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Movement power

Zumbathon event raises cash for a good cause

Posted: March 31, 2012 - 9:22pm  |  Updated: March 31, 2012 - 9:29pm
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M. Scott Moon
Cindy Brinkerhoff (in blue), Kim Perkins (pink) and others bust a move Saturday during a Zumbathon fundraiser for amyotrophic lateral schlerosis at The Fitness Place in Soldotna. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, robs people of their ability to move.

Polar opposites. 

Zumba, a dance fitness program designed around Latin music, requires a wide range of movement. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, causes nerve cells to die.

The two opposites collided Saturday afternoon during a Zumbathon at the Fitness Place in Soldotna. The event raised $800 in donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Augie’s Quest to cure ALS. 

“We can move, but can you imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t get out and move?” said Dawn Jackson, 51, one of the main organizers of the event.

For Jackson, the event hit close to home, her husband’s uncle died of ALS. She said Zumba was a good way to pay tribute to those who have been affected by the disease.

“We can move, to help find a cure,” she said. “They can’t, so let’s help them.”

Katie Jacobson, who is also a Zumba instructor, said it was inspiring to help raise money for a good cause.

“We still have the ability to move our bodies and to enjoy dance,” Jacobson, 28, said. “So it’s kind of cool that we’re able to do that and raise money for a cause for people that aren’t able to move anymore.” 

Zumba is centered on Latin music — such as salsa, merengue and cumbia, which makes the dance moves fast and difficult because of the up-tempo beat. But that’s not the point of Zumba, Jacobson said.

“It doesn’t matter if you get every single step, that’s not what it’s about,” she said. “It’s about coming (to Zumba) and making friends and having a good physical workout and just having fun.”

Brian Beard was the lone male participant and said he had never taken a Zumba class before — but he jumped at the chance to take part in a charitable cause.

“I told them don’t expect Zumba out of me, just movement,” he said laughing.

There were about 35 participants and 11 certified Zumba instructors taking place in the three-hour event, that came from all over the Central Peninsula, and the Homer area.

“I love doing Zumba, and I just want to help the cause,” said Gretchen McCullough, a Zumba instructor from Anchor Point. “I know when we do it, we love to get guest instructors ... it makes it more of a party.”

The instructors coming from different gyms for a common purpose was important for Linda Klynstra, another organizer.

“I think we all love Zumba,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where you teach, we just want everyone to have fun. As long as you’re coming together for a good cause — it doesn’t matter.”

Jackson said she was impressed with the large turnout.

“We had people come from Homer, and there’s local people,” she said. “So yeah, I’m really happy with how many showed up.”

The Zumba experience can be for everyone, and McCullough summed it up best.

“Fun for the body, fun for the soul,” she said.

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TACurmudgeon 04/01/12 - 09:35 pm
Check your facts

I find it funny that you didn't bother to check your facts. A good friend of mine taught at this and said there were 6 instructors and a total of less than 30 people there... The worst part is that you specifically went out of your way to exclude the instructor from one of your competitors... Way to lie Fitness Place, just another example of how your facility and the people who work there can't be trusted to honestly represent things to the public. Also, there is no such thing as a "certified" Zumba instructor. Anyone who pays the money to take the class and pays a monthly fee to Zumba is granted a "license" to teach Zumba classes. I know this becasue I went to the Zumba website and checked the last time I saw an ad for "certified" Zumba instructors. Please reserve the "certified" title for those of us trainers who actually have to pass exams and take continuing education to prove our competency to our customers. As for the heart of the issue, it is nice to see money being raised for good causes here on the Peninsula, keep it up!

907nomad 04/01/12 - 10:55 pm
Does it really matter TACurmudgeon?

Nice Soapbox speech with no point being made. Who cares how many instructors were there, certified or not and the article stated approximately 35 people. There was a lot of coming and going of people.....excuse them for not getting an EXACT count for you.....

rainbowbrite 04/02/12 - 07:01 pm
I think the soapbox's point

I think the soapbox's point is that somehow the integrity of an event such as this comes into question when willing participants/contributors are excluded from participating.

907nomad 04/02/12 - 10:23 pm
thank you Rainbowbrite

Your simple 1 sentence response was all I needed to get the idea something may have been amiss, and that it was something that warrants further journalistic review or investigation.
Thank you.

GretchenMac 04/03/12 - 12:47 pm
okay, so I was there, as an

okay, so I was there, as an instructor, there were 11 of us there, but one of those did not lead any songs, ther other 10 lead at least 2 songs if not more. The fitness place didn't have anything to do with the article as there wasn't anyone who was in charge of the buisness there, just the instructors in charge of the event, so I don't think the paper purposely left anyone out. The journalist was grabbing who he could to get quotes, but wasn't going to grab someone who was busy dancing. And as 907nomad stated, people came and went, there were probably over 30 people there, just not the whole time. I will grant to you that he shouldn't have used to word certified, but licensed, which is a common mistake.

akaurora 04/03/12 - 04:42 pm
Forget the numbers

Curmudgeon, who cares that you have to take a test and these people don't. Leave that to the consumer to decide for themselves who they should pay their money to. Obviously, if you are "certified" then you probably have better credentials and can charge more for whatever training you do. As the article stated, the event raised $800 and the tickets were $25 each, so 32 tickets were sold and who cares if all 32 people came or not? They still bought a ticket and supported the cause. My problem is that I was told that all of the local instructors were going to be there and I loved taking the class taught by the lady with the red hair who used to work at the Fitness Place. I found out from a friend who was going the day before that she wouldn't be there, so when I asked her why I was told that she had been asked not to come by the event organizers and the owners of the Fitness Place. I decided not to go, but instead went to her fundraiser on Sunday and joined 35 other ladies and two men to raise money for a kids fishing program. Would be nice to see some coverage of that event Clarion. Would also be curious to know why you wouldn't let someone who wanted to help do so? If you really wanted to raise money, why wouldn't you let everyone who wanted to help join in? Were you really trying to raise money for the cause or just looking for some free advertising...

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