Zumba class in the South Loop: hello and goodbye

Zumba class in the South Loop:  hello and goodbye

When Interchange Medical Wellness Center opened at Roosevelt and Wabash a few years ago--offering classes like Zumba, among other things--I couldn't wait to get in to see it.  That's because it was upstairs in an old vintage bus station that we South Loop neighbors had been waiting to see renovated for years.

I got in for the open house that was geared to introduce us to what they did.  It was a nice enough place, clean, colorful, bright.  Sort of a pay as you go health club and pedestrian spa.  But the name never really explained to me what it did.  Interchange?  (Didn't get that at all.)  Medical?  (Was it a health clinic?)  Wellness?  (A new age emporium with...?)  Even the word "Center" was confusing.  Drop-in?  Community?  Or?  It had a fine decor and a nice view out of big windows onto Roosevelt.  But I never went back.

Until several days ago.

A company called "Vimbly" offered me a free class at Interchange.  So I said Ok, and signed up for Zumba, which I'd never tried before.  Which reminded me of one of my lively old video exercise classes with Jane Fonda that I was addicted to years ago.  Although now I have to be careful.  Unlike then.  At my age, I can't give it my all in a class like Zumba, or make any jerky movements or do any energetic jumping jacks in sync with the Latin music that could put a knee or a hip out of commission.

In any case, it turns out that ironically, as of tomorrow Interchange Medical Wellness Center will no longer offer group classes.  So I tried one just in the nick of time.  The group classroom will be turned over to private sessions between trainer and client.  And the place will continue to do whatever (medical?  wellness?) and offer a great view onto Roosevelt from the big picture windows.

Being introduced to Vimbly has been interesting, though.  They list all manner of obscure classes and tours in various cities and allow those visiting their website to sign up for them at pretty low prices.  In Chicago, they offier classes I was totally unaware of--and I am a huge tour-taker and class-goer.  Everything from distillery tours for $10 to $15 one-shot ballet fundamentals classes with Joel Hall Dancers.

The thing that caught my attention about Vimbly, though is one of their marketing ideas.  They ask singles, for example, if going out to eat is really the best idea for making a first impression on a first date.  They suggest a tour or a class is a far better way to go.  And more fun.  And you don't have to strain to make conversation; the tour guide/teacher/group leader does it for you.  And you won't get bored.

Sounds like a very interesting way to attract customers.  I guess showing flacid muscles or a fat butt during boxing or Tai Chi is the lesser of two evils in light of getting spinach stuck in your teeth across the table.  Or choking on a piece of meat when you're smiling at a potential beau.

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