There is a free Zumba class being offered to Fort Hood ladies every week on Tuesdays at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel.

Sasha Moen, Zumba instructor and wife of Chaplain (Maj.) Dan Moen, attended her first Zumba class in 2015 with a friend. At the time, she actively followed a fitness routine with “regular” exercises, like running, but she fell in love with Zumba and the community around it.

“I had my doubts about the genuine physical fitness benefits of a ‘dance class.’ I was so wrong. That first Zumba class had me sore for three days,” she exclaimed. “The community of people who were regulars in that class truly knew each other, they knew about each other’s families and lives, and enjoyed each other’s company inside and outside of Zumba.”

She attended that class for several months and noticed some positive changes in her life.

“I was significantly happier after my Zumba classes. My husband and children took notice,” she shared. “The other participants and I began naturally bonding inside and outside of Zumba. I was enjoying a wonderful supportive community of mil-spouses with some common goals. The full body workout I was regularly getting through Zumba was motivating the rest of my exercise routines. I had more energy and noticed positive changes in my physique.”

Later that same year, she became an instructor and loves instructing even more than attending.

“I love the challenge of encouraging and inspiring others in class,” she said. “I love watching the change that happens when a participant walks in seemingly uncertain and nervous and then leaves relaxed, confident and smiling. Most of all, I love getting to know the participants and hearing how aspects of their lives begin to change.”

She believes the science behind Zumba that movement and music improve mood and overall health.

“The beauty of Zumba is that by the time the class is over, the participant doesn’t realize how hard their body worked and all the calories burned because they enjoyed the process so much,” she said. “One can burn anywhere between 250-800 calories in one class, depending on the effort. Zumba prides itself in creating more of a ‘party’ feel rather than a challenging fitness class… the reality is it’s both!”

Sasha believes the most challenging part is just showing up. She’s seen a lot of people be intimidated by the fact that it’s “dance” fitness, thinking that they can’t dance.

“I can’t tell you how many people have told me those exact words before they came to their first class with me. Those were the same one who never missed a class after that first one and bring all their neighbors to join in,” she said. “No one is looking at you; everyone’s looking at the instructor. And at least two thirds of the class feel the same way as you.”

She shared that teaching Zumba is one of the ways she serves God.

“My hope in providing the Zumba ministry is for it to be a way to love and serve those around me. When ladies check in for my class, there’s always information about chapel-sponsored events and resources at Fort Hood,” she stated. “Serving in our military as a woman is hard; being a military spouse is hard. Both need healthy outlets to release stress and find a positive, supportive community. My hope and prayer is that these Zumba classes and the organic community that grows will help check these boxes.”

Chaplain (Col.) Darren Chester, Garrison Religious Support Office, said he hopes the Fort Hood community experiences fellowship and spiritual growth through the class.

“(It’s) An opportunity for women to fellowship and grow spiritually while encouraging one another through physical exercise,” Chester said. “Bodily exercise is good for many things, but spiritual exercise is good for all things!”

Classes start every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel.