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Navy Petty Officer Monique Lee, of Fort Lauderdale, serves aboard USS Ashland (LSD 48)

NAVY-PETTY-OFFICER-MONIQUE-Navy Petty Officer Monique Lee, of Fort Lauderdale, serves aboard USS Ashland (LSD 48)

OS2 Monique Lee gets sailors in shape with Zumba.

By Mass Communications, Specialist 3rd Class David Cox

      Navy Petty Officer Second Class Monique Lee, from Fort Lauderdale, FL and a 2006 graduate of Hollywood Hills High School, is an Operations Specialist serving onboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) since January 2015 and is forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan. Her parents are Pamela Orange and Anthony Lee.

Lee is currently the Zumba instructor on board the Ashland and teaches two classes every Saturday on the ship; Sailors of different ranks, genders and backgrounds attend her classes. Lee says her introduction to Zumba was love at first class.

“I started Zumba back in 2010 when, during my pregnancy tour at NAS Oceania, one of the instructors at the gym started up Zumba and I began doing it and I really fell in love with it and I’ve been doing Zumba ever since,” said Lee. “I actually became a certified instructor in 2013 when I went to the instructor training in Biloxi, Miss. for the basic one-step courses such as Merengue, Reggaton, and Salsa. We then learned how to break down the routine and teach it to a class in steps.”

Lee plans to become a Zumba educational specialist and open up her own dance studio when she finishes Naval Service.

“Zumba educational specialists are the ones that go around and teach people how to be Zumba instructors and they come up with weekly routines that everybody does as a part of the Zumba instructor network,” said Lee. “I also went to the Zumba instructor convention last year in Orlando. It was so much fun; it was a full week of straight Zumba. I learned belly dancing, samba, and a number of other dances…so in addition to being a Zumba educational specialist I can also teach kick-boxing and step aerobics classes.”

Lee says she loves to teach classes because at first many people are skeptical, but when they try it they enjoy it.

“It’s a different form of exercise. We have our traditional physical training that we do; our run, our pushups, sit-ups, stuff like that and a few P90X classes, but Zumba is a class where everybody is interactive and you’re dancing and getting a good workout at the same time, but you don’t even realize that you are because you’re having so much fun. It’s about having fun and having a good time while you’re working out.”

Lee departed from Sasebo, Japan on patrol June 3 onboard USS Ashland. Ashland is a-signed to the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group and is on patrol in the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of operations.

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