Zumba Smiles

By Carol Young | Cranston YMCA | September 8, 2017

The Cranston Y has so many offerings for our diverse community to enjoy. In morning Zumba, Zumba Gold and Cardio Latin Fit members get to witness unfettered joy radiated by the clients from Perspectives Corporation. Perspectives Corporation is a private agency whose purpose Is to help people with developmental, intellectual and other disabilities participate In and contribute to community life, empowering them with the dignity of being fully independent as possible.

Many members have commented on how they just love to watch the young men and young women react to the music, learn the steps and SMILE SMILE SMILE.

You can't have a bad day after being in class with these stars. The Perspectives clients are brought to class by their DSP (Designated Support Person). Some of the DSPs join In the fun and enjoy learning the steps. Several members have comments on how nice it is to see the clients and the DSP participate.

Zumba Instructor Tara, commented about the physical and mental stimulation the programs provide; how adding the clients to regular classes can change people's opinions and how they look at the world and each other. Clients get to utilize muscle memory and gain needed stimulation. DSP employees get to see the joy that the classes and interactions with other members and Instructors bring their clients. "When I leave after a class I am on cloud 9. When the clients are In a class I never feel like this is just a job or a chore." Member, Nancy said "I love watching how they watch the instructor try the steps and how they interact with each other and have fun." Member, Joan commented "It is a benefit for everyone to watch the participation. It is satisfying to see what the Y can do that is good benefit to everyone, the clients and to the members and to other Y programs."

One of the female clients is a big Bruno Mars fan. As soon as the first note of a Bruno Mars song is played she is fully engaged and doing all the steps. She also has a few steps she has added on her own and we get to see them! We also get to witness a young lady who loves to be in the front row who has the best smile in the world. There are three or four young men who love to line up right next to one of the male DSPs. You can see the bond they share with this young man. He coaches the clients with steps as they dance. It is great to see. A couple of the female DSPs also participate in the classes and work
up a sweat along with their clients and members.

If you look around the room during class, you see many smiles and many happy faces. The world seems like a safe happy place for the day. Pure joy and smiles and gratitude for the good day and enriched community!