Zumba classes are fun, active and free to everyone who stops by “Zumba in the Park” at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. Meagan Simmons has been leading the class every Tuesday night for two years and enjoys seeing old and new faces.
“The great thing about Zumba is that you’re not here for your neighbor, you’re not here for me, you’re here for yourself,” Simmons said.
The class starts promptly as 6:00 p.m. and is a full hour of exercise in a family-friendly environment.
Laurence Alo is a regular at the Zumba class. He’s been coming ever since the downtown YMCA started offering the class in 2014.
“Zumba is best when we have weather like we do today,” Alo said.
The class’s popularity has grown immensely. The number of dancers has increased from 20 people in the first year to an average of 50 to 60 people now. Men and women of all ages are seen in the crowd.
“It is a great way to meet different kinds of people,” Alo said.
“Zumba in the Park” is held every Tuesday at Curtis Hixon Park from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Diamond View Studios is a local production company devoted to creating excellent content. With a crew of 15 team members, creative juices are always flowing in their new state of the art studio located right off Bearss Avenue.
“Every single person who works there is truly passionate about video and about creating terrific content,” said operations manager Jonathan Hickson. “You come in and we’re having fun and it looks like we’re just playing around but really, we’re working really hard and we’re creating content that we’re proud of.”
Diamond View’s clientele is quite diverse, ranging from the University of South Florida to companies like Red Bull and Allstate.
“We’re constantly looking for new creative concepts — new hardware we can use, new software we can use. We’re always just striving to take it to one more level above what we already are right now,” said Shane Sackett, a recent intern turned associate producer.
Founded in 2007, the company outgrew office space after office space before setting their eyes on an available brick building. The open space and modern design of the studio are hard to miss, and Tampa Bay Business Journal recognized them as the 2016 Coolest Office Space.
“I didn’t think I’d like working anywhere as much as I do working at Diamond View,” Hickson said.
Production inquiries can be sent through their website, diamondviewstudios.com, or their telephone number, 800-613-9693.
The Argentine Tango Club at the University of South Florida is bringing the intimate form of the tango to students on campus. Meeting every Tuesday night at the USF Campus Recreation Center, the class is open to both beginners and experienced dancers.
“With Argentine tango, it’s really cool that you’re always dancing with someone so close that’s also really a stranger,” Ryan Mack, Argentine Tango Club president said.
Lessons brought by the club focus on enjoying the experience of the tango, with partner switches and new activities every time.
“I find it one of the classiest dances,” said Miriam Mijares, who has been dancing with the club for over a year. “At the same time, it can be either fun, or formal, passionate, seductive, or just plain silly.”
The tango can be an intimidating dance, especially to students who do not have any experience. However, the club is welcoming to people of all experience levels, regardless if they come with a partner.
“I say close your eyes, pretend like you’re inventing this dance, and according to the music, just do what you feel,” Mijares said.
The club meets in room 033 at 5:00 PM every Tuesday. Admission to the recreation center is free for students and $15 for guests.
This generation of “millennials” has a newfound urge to travel around the world. Wanderlust has been redefined and University of South Florida students have multiple opportunities to study abroad.
Dr. Rick Wilber, a mass communications professor, has been taking students to Ireland for the past two to three decades.
“There are a lot of wonderful places to go and a lot of great people to meet,” Wilber said. “It’s not surprising that this generation of students is taking advantage of the opportunity.”
The trip originally started off as backpacking through Scotland. But over the course of three to four years, Wilber says they started to spend more and more time in Ireland and less time in Scotland that it became the Ireland trip.
The new generation has many aspirations to travel the world but often forgets that there are many wonders in the great state of Florida. Stacie Aviles, a graduate student from USF, has become accustomed to taking any adventure she can fit into her busy schedule.
“I don’t think Florida gets a lot of credit for its nature,” Aviles said. “Lettuce Lake Park and Flatwoods Park are just two of many places students can go within a 10 minute drive.”
If there is one thing that Aviles wants her fellow millennials to remember, it is to steer away from the social media realm.
“Don’t spend so much time on your phones when you’re up there.” she said. “I know the views can be really breathtaking but just remember to take it all in for yourself.”