Programs at Brentwood Civic Center to focus on healthy living

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Classes geared toward healthy living are coming to the Brentwood Civic Center, located in the Brentwood Park complex.

A fall schedule that begins Sept. 14 features classes for youngsters including some on healthy cooking taught by Lisa Silberg, a graduate of culinary program at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Other children's programs include dance, Jump Start dek hockey and basketball. Cardio dance classes are available for adults.

The programs will be the first of their kind implemented in Brentwood since recreation director, Paula Simmons, started in May, to boost participation in park programming. Brentwood Park is undergoing an $8 million overhaul.

Classes take place at the Brentwood Civic Center and Brentwood Library community room.

“If the classes are a success, there will be a lot of people in the buildings that have (barely) been used,” Simmons said.

Silberg will teach three classes for children — “Kids Can Cook,” “Healthy Eating Habits with Juicing and Smoothies” and “Bees are Bee-utiful” in the Brentwood Library community room.

“One of my intentions is for children to become aware of healthy foods that are available that they may not have thought tasted good,” Silberg said. “Our kids are so used to eating processed foods; I want them to know that food can taste good without that.”

Adults will be able to take cardio classes taught by certified instructors Amy Winters Thumpston and Shawna Shannon.

“It's a more fun way to get a workout,” Simmons said. “It's not just going to the gym and getting a workout.”

The instructors will teach a free preview class on Sept. 14, featuring the Zumba exercise program and the hip-hop cardio workout. The Zumba program has a little more dancing, while the hip-hop cardio class involves more strength training, said Winters Thumpston.

Winters Thumpston will teach the hip-hop cardio class, which features cardio moves that use body weight. All moves can be modified.

“People come to my classes in pairs,” Winters Thumpston said. “Very rarely is someone just showing up. Your group becomes solidified, and you develop relationships within that class.”

Shannon will teach three classes in the fall. “Cardio Kick and Sculpt” is high intensity and might require participants to bring in dumbbells from home. She also will be teaching Zumba and “Senior Latin Dance.”

“Senior Latin Dance” is open to everyone but will be at a slower pace designed for senior citizens.

“It's a real sense of community,” Winters Thumpston said about the programs. “Brentwood is so small, and I think that they have something for everyone.”

Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

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