaking in Zumba.”

Several students said they didn’t want to drive into town for classes and were pleased Barnes and Smith would come to Cookson.

Donna Johnson likes the movement and the sweating and convenience of the class being offer in Cookson.

“It’s good exercise. The Gold is slower and you can catch on easier, and everybody is friendly,” she said.

It’s simpler, for people who are old or uncoordinated, said Lora Neldon.

“The regular Zumba class left me frustrated,” Neldon said.

After back surgery two years ago, Neldon has been limited on what she can do.

“I can’t do lifting, but I can do these steps,” she said.

A friend read about the class in the Tahlequah Daily Press and told her about it, said Julie Lisco.

“I kept up with it, and it’s my very first time,” Lisco said. “I live out here. It’s convenient. I’m hooked. I’m going to see if my girlfriend wants to come.”

With the success of the Zumba basic class, the students asked Barnes if there was an easier, beginner class.

“I told them I’m licensed in Zumba Gold. It’s easier for anyone who wasn’t interested or comfortable in Zumba basic,” Barnes said.

Barnes is a musician, trained as a composer, with a Master’s degree in Music. Counting the beat is important to her.

“Zumba is so much fun,” Barnes said. “There are so many styles of dancing and music from all over the world.”

After seeing an infomercial, she wanted to take a class.

Her husband’s co-worker called Barnes to go take a class, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marijuana, seeds lead to four arrests

    Four people were arrested on marijuana related charges early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop on South Muskogee Avenue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sex offender found living in tent at river

    Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators arrested a convicted sex offender this week when they discovered he has been living in a tent along the river.

    July 24, 2014

  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites