This week, Her Campus caught up with Student Fitness Instructor, Timna Maayan. As a sophomore and a Life Sciences STEM Education Major, Timna studies diligently by day, but brings a zesty flair to campus in the evenings when she teaches Zumba fitness classes at Ohio State recreational facilities. Zumba is a popular dance workout inspired by Latin American dance styles and music. If you are in the mood to add a little spice to your normal workout, attend one of Timna’s classes at 4:25 PM at the RPAC on Wednesdays and Fridays, but be ready to bust a move and break a sweat!
Name: Timna MaayanYear: SophomoreMajor: Life Sciences STEM Education MajorHometown: Born in Israel, home in Cleveland, OHHobbies: Zumba, eating delicious food, reading Harry Potter, being with friends, listening to RadioLab, and learning new things
HC: How did you first get involved with Zumba Fitness?TM: I first got involved with Zumba Fitness in Cleveland at the LifeTime Fitness Club in Beachwood during high school. The Zumba instructor there, Angie, was the reason I loved it so much. Her energy and intensity kept me coming back week after week. I have severe asthma and I was tired of letting it keep me from being active. Therefore, I started exercising on the treadmill and elliptical exercise machines (this got pretty boring). I saw a Zumba class going on in the dance room nearby and thought I would try it. It changed my life. Don’t get me wrong, it was really hard at first to keep from losing my breath through the whole hour, but after a few months my body got used to it and it was just like a party.
HC: Why did you decide to be a Student Fitness Instructor on campus?TM: Last year, I went to a Zumba class at the RPAC that was a Halloween-themed event (Late Night Zumba). It was not what I was used to. It was too easy for me and I felt that I wasn’t getting a good workout. So last semester I auditioned for a spot as a Zumba instructor (and now Aqua Zumba) and became one. If you want something to happen, make it happen! Be the change you want to see.
HC: What do you hope for your class participants to get out of a Zumba workout?TM: First and foremost, HAVE FUN! The only reason I want someone to do Zumba is to have fun and keep moving. If you can find a workout that makes you excited to go do, you’ve hit the fitness jackpot. You don’t have to do every move perfectly, there is no right or wrong. That’s what Zumba is; it’s exercise in disguise. You want to go “work out” and it no longer becomes a chore. When my participants come into class, I want them to forget any difficulties or bad experiences they had that day, and simply have fun and take an hour to smile and shake it. I also want to add that many guys think they shouldn’t do Zumba because it is “just for girls,” but please just try it. The creator of Zumba was a man, Beto Perez, and his notion of a fun workout is for EVERYONE!
HC: What do you love most about working as a Student Fitness Instructor and specifically a Zumba instructor?TM: I love the ability to teach all kinds of people, young and old alike. I have some OSU professors in my classes, but also many students, both men and women. The RPAC attracts so many people each day, and being able to be there for them on their fitness journey, especially in Zumba, makes me very happy. There are so many different people that come together as a big Zumba family each week to have fun together and I absolutely love it.
HC: To be able to create your own Zumba dance routines and teach them in front of a large class probably takes loads of confidence! Do you have tips for our readers for finding your own self-confidence?TM: I know a lot of people say this, but I really do believe it to be true—Be you. When I first moved to the U.S., I was made fun of a lot for my accent, the way I dressed, and even the things I liked. I am the same person I was back then. I am who I am and I am not going to change for anyone but myself. I love the person I am, and I know that always being confident is impossible. However, never forget that you are incredible and beautiful, your “body is the greatest instrument you’ll ever own,” USE IT (shout-out to anyone who recognizes this line from Wear Sunscreen). Many people think I am different, but again, I am who I am and I don’t know how to be anyone else.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you canDon’t be afraid of it or what other people think of itIt’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever ownDance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
HC: What are your top three Zumba tunes that you absolutely love to dance to?TM: It’s really hard to pick my top three, but ones that I really love are:1. Eu Quero Tchu Tcha Tcha – João Lucas & Marcelo2. Sweat – Casely & Machel Montano3. Pega Pega – Armando Salcedo & Heidy Torres