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Zumbini: A Great Workout For Kids

Elizabeth Selfridge has found the perfect way to spend a day with her 3 1/2-year old daughter, Beth. She takes her little one to the Center Stage Dance Studio at 102 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park every Wednesday morning for a little dancing and jumping in a

“Zumbini” program. The program is taught by Linda Byrne, a former physical education teacher at Floral Park-Bellerose School.


“Zumbini is a great way for moms and kids to get together for a little rhythm and dancing and getting all of our energy out,” said Selfridge, who has participated in the program with her daughter since it started in early October. “It is a nice bonding experience and really is a whole lot of fun.”


Zumbini is a spinoff from the ultra popular dance and fitness craze, Zumba. It is designed for infants and children up to four years old and their moms and caregivers. It is a 45-minute class combining movement and music meant to improve overall health and well being.


“Zumbini classes take the youngest  of Zumba fans on their first steps toward a healthy, active life by pairing adults and young children to wiggle, sing and learn through a bonding experience,” said Byrne.


Participants in the class use festive props and instruments and dance and wiggle to a variety of kid-friendly tunes. Props include colorful scarves, dolls and instruments like small drums and pint sized tambourines.


Lori Keller of Bellerose said that the weekly Zumbini classes “give her son a great opportunity to be active with other kids.”


“He loves it,” said Keller whose son, Jake, was the only boy in the class of six moms with daughters. “We have the class CD with the songs on it at home and he is always dancing to the music.”


Byrne, who also teaches Zumba classes, said the reason she started the program was because she really missed teaching kids.


“My passion has always been teaching children,” said Byrne. “To combine music and teaching at the same time is really such a great thing for these kids.”


Zumbini classes are currently held at the Studio on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 and Wednesdays from 10 to 10:45.


A new, 10-week session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 7, 2014. For more information and a chance to register early call Linda at 516-488-5732.