Free dancing classes are Zooming into Richmondites' living rooms and backyards

Several times a week, salsa, flamenco, merengue and tango music can be heard emanating from Wynne Ling's living room window.

The Richmondite is a dedicated Zumba dancer who has been keeping fit through the pandemic by joining free online classes. 

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And Ling isn't alone. 

Dozens of dancers across the Lower Mainland are also moving their bodies in time to those Latin beats thanks to a public Facebook group titled "Richmond BC Fitness for all.” 

"Dancing helps me stay optimistic and release stress in these challenging times. I recommend everyone   give it a try. You will find the whole experience extremely motivating and uplifting," said Ling, adding that sometimes her husband can also be seen dancing along in the background. 

"The dance class isn't just limited to Richmond anymore. We have new people from different regions attending classes each week."

Winnie Kwok, Ling's Zumba dance instructor, used to teach Zumba dancing at Minoru Center for Active Living, but the pandemic suspended all classes due to restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Kwok received requests from people asking if she could hold online classes so they could stay connected during this isolating time.

Richmond Women's Resource Center, a local non-profit, allowed Kwok to use their Zoom app account to bring Zumba classes into people's homes. 

Despite the fact community centers and gyms are closed, Kwok thinks it is essential people find ways to keep themselves active.

"Nothing makes me happier than to see all my students dancing up a storm, sweating and the most important of all...having a lot of fun."

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