Marco Island’s newly-completed Mackle Park Community Center is getting a workout with a calendar that’s booked with a variety of exercise and dance classes.
Samantha Malloy, manager of parks, culture and recreation for the city, said the center’s calendar is packed with activities. “With all of our programs, and people renting out the space for their things, we’re up and running at full speed,” she recently told the Marco Eagle.
Presently, the center offers dance classes in tap, lyrical, jazz, and ballet for beginners and intermediate dancers—three years old and up. Exercise instruction includes yoga, chair yoga, tumbling, Zumba, and soon, tai chi.
One exercise class that’s in full stride is a low-impact regimen called Essentrics, taught by certified level two Essentrics instructor Judy Waltz, a 15-year breast cancer survivor who said she felt drawn to the class for that very reason. Waltz holds classes three times per week and believes that it helps to keep its practitioners youthful.
“This is the only program I’ve found that allows you to age backwards. You’ll get a beautiful, lean dancer’s body, and don’t forget the ultimate reward—you’ll live longer,” Waltz told her class, according to the Eagle.
With a backdrop of up-beat music, the instructor guides her class through stretches and bends in positions where they both stand and lay on mats. Essentrics works all muscle and skeletal groups, Waltz says, and is different from lifting weights, and high-impact, high-stress workouts.
The exercise regimen is the brainchild of Miranda Esmonde-White, a former ballerina and the host of the PBS TV show, “Classical Stretch.” Esmonde-White’s 2014 book, “Aging Backwards,” promotes low-intensity strength and stretch exercises to help prevent injury and to act as a roadmap for “slowing down and even reversing the aging process.”
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