Nearly fifty Zumba fans of all ages and fitness levels gathered at The Fitness Place Saturday February 23rd for the second Zumbathon to have fun and raise funds. Zumba instructor Dawn Jackson has organized both events and says the participation doubled from the first event, “Our goal is to get moving and help find a cure for ALS. I have an uncle who died from Lou Gehrig’s disease and this is a special time that I honor him by raising funds to find a cure and help folks living to be healthier,” said Jackson during a Zumbathon break. Sixteen instructors participated in the event and according to Jackson that’s contributing to more folks and families participating in the Zumbathon. “Zumba is more like dance, but any can do it and you don’t realize that you’re exercising and burning up to 1,000 calories during an hour class and before you know it the hour is over and you’ve had a great workout,” she said.
Zumba is an international phenomenon that was born in the mid 1990’s by a Colombian born fitness instructor by the name of Beto Perez. It’s said that one day Beto who was teaching an aerobics class forgot his music, so instead he improvised with his personal Colombian music tapes, the music of his land, the music he had grown up with like salsa, meringue, cumbia and rumba. The music was so electrifying that a new style of aerobics was born he called his new style Zumba. It is perhaps a made up word combining the words of the well known “danses cumbia” from Colombia and “zamba” from Brazil. Zumba classes took off. Beto (Alberto) then met Alberto Perlman, and Alberto Aghion so three Albertos agreed to work together and established the Zumba Fitness Company, registering the trade mark of the word Zumba and putting in place a plan to establish it as a global brand. Today young and old dance to Zumba music and what was once an aerobics class has become an opportunity for physical fitness in a healthy fun energy filled class or a Zumbathon that raises funds for non-profits around the world. Zumba music has evolved and a variety of rhythms from all over the world that are utilized in a fusion and unity of sounds and flavors appealing to multiple cultures. “Anything with a butt shaking beat!” offered Dawn.
“The Fitness Place has been great in letting us hold the event here even though they are closed on Saturdays and we plan to have one every year,” added Jackson. “It’s all about having fun and letting loose, meeting new people and having a great time,” offered Zumba instructor Katie Jacobson who participated in the Zumbathon. According to Jackson nearly $1,000 was raised to fight Lou Gehrig’s/ALS disease during the two hour non-stop event. Anyone seeking more information about Zumba and classes offered can go to www.zumba.com .