By Kathryn Menue


Celia’s Dance Education Center took the stage at the Entertainment Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Instructor Celia Saldana led her students and crowd members through the high intensity, yet easy to learn “Latin rhythms and beats” of a Zumba workout. These beats were translated into a workout that incorporated numerous dancing styles such as hip-hop and merengue.

The 2016 Boone County Fair marked the 6th year of the fun and fit workout from Celia’s Dance Education Center.

“Celia’s Dance Education Center always brings the Zumba crew for a one-hour class at the fair,” Instructor/owner Celia Saldana said.

Before the show started, Celia’s daughter Janet pumped-up the students while leading them through a pre-performance warm-up and staging instructions.

When show-time came around, Janet Saldana announced to the crowd, “We are Zumba with Celia.”

She also shared that Celia Saldana started the first Zumba center in Belvidere 11-years-ago, providing Zumba classes every morning and night Monday through Saturday.

Despite the nice breeze coming in through to the performance stage at the Entertainment Pavilion, Janet did warn that after each song, the students would take a break to recuperate and hydrate.

“Nobody’s going to get sick, today,” Janet said.

The breaks were a precautionary measure, since the students were just that: students, not performers.

“We are by no means performers; we just love to work out. But, Zumba is like no other workout. Since it just looks like a party and we have so much fun doing it, people enjoy stopping by the entertainment tent to watch,” Celia Saldana said.

The party atmosphere was definitely apparent with about 20 of Saldana’s students leading the crowd through the Zumba routine. Students weren’t limited to a certain age or gender category. Teenagers and seniors, both male and female, lit up the stage with their bright smiles and fitness routines. The performers wore matching blue t-shirts advertising “Zumba Belvidere with Celia: Dance Fitness.”

“They [Saldana’s students] come to class whenever they can, as usual, and they treat the fair performance like normal, having fun as they would any other class,” Saldana said.

The fun the students had spread to the audience with crowd members getting up and dancing to the rhythm of the heart-racing Latin music streaming over the loudspeakers.

“We always invite the audience to come dance with us since the moves are repetitive and easy-to-follow and people can’t stop the music from moving them,” Saldana said. “Overall, we all have [a] blast, whether its students, audience [members], or people just passing by.”

Although Celia’s Dance Education Center provides a fun show for audience members and fairgoers to watch, the main take away from their demonstration is that working out can be a fun and easy process.

“In the end, we really just want to bring awareness to others that getting fit doesn’t have to be a drag, and the fair gives us great exposure,” Saldana said. “And, of course, we definitely enjoy the day at the fair.”

Therefore, Celia had her son, David, in the back of the Entertainment Pavilion handing out brochures and informative pamphlets on Celia’s Dance Education Center. He even handed out coupons for one free class.

In case fairgoers missed the performance, information on Celia’s Dance Education Center can be found on Facebook or on their website at: Or, stop by Celia’s studio at 124 N. State St. in Belvidere.

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