08 June . 2023
Sweetwater’s Zumba group gathers neighbors for fitness and fun
Sweetwater’s Zumba group is one of the most popular resident-led clubs in the community, with a growing roster of classes and special events held most days a week at the Sweetwater Club.
Zumba, Toning and Bollywood classes are led by residents and licensed instructors Nichole Imbesi (left in photo above), Alisa McGrane (second from left), Sara Corson (second from right), and Aishwarya “Aish” Viswanathan. Read on for profiles of these four energetic Sweetwater residents, each of whom brings a distinct background and unique style to the group.
Membership in the Sweetwater Zumba Group is available for a monthly fee, which includes unlimited access to all classes. There are also options for one-week and one-day drop-in passes. Sweetwater residents enjoy preferred rates, and membership is also available to non-residents in nearby communities. Visit SweetwaterZumba.com to see the class schedule and sign up.
Aish, who spearheaded the effort to bring Zumba to Sweetwater several years ago, describes the workout as “exercise disguised as dancing.”
“Zumba is so much fun, people don’t realize they’re really working hard, getting a high-intensity interval training workout,” she said. “We welcome everyone to join in the fun and fitness festivities whatever their fitness level or goals may be.”
The typical 60-minute Zumba class burns an average of 369 calories, providing a cardio workout that melts fat, strengthens the core, and improves flexibility, according to the physician-reviewed website WebMD.com.
In addition to classes, the Sweetwater Zumba Group has hosted several special events, including a Summer Salsa Social, Breast Cancer Awareness Event, and a holiday party and toy drive benefitting the Austin chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Meet the Instructors
Aishwarya “Aish” Viswanathan started the Zumba program in Sweetwater in 2015 and has been key to its success and growth. She received her Zumba Fitness License in 2013 and Zumba Toning License certification in 2022. She established the dance fitness arm for a dance company in 2014 and was its chief executive officer until 2018. Aish teaches Zumba, Toning and Bollywood, often blending the three fitness styles and rhythms in her fun classes, keeping true to the passion she has for all three styles. When not sharing her love of fitness, Aish is a wife, mom to a six-year-old son, and senior business analyst for an investment management company.
Sara Corson started taking Zumba classes when she was a graduate student. After taking a hiatus from Zumba due to moving across the country, changing careers and having children, Sara jumped at the chance to participate in Aish's first Sweetwater Bollywood class in January 2019. She became a licensed Zumba Instructor in 2021. Her favorite thing about Zumba, besides the music, is the amazing community that is formed in class. Sara moved to Sweetwater in April 2016 with her husband and young son. Since then, they have added another son and a dog to their family. Sara holds a PhD in Neuroscience and is director of the Honors Center at the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.
Alisa McGrane has been a Zumba lover and participant for over 10 years. She received her initial Zumba Instructor License in 2021, and shortly after that earned a Zumba Toning License. Alisa loves teaching Zumba, especially the toning component that shapes, increases balance and develops muscle tone while dancing to the latest Latin Rhythms. Alisa is thrilled to be part of the growing Zumba family in Sweetwater, and says the connections made in Zumba class have created a “sisterhood of friendship.” Alisa lives in Sweetwater with her husband and a pet bunny named Bunny. For work, she is a clinical account specialist in the Southwest Region for Regeneron Biotech.
Nichole Imbesi, Sweetwater’s newest Zumba instructor, moved to the community in early 2023, relocating from the East Coast with her husband, two teenagers and dog. “Being a work from home mom of teens, I knew I needed to get creative to get out of the house and meet people,” she says. A Zumba devotee since 2009, Nichole was excited to read about Sweetwater’s Zumba class in the community newsletter. “I’ve always had a love for choreographed fitness classes,” she says. “I attended my first session this spring, and I was blown away by the warm welcome from everyone. I quickly became a regular and slowly inched my way to the front row.” Nichole loved Sweetwater’s Zumba classes so much, she became a licensed instructor this summer and became the fourth instructor for the growing group. “My favorite part about Zumba is it is simply impossible not to have a great time.”
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