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Zumba keeps staff connected, healthy

New York Teacher
Michelle Klimm

Michelle Klimm, a teacher at PS 100 in the Bronx, has been leading a 30-minute Zumba class each morning for the school staff.

Michelle Klimm

Klimm holds the online session both indoors and outdoors.

Michelle Klimm

Klimm helped the PS 100 staff get through quarantine.

Sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic curtailed so much normal activity that many people worried about their waistlines. But staff at PS 100 in the Soundview section of the Bronx stayed in shape by attending teacher Michelle Klimm’s online Zumba classes.

Klimm describes her 30-minute classes as “dance and endurance training,” which she conducts to a mix of hip-hop, Latin and K-pop music she has chosen and stored on her computer. A certified instructor, Klimm has been teaching Zumba for seven years, both privately and at a gym. 

Chapter Leader Faye Mandel describes Klimm as an “awesome” first-year teacher. “Michelle has truly brought our school community together through Zumba,” Mandel says. “She gives us the chance to spend time together in a very healthy and positive way.”

Klimm says the early days of no physical contact were “a trying and weird time for all of us,” so she reached out to her principal with the idea of setting up classes for staff as a means of “stress relief.” The first class in mid-April attracted 40 colleagues and email comments called it a “great workout” and a “great stress reliever.”

“I look forward to the classes,” said Sally Revi, Klimm’s co-teacher in their 1st-grade class of general and special education students. “They are exciting and exhilarating, and I’m glad she shares them with us.”

After the success of the first classes, later classes were opened up to students and their families, who come from diverse backgrounds in a low-income neighborhood where some of them live in shelters. 

Klimm’s Zumba workouts for staff, students and family members continued over the summer.