Junious Smith III: Fulfilling my Zumba promise to Tekeema

Junious Smith III: Fulfilling my Zumba promise to Tekeema

I wasn’t backing down from this challenge — I just needed a little time to prepare.

In November, Neuse News held an Election Day Facebook Live broadcast which went past 1 a.m. as we waited for results to roll in. B.J. Murphy and Bryan Hanks were on your social media screen for the entire duration, with Jon Dawson, Matt Lococo, Aleatha Thrower, Stephanie Towne and Travis Towne behind the scenes — and I still don’t know how they did it.

I came in for a while after talking with candidates, and as we waited for results, Bryan, B.J. and I challenged people to watch the show.

Bryan threw out a wild proposition on the air, one we didn’t think was possible: If we had 300 live viewers, B.J. and I would take a Zumba class at Sassy’s Fitness. We were right around 180 viewers at the time — however, that total included Sassy’s Fitness founder Tekeema Parson, who made our viewers double in a 5-minute time span by challenging her Facebook friends to watch the broadcast.


Time passed and neither B.J. or I attended a class. We both have busy schedules, but after a while, my conscience got to me a bit. It’s not because I was excited about the class — going in, I was trying to prolong my attendance as long as possible because I can’t dance — but I made a promise that needed to be fulfilled. In an earlier column, I set a deadline of Aug. 15 and strolled in Tuesday morning expecting the worst.

What I experienced was the absolute opposite of what I expected. Granted, I was about as uncoordinated as I expected, but it was too much fun to care. Tekeema told me prior to, it was more about staying active than following the cadence perfectly, and I was at least able to do that for the hour-long class.

The energy of everyone around me — along with a great hip-hop, reggae and R&B mix — kept my spirits high throughout. Even better, I made it through without stopping (although there were moments I did drag).

Overall, it was a fun experience and I’m thankful for the great people at Sassy’s. By the way, B.J. hasn’t gone to a class yet so if you see him, let him know classes are Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m., and there are sessions at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Follow through on your claim — the people helped us out.

As for me, I will definitely go to another class in the future permitted I survive a South Lenoir cross-country practice. Yes, I made a promise there too — but as you’ve figured out about me, I’m a little reckless.

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