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Supportive Atmosphere, High Energy Classes Provide Sacred Space at Studio Z Cardio

By Kelly Church

Studio Z Cardio is a Shippensburg, PA gym with high-energy cardio and strength classes that is the byproduct of a mother who struggled after having her children. Amanda Courson has two boys and admitted going through an emotional rough patch after their births, until she walked into a Zumba class in September of 2010.

"For that one hour, I was free," Courson said. "The music and dancing took me away to a happy place. I never missed my Zumba classes. I started noticing a higher energy level, mental clarity, physical changes and starting feeling happy again. I knew that I wanted to bring all of that and more to whomever needed it."

After obtaining her Zumba license in 2011 and teaching at several studios throughout the area, Courson wanted to make her own rules and schedules. She opened Studio Z Cardio in December 2013.

"The atmosphere and culture at Studio Z is one of complete acceptance and support," Courson said. "I wanted an environment that people would feel totally comfortable walking into. You get a warm welcome and help, support and encouragement when you become part of the Studio Z family."

There are a variety of classes at Studio Z Cardio. These include: Zumba, Bootcamp, Cardio Kickboxing and more. One class in particular, Pound, has received a lot of attention after being featured on an episode of This is Us. Courson said what viewers see on television is actually quite different than what they would experience in a Studio Z Cardio Pound class.

"[Pound] is a Pilates-based, high-energy, full-body workout that is great for toning arms, legs and core," Courson said. "You use RipStix (weighted drum sticks) and perform Pilates type movements while drumming to a seriously hot playlist. It's like going to a rock concert where you are the star drummer. [It's] super stress relieving and totally fun."

Susan Ford before & after Studio Z. Now a PiYo instructor.

Courson teaches Zumba, Zumba Toning and Pound classes at Studio Z Cardio. There are five other instructors at Studio Z Cardio that cover the rest of the schedule, Monday through Saturday.

"You will become addicted to the high you feel after one of our amazing classes," Courson said. "Our instructors are very knowledgeable in their fields and constantly striving to be better and learn more. We are the only venue in Shippensburg that offers group fitness classes, and we guarantee that we will make exercising fun."

There are multiple membership options available for those who want to take classes at Studio Z Cardio. To view memberships and find out more about Studio Z Cardio, visit

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