A Different Kind of Teacher: Meet Cheryl Cranston, Zumba Instructor

Instructional Designer Cheryl Cranston is passionate about teaching Zumba.

Instructional Designer Cheryl Cranston is passionate about teaching Zumba.

Cheryl Cranston’s Zumba hobby came about by accident. The Instructional Designer accompanied her friend to a Zumba lesson on a whim and became hooked.

“During my first Zumba class, the goal was just to make it through,” says Cheryl. “It’s a very intense cardio workout! But the time went so fast. I made it, a little winded, but it was one of those moments when you think, ‘I love this.’”

Since that first class, Cheryl has earned certification to teach basic Zumba, Zumba Gold (a slower form), Zumba Toning (using light weights), and Zumba Centao, which incorporates a chair for increased resistance.

“My favorite aspect of Zumba that sets it apart from other forms of exercise is the music,” says Cheryl. “There’s a certain energy that you feel when you’re doing it. There’s something about Latin rhythms that absolutely makes you want to move—you can’t hear it without making a little bit of hip action.”

Zumba choreography often incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, and martial arts.

“As I began to teach, my students would say ‘It’s already been an hour? It went so fast!’,” says Cheryl. “It goes really fast because you’re having fun, and exercise should be fun!”

Though Cheryl is passionate about dance, she’s never had any formal training. For her, the music guides her movement.

“That’s a cool thing about Zumba,” she says. “You don’t have to be a dancer. You just know basic steps and apply them to any song—you just move to the music.”

Until recently, Cheryl was teaching nine classes a week. Her recent move from Gresham to Milwaukie has disrupted her teaching, but she hopes to get back to it soon.

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