Zumba at the center of debate in Hernando - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some board members thinks city Zumba classes could be competing with businesses

(WMC-TV) - Zumba. It is about shaking of the hips and stepping in time to a rhythmic dance. But now this dance is at the center of debate in Hernando, Miss.

"Some of the board members think that us holding Zumba classes might be competing with private businesses such as gyms or private Zumba instructors that teach classes at the churches," said City of Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson.

Board members voted to discontinue the discounted Zumba classes provided by the city. Johnson disagreed with the decision.

"There are a lot of people who can't afford a gym membership," noted Johnson.

Michelle Keeton battles neuropathy. She says for her and seniors, the Zumba classes would be a blessing.

"I think it's a really good idea, and I don't see why they would stop it," said Keeton, adding, "If that can be helped to stop a form of pain with exercising, I think it's great."

Hernando residents sounded off on the city's Facebook page, for and against offering the $10 a month classes at the Gale Center. Many of those against the Zumba classes thought taxpayers carried responsibility.

"The taxpayers weren't subsidizing. This we just worked out a good deal," said Johnson.

According to the Mayor, Hernando has become known as the healthy town in Mississippi.

"We were named the healthiest hometown in 2010 by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi, so our people are pretty proud of that honor," he said.

"That's wrong. The seniors need exercise. I was a geriatric nurse, and I know just how much a little bit of exercise can be," said former geriatric nurse Stephanie Lusk.

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