It is my great pleasure and honor to shine the light this month on Kara Hertz! Kara has been taking Zumba classes since 2009. Through her journey and taking classes at Z Club NY, Kara has learned that “anything is possible, you just need to find the right inspiration.” I sat down with Kara and asked her a few questions about her life and what inspires her in the studio and outside of it… – by Yali Szulanski for Z Club NY
How has taking classes with Z Club NY benefited your life?
Taking classes at Z Club NY has benefited my life in so many ways! From helping me to get fit to just having a good time while exercising. I have also made so many important connections and some great friends!
What inspires you to succeed in class and in your life?
I like to push myself to be better and stronger and I love being challenged. I love when there are people who have great energy or are amazing dancers in class and trying to keep up with them or trying to make myself better than them (I might be slightly competitive too). I am like this in class as well as in life.
How has Zumba/Z Club NY supported your health and fitness goals?
Zumba and Z Club NY have been a part of my life for a few years now. Last October, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. From October until January, I was pretty much bed ridden. Due to swelling in my brain, I was not allowed to do any physical activity. The swelling also caused damage to my body – I had very limited feeing in my entire right side. When I first started being active again, I could barely walk – let alone do Zumba!
I started doing Aqua Zumba when I first got permission to start to do physical activity again. It had to be low impact and/or in the water. I WAS HOOKED! It helped me so much! It helped me to get back into shape, with my balance, and in so many other ways! It was also a little break from reality! It has been a long journey but now the doctor says that my recovery has been incredible. They weren’t even sure I would be able to walk normally or do anything and now I am doing regular Zumba classes, and hopefully, now that I have my Aqua Zumba Instructor license, one day I will even be able to teach Aqua Zumba classes.
I owe it all to Zumba and now Zumba is helping me lose some of the many pounds that steroids made me gain. Zumba has also been something to look forward to and enjoy after going through this.
Which classes/Instructors are your favorites? Why?
Z Club NY has so many amazing instructors! I really enjoy instructors who like to push your limits and make you work hard.
Edmee has been the one instructor I have stuck with from the beginning. I had the great opportunity of being in small classes when Z Club NY was still young and expanding to the UWS. I love classes with Edmee because she always pushes me to work harder. She always pushes me to lift my legs a little higher and to really move through the room! And even from the beginning, she always was able to give everyone some individual attention in some way. She also introduced me to Aqua Zumba. For that, I will be forever grateful because it has helped me in so many ways. It also got me back into swimming! I have to say a HUGE thank you to Edmee for being there every step of the way and for being so supportive and pushing my limits in class.
Nick Logrea is my other favorite. I love the feeling of being exhausted and feeling like I had my butt kicked after just the warm-up! (He is also great because he does an excellent cool down and lots of stretching!) The class is super high energy and leaves you wanting to work harder. He is also a great dancer and has so much energy is so amazing!
How did you come across Z Club NY and Zumba in general? What is your favorite part about Z Club NY?
I first discovered Z Club NY after a Zumba Fundraiser at the YMCA. I started Zumba at the YMCA with Samuel Salazar and he was promoting the event in class. It was a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. The next week, I did the unlimited week of classes and was hooked! I love that Z Club NY offers such a wide variety of classes, instructors, and locations!
What is something unique about yourself that you’d like to share?
I own two horses. Stanley and Sprinkles, who I compete in Hunter/Jumpers and Dressage.