David Quarles, a jack of all trades who's well-known for his coveted IV by David jewelry line, has been teaching Zumba classes for the last 10 years, leading private lessons for St. Jude employees as well as teaching public classes at Jack Robinson Gallery each week.
When COVID-19 hit, Quarles was quick to transition to online classes, hosting his first virtual Zumba class on March 19th.
"It went well," says Quarles. "I had a total of 69 people who joined in. Before, we averaged around 35 people for each class at Jack Robinson Gallery."
- Ziggy Mack
- David Quarles (left)
Due to increase in demand, Quarles has expanded the class schedule to four days a week, and he says that broadening availability of classes has attracted new and former students from around the world, including Kuwait and Mexico.
"Now that I'm offering these classes online, I've had a surge of people who used to take classes seven years ago join in," says Quarles. "It's nice to be able to reconnect with everyone, and it's a good way to stay connected, because we formed such a tight-knit community and a lot of friendships were formed."
Quarles mainly teaches basic Zumba, dancing to a variety of Latin and World Music, including Samba, Afrobeat, Salsa, and Merengue. He says that Zumba can be a great way of burning 400-650 calories while forgetting everything that's been going on, if only for an hour.
"It's a good, happy exercise, and by the time you finish the class, you don't really know that you've gotten in a workout other than your sweat, because you've had so much fun," says Quarles. "It's so beneficial now, because we're bombarded with so much confusing news. It's a good way for us to connect and have a sense of normalcy."
Thursday, May 14th, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 17th, 1 p.m., Monday, May 18th, 6:15 p.m., $5; Wednesday, May 20th, at 1 p.m., $3; Email firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which class you'd like to join; Payable through Cash App ($DAVIDQIV) and Venmo (@DAVIDQUARLESIV). Free class available on Friday, May 15th, at 5:30 p.m., in partnership with Memphis Medical District Collaborative; Search "David Quarles" on eventbrite.com to register.