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In the name of health, class offers Zumba, hula — at 5:30 a.m.

Island dance sessions embraced by people of all ages.

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"Our male population is slowly growing," Aagard said. "They used to stick to one corner but now they’re mixing in."

Music ranges from hip-hop to Latin, Polynesian to Tahitian — and cultural and ethnic backgrounds blend as participants pursue a single goal.

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"You don’t realize you’re working out," Pauni said. "You just think you’re dancing and yelling and cheering." And in that process, participants can burn 600 calories to 1,000 calories, depending on their size.

With all the different ages in the room, exertion levels vary, but Pauni said she has one basic rule.

"If you’re not having fun, and if you’re not moving in the same direction, then we’re in trouble," she said.

Mary Sue Floisand, 45, said she’s been involved for almost a year now and drives in regularly from Rose Park with several of her friends.

"It’s been amazing," Floisand said, pointing to the socializing and stress relief that the endorphin-generating exercise has provided "It gives you a lot of energy and pulls you out of what you’re dealing with."


twitter: @catmck

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