FORT RUCKER, Ala. (December 20, 2012) -- People may put on a few pounds throughout the holiday season, but Zumba offers a different way to shed them back off again.

Zumba classes are held both at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility and the Fort Rucker PFF, and at different times to cater to people's different schedules, making for a great way for people to dance, sweat and lose weight, according to Danielle Dermer, Zumba fitness instructor.

"Zumba is basically dancing but losing weight while you do it," she said. "It feels like being in your own little club and you just feel the beat of the music."

Zumba is a low-impact, high-energy, fast-pace workout that works the cardiovascular system and can help increase endurance and stamina.

"It's a great cardio workout because you're doing it almost nonstop for an hour," said Dermer. "You're toning your stomach, your legs, your arms -- you're basically doing all that with the dances."

The sessions start off with a warm up then go into the high-energy workout with different types of music ranging from hip-hop to old-school classics, and those who participate in the classes have nothing but positive things to say.

"It's like you're not even exercising," said Ashley Sanger, Army spouse. "You just come out here and have fun for an hour and don't even think about working out."

"It's the fastest hour of cardio you will ever do in your life," agreed Marcy Webb, Army spouse. "You can burn anywhere from 600-800 calories."

Dermer said that along with the benefits of losing weight, Zumba is also a great way for a person to build self-confidence and help them feel young again, but the main thing she wants for people in her class is to have fun.

"That's what it's all about to me," she said. "You'll come into the class and you'll just leave with a smile because you're having fun while you sweat."

Although the classes are fun, it's also a serious workout for people to stay healthy, and it offers full customization in that it can be modified to fit each person individually.

"Anyone can do Zumba, even if you don't feel healthy," said Dermer. "People can take the workouts at their own pace and it can be changed to fit anyone's fitness level," adding that people can even come 30 minutes before the class and go over some moves with the instructor to make them feel more comfortable.

Zumba is a workout that is mostly dominated by women, but men do participate and the instructors encourage more men to get involved in the workout.

"We want men to come and join us, and when they do, most of the time they end up dancing better than we do," said the Zumba instructor. "Anyone who is shy about [dancing] or any men that have reservations about coming, I would just tell them to come out and try one class. No one will judge because everyone is there for the same reason -- to have fun and workout.

"It's like a little Family we've developed [in the class]," she said, "and Families are welcome to come and workout together. We've had plenty of husband and wife combinations participate, and we encourage people to bring their spouses to class."

People that are interested can try the first class for free to get a feel for it, and Dermer said once people try it, they will want to return.

"No one is perfect," she said, "and you don't have to be perfect in the class. Just come, try it out and have fun -- that's all I want people to get out of it."

Classes are $3.50 per class and can be paid on an individual-class basis or monthly.

For more information, or a full schedule of classes, call 255-3794, or 255-2296.