A duo of outdoor fitness activities is scheduled at this weekend’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

For the first time ever, the festival will offer professional instruction in the arts of Zumba and yoga , Executive Director of the Arts Festival Rick Bryant said.

“Last year we offered hula lessons, and these two options seem like a good progression from last year,” Bryant said .

Bryant said he expects a positive reaction from both events because people will want to try something different.

State College resident Teresa Soler will lead the Zumba class. Soler said she is a certified Zumba instructor and has years of experience with other forms of dance like ballroom and belly dancing.

Soler said Zumba is a good way to stay in shape and is an alternate workout style.

“Zumba provides people an opportunity to workout,” Soler said. “It’s a big party with lots of flavor. That’s why everyone loves it.”

Soler said Zumba encourages a healthy lifestyle and the participants have a good time while doing it.

“The dance is so fun that people don’t realize that they are working out. The whole program is successful because people have fun,” she said.

The Zumba dance workout is scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Festival Shell Stage in front of Old Main.

State College native and Penn State alumnae Denise McClellan , Class of 1978, will host the yoga class at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Sidney Friedman Park.

McClellan is a former professional dancer and currently teaches yoga at New Moves Inc. — her self-founded dance and movement arts studio in New York City.

She currently teaches at the studio and leads international retreats for her students. She has been intensively studying and practicing the art of yoga since 1998 and is a certified yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance, she said.

McClellan said she encourages people to come out to her event and give yoga a try.

“Yoga isn’t just a workout, it is a lifestyle. It’s a way of looking at life. It’s all about balance,” she said.

She describes yoga as a “healing art”. McClellan said she hopes her classes at the Arts Festival will encourage people to pursue yoga as an art and lifestyle.

“I hope that people will like it. Maybe they will attend a yoga class in the area,” she said. “This class is open to all ages and ability levels.”

Both instructors said they recommend participants wear comfortable clothes, and added that no prior experience is necessary for either session.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.