With talent, passion, and a whole lot of spunk, Imara Young leads groups of women in the heart-pumping, toe-tapping, arm-raising dance class known as Zumba. Below, learn what makes this her workout of choice.
Q: What makes Zumba a good workout?
A: Zumba is a great calorie-burning workout! You should see pounds melt off, as long as you’re eating a healthy and sensible diet. There are moves that focus on your abs, arms, and thighs, so you end up toning the whole body while you’re burning calories!
Q: What first sparked your interest in dance?
A: My love of dance actually started in junior high when I took a class in Scottish dance. I really liked it, and then in high school I took my first hip-hop class and immediately fell in love with it. Although we mainly performed hip-hop, my instructor introduced us to different styles from tap to liturgical, which helped me realize that I just loved dancing in general.
Q: How did you segue your love of hip-hop into being a Zumba instructor?
A: Once Zumba started becoming popular, I became curious and interested in what exactly it was all about. My mom asked me to come with her to a Zumba class, and I had so much fun! The instructor came up to me afterward and asked if I was an instructor because I’d picked it up so well. After that I decided to look into it, and here I am now – teaching a bunch of Zumba classes around Chattanooga!
Q: Besides Zumba, what other workouts do you participate in?
A: I love running, and I love trying new workouts. I look up a lot of exercises online to try at home or at the gym to see what works and to mix things up because I can get bored easily. That’s one reason I love dancing – you’re constantly learning new ways to move or new combinations.
Q: What would you say to inspire women to lead a more active lifestyle?
A: You only have one body. This is your treasure and essentially, your home. Loving yourself enough to be active and healthy is so important to a long, healthy, and happy life. Whether your goals are to lose weight, tone up, to have a healthier heart, or just to feel better (because being active will do any and all of these things for you!), I encourage you to find something that you enjoy. Try new things and find the activity that gets you excited so that you can stick with it!