New program gets RRHA residents moving

Instructors teach the residents different dance moves that they can do anytime, anywhere.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Calhoun Community Center in Gilpin Court is hopping.

“I feel real happy when I come to exercise classes, and after class I want to tell people about it, how fun it is to stay fit,” says Barbara Kenney.

Kenney travels from Whitcomb Court for the Dance Your Way to Fitness program. It’s a partnership between Sports Backers, YMCA of Greater Richmond and the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The Richmond City Health District estimates only 37% of residents exercise regularly, so this is an effort to get these urban neighborhoods moving to prevent health issues.

“We definitely see higher rates of obesity and then preventable diseases,” explains Jacki Quinlan of Sports Backers. “Things like high blood pressure, we have a lot of folks on medications for diabetes, and a lot of these are preventable things that you can prevent by being active.”

Charlene Crenshaw enjoys learning different dance moves that require no extra exercise equipment, and she celebrates the healthy steps taken by new friends she’s made in the class.

“I’ve noticed how some of them have slimmed down more just by doing it, so I’m like, ‘Yes, thank you, thank you, thank you.’ So it’s a great feeling just watching us all enjoy the whole routine of working out,” Crenshaw says with a smile.

Kenney values these classes too, so much in fact, that she now hopes to become a fitness instructor to work with others.

“I want to help somebody that might feel, have a slow self-esteem.”

Adds Quinlan, “When we’re here, the hour goes by so quick because we’re just having a blast.”

The Summer program wraps up this month, but there is already a plan to bring it back in the Fall. If you would like to learn about how to register for an upcoming class, call RRHA at 780-4200.

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