On Tuesday night, Olson Forum filled with students and the sound of pop music. At the front of the room was senior Lindsay Marie Dusek of Lindsay Marie Fitness, leading the group through routines of salsa, merengue, and hip-hop moves.
Dusek leads semi-regular Zumba classes on campus, sponsored by Concordia Events Commission. She has spent her four years at Concordia spreading her passion for group fitness, something she clearly has a lot of.
“I’ve been dancing my whole life,” Dusek said. “As someone who comes from a small town, I never had the opportunity to attend official classes, so for me dance has always been a hobby. I consider Beyonce my first teacher.”
Dusek became Zumba certified when she was 15, and began teaching her first classes at her hometown dance studio soon after. Dusek is also group-exercise certified, YogaFit level 1 certified and more, and she uses this experience to help students in the Fargo-Moorhead area get physically active in a fun way. In addition to Zumba at Concordia, Dusek also teaches Zumba classes and paddleboard yoga at North Dakota State University.
As a freshman, Dusek began the process of creating Cobber Fitness, a student organization that would host group fitness classes on campus. The idea originated in Dusek’s freshman dorm room, where she taught Zumba and yoga to her friends and floor mates. These classes soon outgrew her dorm, and following the approval of Cobber Fitness, Dusek began reserving the North Gym to teach Zumba to anyone looking to join.
Dusek helped teach Zumba classes for CEC throughout her sophomore year, and by the fall of 2016, Cobber Fitness had been absorbed into CEC. With an extensive background in Zumba and exercise, Dusek has become an instrumental role in CEC’s wellness activities.
“It went really well when we started it,” Dusek said. “I was glad to have the backing and advertising of CEC to help spread the word and increase knowledge of classes on-campus.”
CEC’s wellness and recreation events have seen increased attendance in recent years. According to sophomore Tori Ihry, current head of CEC’s Wellness and Recreation Commission, Dusek is largely responsible for the growth.
“Lindsay has been really great,” Ihry said. “She is so motivational and does a great job at making everyone feel comfortable with themselves.”
Last year, Zumba classes at Concordia averaged 40-50 attendees a session. At the first session this year, on Sept. 5, over 100 people were in attendance.
“I’ve instructed in front of large crowds before, but to have 100 people show up through word of mouth is so amazing,” Dusek said. “It was such a fun class and the energy was really great.”
That energy is Dusek’s favorite part of leading Zumba classes at Concordia.
“We Cobbers are so supportive and loving,” she said. “We are a damn good time.”
As a senior, Dusek is looking for someone to pass the torch to in hopes that Zumba classes can continue to grow in popularity at Concordia. Ihry is one name that comes to mind, as is junior Jordyn Templeton, a regular at her Tuesday night Zumba classes.
“I call Jordyn my intern. She has helped me out a lot and I know she would be a great teacher,” Dusek said. “Tori would be so great, too. They’ve both been so good and I would love to mentor them and see them through that transition.”
Templeton looks forward to the possibility after becoming so engaged in Zumba classes with Dusek.
“Being her ‘intern’ this year is a blast, I love teaching the songs with her,” Templeton said. “I don’t know if I could ever live up to Lindsay and her level of sass and awesome that she brings to Zumba, but I would definitely try.”
Abby is a junior majoring in Business with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in English Writing. She enjoys attending sporting events, making bets, and winning. This is her first year on the Concordian team!