Hot Dance and Fitness at NEIU

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts and Life Editor

Photo by Jacklyn Nowotnik
Photo by Sharon Capehart






Many of us have classes, work and other responsibilities to attend to, but it is important to schedule some quality work out time. A regular workout routine may be nice but the monotony of typical cardio or the treadmill may decrease a person’s motivation to work out over time. If you find yourself in such a slump, then look no further than NEIU’s own Zumba class!

Held at the NEIU P.E. complex, Zumba is a great solution to cardio fitness boredom. It’s a rhythmic and vivacious mix of cardio dance set to the rhythms of Latin, Reggae Dance hall, and hip-hop music, tempered with the sensuality of belly dancing.

There are numerous instructors and each one is different in their approach, and may incorporate other genres of music; however it’s a great way to get the heart pumping and work up a sweat. The P.E. complex offers several Zumba class times throughout the week. However, for high-energy exercisers, Juan Ortiz’s class seems to be the perfect dance getaway from the stresses of college life.

Ortiz is a certified group exercise and Zumba instructor and has been in the business of dance fitness for 5 years. His experience in dance fitness has inspired him to create a spin-off of Zumba called “Feevah,” which he incorporates into his Zumba class. According to Ortiz, “Feevah” is dance fitness where “some of the music is sped up 3-12 times faster, making this one of the most powerful workouts ever.”

He successfully manages to incorporate the dance styles of Bachata, Cumbia, Merengue, Mambo, Salsa, Reggaeton, and Juke into a heart-racing dance routine set to the hottest Latin and Club hits, all while keeping the energy of his class at a motivating high. Right before the hour long session with Ortiz is over, he initiates a “cool down” with a slow tempo track which sets a good pace for stretches, relaxation and even breathing.

“My class is like Zumba on steroids, and because I’m so passionate about what I do, I believe my energy transfers over into my class.”

Ortiz’s Zumba classes are on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the NEIU P.E. Complex.