Belltown Community Center offers unconventional ways to get fit

Participants learn to connect with their tango partners during a H.U.M.P fitness event at Belltown Community Center.


As much as we’d like to deny it, the truth is that fall is just around the corner. When temperatures begin to drop and rain stakes its claim on the city once again, many people seek ways to bring their workouts indoors.

Participants in Belltown Community Center’s Introduction to Tango H.U.M.P fitness event.

Belltown Community Center introduced an indoor fitness series this year that features unique classes for people who find the treadmill monotonous. The series is called H.U.M.P, which stands for Healthy Urban Movement Parties. The H.U.M.P events appropriately take place on the second hump day of every month, Wednesday. Each month the event has a different theme. So far, events have featured Zumba, burlesque, hula hooping and more.

“The point is to change things up and give people fitness options during the winter months,” Belltown Community Center Recreation Attendant Masha Shtern said. “If we find a class gets really popular, we may introduce a new series entirely around that theme.”

First Hill resident Amy Saba has attended many of the H.U.M.P events. Saba used to be an avid runner and got her exercise training for half marathons. Recently she injured her leg and was advised to look for lower-impact fitness options.

“I was lost,” Saba said. “Running was my meditation. I started looking for other activities that could get me out of my head and tried a H.U.M.P event. I really liked the first one I tried, and it made me want to try other unconventional fitness activities.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the H.U.M.P theme was tango. Instructor Gabriela Condrea has been teaching tango for four years and said she was excited to be part of the series.

“Tango isn’t high impact, so it’s an option for a wide variety of people,” she said. “Essentially, tango is just a fun way to walk, which unfortunately most of us don’t do enough of. Many of us sit at computers all day in our silos, and we need an opportunity to get out and move with other people.”

Condrea teaches people to develop connections with their partners rather than to focus on getting the steps just right.

“You can think of practicing tango like going to a group fitness class,” Condrea said. “When you’re practicing with other people, you feel like you’re part of a society and it motivates you to continue.”

The next H.U.M.P event will be held at Belltown Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 8. No advance registration is necessary and the cost is $5. For information on the next event, please visit the community center’s Facebook page at