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Borough Park pupils show off their Zumba moves

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It wasn’t your typical middle school dance.

A group of students at PS-IS 192 proved they can really shake it with a Zumba show at the Borough Park school on March 10.

An educator started teaching the Latin dance-fitness craze to pupils because many don’t have a chance to get exercise outside of school, she said.

“A lot of students don’t get the opportunity to be in after-school programs like little league, so it’s really nice that the students get to experience something other than the daily grind of school,” said Noelle Joseph-Horn, a Zumba instructor and science teacher at the middle school.

The school has offered dance instruction and aerobics as an after-school activity for nearly a decade, but Joseph-Horn started the Zumba classes — which combine elements of dance and aerobics set to Latin music — to attract a wider range of kids.

The move worked, according to a parent whose daughter typically prefers track to tripping the light fantastic.

“It shocked me that she’s actually in it, because she’s more into sports,” said Rossella Buttaro of her seventh-grader Julia. “I was like ‘Is that actually my daughter up there?’ ”

The city funds the after-school program through the Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, and Positive Students program, Joseph-Horn said.

Students started learning steps in October, and many had never set foot on a dance floor, she said. One young shaker named Skyla Medina has been in the program for three years, and Joseph-Horn said she saw the once-shy student shed the last bits of her introverted shell at the March 10 expo.

“She’s just a completely different person,” Joseph-Horn said. “She’s been in the program for three years, and this is the first time she jumped in the battle circle and did a little solo. I almost fell on the floor.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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