Auburn Recreation District presents free exercise workshops

By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
-A +A

It’s the season for New Year’s resolutions, and the Auburn Recreation District is helping out those who choose fitness as a goal by offering a free day of exercise.

The daylong workshop, set for Jan. 7 at Recreation Park in Auburn, features eight 40-minute fitness classes. Attendees can pick and choose which classes to check out, and the instructors will be available before and after each session to answer questions.

“People can either come and participate in them – they can come to one or all of them – or they can just observe them,” said Sheryl Petersen, recreation services manager for ARD. “It’s an opportunity to just be exposed to the things that we’re doing.”

Free refreshments will be served and there will be information available about specific classes. The classes offered Jan. 7 represent just a handful of the activities offered by the district – check out the “2012 Activities Guide,” which was mailed out the day after Christmas, for a full schedule.

Zumba instructor Donna Lisa Otto said she looks forward to introducing people to her Zumba Gold class, which is geared toward people age 40 and up. Zumba is a Latin-inspired fitness class that uses upbeat music and dance steps to burn calories, while Zumba Gold modifies the steps and pacing to have less impact on joints.

“Zumba Gold is great for beginners, great for people who just want to have a good time,” Otto said. “Sometimes it can be intimidating, because they don’t think they can dance. Everyone can move; it’s not necessarily being the greatest dancer.”

Otto recommends that attendees bring some water and a towel, and to wear tennis shoes. She added that several of her regular class members will be there as well to show visitors how Zumba Gold works.

“They’ll see that the moves are fairly simple,” Otto said. “The ladies are having a good time, they’re smiling, they’re enjoying the music and they’re getting a workout.”

Another workshop that will get people dancing is Susi Thomas’ clogging class. Thomas said she’ll take attendees through the same movements as in a first class, starting with moving on the music’s downbeat and then walking through the basic steps.

“It’s pretty easy to do,” she said. “If you can walk, you can already clog, because that’s one of our basic steps.”

Attendees can wear any comfortable shoes. Clogging is a good exercise option, Thomas added, because not only is it fun, it’s also a great cardiovascular workout and results in toned legs.

“It’s really good from the knees down,” she said. “You’re going to get a clogger’s muscle in your calf.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at


Fitness showcase
When: Saturday, Jan. 7

Where: Stella Room, Recreation Park, Auburn

Information:, (530) 885-8461

1 p.m.: Shotokan Karate with Marty Cullenward
1:40 p.m.: Hula Dance with Tammy Silva
2:20 p.m.: Tahiti Fit with Sharla Silva
3 p.m.: Belly Dance with Lady Athena
3:40 p.m.: Dances of the World with Juan Aceituno
4:20 p.m.: Fusion Four with Karen Allen
5 p.m.: Zumba Gold with Donna Lisa Otto
5:40 p.m.: Clogging with Susi Thomas