Zumba Down Black Horse Drove!

Russ Welch is running the new Zumba class on the Drove, and is keen to let everyone know about the class and a bit about himself, writes Joy Tod.

The class is open to absolutely everyone regardless of age or ability or fitness level.

They have fun. It’s on a Thursday evening 7- 8pm in our Community Centre, and it’s £5 a week. These first few weeks have been popular so there might be the possibility of putting on an extra session!

‘My journey to Zumba’

“I am 35 years of age and this is my life story so far…

I was born deaf and as a result I am 85% deaf in both ears. My biggest challenge with teaching is, I can only hear the bass on music tracks, but this is all I need to feel the beat. I also have a condition called ankylosing spondylitis which affects and can limit the movement in my back. My health has always been at the forefront of my difficulties, but I manage well due to Zumba enhancing my flexibility, and I am surprisingly 10 cm’s more bendy!

My childhood was a difficult time for me, whilst living with being deaf and being sent to a special needs school (unnecessarily I might add!) I had no speech therapy and didn’t get taught to sign or read, and left school with very little qualifications. My home life was far from happy for me, my father physically and mentally abused me leaving me black and blue with bruises from top to bottom. My confidence as a child dropped to the floor and that’s where it stayed for years. Not only did I have the struggles of school life, but abuse at home was more than any child living in an isolated world could take.

When I was 19 years old I met my partner and one year after that meeting I decided to start a new life and moved to Norfolk to be with him. We thought a fresh start was what we both needed and left behind Tunbridge Wells in Kent. We never looked back, he’s been my rock, my best friend and now my husband.

I currently work supporting adults with learning disabilities.

In 2007 I was told I had testicular cancer, but after treatment and an operation I made a good recovery.

Being still so young and not well, I decided to get fit and join the gym. Good choice I hear you say. But it wasn’t that easy! No gym would allow me to register with them as I was high risk because of my ongoing back problems.

They said to me get a doctor’s letter to say you’re fit and we’ll accept you. That’s where the next problem arose. All 3 doctors I visited refused point blank as they said I was at risk of irreparably damaging my spine. Great!

Life stood still for a while until 2 years ago when I discovered Zumba.

So after investing my time and researching my possibilities I gave Zumba Gold a go as it’s low impact. I was hooked at the first session I attended with Dominique Houghton, she was an amazing instructor, and after 6 months encouraged me to become an instructor! I signed up for a Zumba Gold course and passed.

It’s so much fun and I can honestly say I love it. This has changed my life for the better and I feel very lucky to have found my new Zumba family. My classes are growing all the time and I now offer individual private classes to clients who want them. I am currently working on routines for my new classes as an Aqua Zumba instructor and have recently purchased waterproof covers for my hearing aids to make this possible.

I’m so happy providing a service for others to enjoy and making great friendships along the way!

Thanks for taking your time to read my story.”

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