Yesterday I was reminded why the JCC is not a gym. Not. Even. Close.
Yesterday in our Aerobics Studio, I watched Another Step’s Hip Hop Dance recital, led by our Zumba instructor Jen Semon. Another Step of Rockland County is a social service agency that works with people who have developmental disabilities to empower them to lead the life they choose.
A group of about 20 of these young adults meet Jen at the JCC twice a week for a hip hop class, and yesterday was their time to shine.
Family members of the dancers came with flowers in hand, and beamed with pride as their children performed the routines.
My favorite parts were when Jen stepped aside and let the dancers take over with solos, allowing them to whip, nay nay, and shimmy with confidence and pure joy. The smiles were AWESOME, and literally lit up the entire room. I grabbed a few members I saw walking by so that they could experience this too. They could not help but smile as soon as they saw these dancers in action.
As I stood there taking it all in with happy tears in my eyes, it reminded me what a JCC is all about: Community. The JCC provides a place for ALL members of the community to feel included, empowered, and like family. Yes, our fitness offerings are outstanding–from Pilates, to group fitness, to machines, and especially our staff–but being at a JCC is so much more. We are not about “picking things up and putting them down.” We bring people together to create community with mutual respect.
We are not a gym, and I could not be more proud to be part of the JCC Rockland family.