Tapestry Residents “Dance Their Way” To Wellness
Maybelin Munoz grew up dancing and now she’s combined her love of dance with her desire to work with seniors by teaching Zumba classes at Tapestry at Arbutus Walk. Zumba is a form of fitness class in which you can improve your overall health by dancing to lively tunes, often Latin-American inspired such as salsa, merengue, tango and samba.
Originally from Mexico, Maybelin moved to Canada in 2007 and she says that where she comes from, dancing is a part of almost every aspect of life. So it was only natural that she sought out a Zumba class after she moved to Canada. It was Maybelin’s suggestion to offer Zumba classes at Arbutus Walk. After first taking up Zumba recreationally, she achieved her certification to teach regular and children’s classes.
Maybelin’s certification to teach Zumba Gold for seniors started in the fall of 2019.“Zumba is for people of all abilities,” she says. “I can easily adapt the class to support an individual’s level of participation.” It was Tapestry residents who moved Maybelin to offer to teach Zumba to seniors. “I am so inspired by our residents,” she says. “It’s a population that I care deeply about, so I wanted to share my talents with them. Maybelin is also a firm believer in Tapestry’s 7 Dimensions of Wellness – and says that keeping active and social contribute to overall wellness.
Some of the benefits of Zumba can include:
Memory support – it’s a medically proven fact that music triggers your memory and helps with brain function
Coordination – Zumba includes repetition of movement which can improve coordination
Muscle tone – light weights are used during Maybelin’s classes to help tone muscles
Balance – as we age, strength and balance are key to fall prevention
Social – class participants socialize before, during and after classes, and new friendships have been made
Fun – Maybelin keeps things lively with theme days including costumes for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.
The proof of these benefits is the active residents who enjoy Maybelin’s weekly classes. Doreen, who has lived at Arbutus Walk for five years, participates in the seated Zumba classes every Sunday as part of her commitment to staying active. “I exercise every day, and I think it’s really important to keep exercising,” she says. She adds that Maybelin’s love of dance is infectious. “She’s fantastic. She comes in so joyous every Sunday, and we really appreciate having her,” she says.
Fellow resident Christina loves the variety in Maybelin’s Zumba classes. “It’s never the same, it’s always different. And she has good music!” she says. Also a five-year resident at Arbutus Walk, Christina had been enjoying Zumba classes for several years when she had to stop two years ago due to a compression fracture in her spine (unrelated to the classes). Luckily, Maybelin was already thinking about offering the seated version.
Christina admits she was skeptical at first but is now a big fan of seated Zumba. “Yes, we are sitting down, but I’m doing something with my feet, with my arms and my whole body, and I feel so good when I’m done,” she says. Christina says Maybelin is the best fitness instructor she’s ever had. “She’s so enthusiastic, and she’s smiling all the time,” she adds.
Maybelin says some people might think Zumba is too challenging for them. “Most people are afraid to try it at first, because they think they aren’t coordinated or don’t have rhythm,” she says. “The secret is, if you love music and you want to learn a new activity, just join the class. You don’t need to be an expert. We always say ‘feel the music’ – music is universal.”
In addition to teaching Zumba, Maybelin also works full-time as an executive assistant/project coordinator for Tapestry, after joining in April 2019 as an office services assistant.
If you are considering making the move to independent retirement living, please contact us. We would be pleased to host you for a complimentary lunch and a private tour, and introduce you to the community’s amazing Tapestry employees who work together to deliver an unparalleled experience for our residents every day.
And if Maybelin’s story has inspired you to explore joining the Tapestry team, please visit our Careers page for a complete list of job postings..