Students shake off hurricane with Zumba


Photo by: Rian Sanders

FMU Alumnu Taylor Gray teaches a two hour Zumba class for FMU students at the Grille on Sept. 24 with her sister, Reagan, for current FMU students.

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted their second “Grille After Dark” event with a Zumba class on Sept. 24, the first day back to campus after Hurricane Florence. Nearly 40 students showed up to the class, which was instructed by sisters Reagan and Taylor Gray. 

FMU Alumna Taylor Gray graduated with a degree in marketing in May 2018. She has been a Zumba instructor for five years, and started in her senior year in high school carrying it into college. After graduation, Taylor started working at the School of Dance Arts, a local dance studio in the area, where she is currently an operations manager. Her younger sister, Reagan, is currently a sophomore at FMU, majoring in supply chain management. Reagan has been a certified Zumba instructor for one year. Both Taylor and Reagan teach every Tuesday and Thursday at a local all-ladies gym, Fitness World Gyms. 

Unlike where they instruct, all genders were welcome to attend Zumba night on campus.  The class lasted for two hours with both commuter and resident students in attendance.

“I don’t mind driving all the way out here to have fun on campus,” Savanna Gainey, sophomore, said. “I love the new Campus Activities Board, it’s a lot better than last year. I hope they start doing this more often.”

FMU previously tried starting a Zumba class for students to attend, but were unsuccessful due to lack of advertisement. Taylor said she wished there had been a similar thing when she was in college, and that the same problem that prevented it then is still a challenge for them now.

“The hard thing about getting students in college, is that it’s hard for them to commit to something, especially when its physical activity,” Taylor said. “A lot of students go through college without working out at all and then regret it years down the road.”

“We were delighted to see how many male students came out tonight, we hope to see more at our future events,” Caroline Shelley, executive chair of the CAB, said. 

“I think people don’t understand what Zumba is,” Taylor said. “They think it’s some girly thing or something that’s not going to make them sweat, but that’s not the case if you have the right instructor.”

Reagan said she hopes it will continue and that next time there is a Zumba class, they can move it to the Smith University Center (UC) building and have more students join, which she plans on doing by having more advertising. The UC building has more space for the students to move around and dance.

“We hope we can start doing a Zumba class maybe doing one once a month. I would honestly be fine with doing it once a week,” Reagan said.

Anyone interested in resuming Zumba classes who isn’t a member of the gym can join one of their classes at the all-ladies Fitness World Gyms for a $5 fee.