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Let the music and your friends move you at Zumba in Johnson Park

Mercedes Barge leads her students through an hour-long Zumba class at Johnson Park in Marble Falls. The women’s class is 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and cost is by donation. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

MARBLE FALLS — Johnson Park has been the home of many activities as the most decorated of the city’s parks.

Now residents can participate in another: Mercedes Barge’s Zumba class for women.

She organized the class a couple of weeks ago at the park, 230 Ave. J South. It meets 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Cost is by donation.

Zumba is a high-energy aerobic fitness program using movements inspired by Latin American dance and music.

Barge learned Zumba for some of the same reasons others have.

“She had health problems,” said her husband and business partner, Jorge Barge. “Exercise makes her healthy. It has helped her in her life and in her quest to integrate it in her lifestyle with the healthy eating. She has also found a community.”

Since the class formed, Mercedes has taught anywhere from 12 to 25 women. Her students have really enjoyed the class, they say, because so many were friends before they began the sessions. It also has been a place where they can come together with the same goal: to burn calories and have more energy for their families.

At one time, Mercedes weighed 176 pounds and dropped about 40 pounds. Recently, she had a baby, so she is working to rid the extra weight, her husband said.

“It’s going down, but it’s very hard,” he said with a smile.

He added that you shouldn’t allow fear of not knowing how to dance or being a first-timer stop you from trying the class because his wife begins with basic steps that are easy to follow. And if a rest is needed, you can stop until you’re ready to start again.

The advantage of joining the class versus buying Zumba discs and doing the workouts at home is motivation, Jorge said.

“By yourself, it’s hard,” he said. “You think, ‘I’ll do something then get to the workout.’ At the class, you see everyone else work together.”

Pals can take the class together and have a friendly wager on who can lose the most weight.

Interested individuals simply need to show up and bring water.

Call Mercedes Barge at (830) 220-0897 for more information.

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There are 1 comments.

Jody Price —
Can't wait until tomorrow! Just moved here and was searching for a Zumba class. Thank you!

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