Free Healthcare: Zumba

Richmond welcomes a second season of the free Zumba fitness class sponsored by Richmond Main Street and Contra Costa HEAL. (Video: Justin Pye)

Feet stepped and hips swayed at last Thursday’s free Zumba class in the Iron Triangle.

 Though the building on the corner of Macdonald Avenue and 9th Street reads “Karate,” this space is the new home of Main Street Zumba Fitness. The bi-weekly class, located in the heart of historic downtown Richmond, began in March and ran through July.  But after a successful first season, Richmond Main Street and Contra Costa Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative (HEAL) decided to sponsor a second term.

“Health and fitness has not been a strong focus for this community,” said Amanda Elliott, Executive Director of Richmond Main Street, “so we wanted to provide this opportunity for people to get in shape.”

Forbes Health cites cost as one of the main reasons why people do not exercise.  Main Street Zumba Fitness is the only class of its kind in the city that is free of to all participants.

“Making this affordable to those who can’t afford it is wonderful because you get everybody,” said Willa “Bontle” Willis, Zumba instructor and veteran dancer.

Zumba is Latin-inspired dance and fitness fusion, which has benefits ranging from burning calories to relieving stress.  Because of its easy-to-learn choreography and many health advantages, Zumba can be enjoyed by people of varying ages and physical conditions.

One of Richmond Main Street’s goals is to improve the community by providing access to healthy foods and exercise activities, so they also provide healthy snacks and water for the one-hour classes.  According to Willis, “Exercise should be free for all” – making this a salient example of the continuing efforts to create a better, healthier Richmond.

For the class schedule and additional information, see the following links:

Zumba schedule –

About Zumba –



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