LYNDHURST, N.J. — Township resident Natalia Novoa is giving back to the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad through Zumba fitness and meditation classes.
The Emergency Squad rescued Novoa in 2014 when she needed a space to lead her Latin-inspired dance class after Body Shop on Ridge Road shut its doors.
Novoa's former classmate and squad member, Tarcisio Nunes, reached out to her through Facebook and offered to let her use the upstairs space in the squad's Delafield Avenue building.
"We go out and we do calls, but there's nothing here for us," Nunes said.
Squad members have free access to her Tuesday and Thursday evening classes. Novoa is also donating the proceeds from the merchandise she sells after classes to them.
"Tarcisio saved my life," said Novoa, who leads the classes with her mother, Mercedes Novoa. "It was the worst news when the gym closed.
"You create a Zumba family and you get people working out who might not be if it wasn't fun. We didn't know how we were going to do Zumba," she said.
Novoa's 7 p.m. Zumba classes are followed by the meditation classes. Costs range from $5 to $15.
Last month Novoa raised more than $600 for Fundacion de Amor, an organization that helps underprivileged children in Colombia.
"Most of the money was from our pockets because we wanted to give them more," said Novoa, who has a master's degree in holistic health and alternative healing.
Novoa incorporates oils, candles and breathing techniques into her meditation classes, which she said are preventative and designed to increase longevity.
"There's such a good energy in the room after we dance and we're all sweaty," she said. "For us, sweat is thicker than blood."
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