Dancing To Make A Difference

Zumba is an international intermittent cardio-fitness dance workout.

Latin dance music surged through Elting Gym this weekend as tank top clad participants bounced and kicked their way through two hours of cardio. Relay for Life’s first “Zumbathon” was held on Saturday, April 14.

“I attended a ‘Zumbathon’ last year, which was really popular so I thought it would be a good fundraiser for Relay,” said Sarah Sobel, third-year organizational communications major and co-chair of Relay for Life.

According to Elting Gym Zumba instructor and second-year business major Liz Sydney, Zumba is an international intermittent cardio fitness dance workout.

Sydney said that using Zumba as a way to raise funds was what inspired her to become an instructor. She said the workout style has helped inspire others to not only donate, but also to get in shape.

Jen Everdyke, a fifth-year communications and media major, instructs Zumba at Ignite Fitness in New Paltz. Everdyke said Zumba has helped her stay in shape and live a healthier lifestyle.

“I’ve lost 50 pounds since I started doing Zumba,” Everdyke said.

The cause hits home for Everdyke, who lost her grandfather to cancer in 2002. To her, the event is not just about giving money, but interacting with people and remembering those lost.

Participants raise money and show their support for the cause by walking, usually on a track, for extended periods of time. The “Zumbathon” stayed true to the mission and helped raise awareness for next week’s Relay for Life.

“I had a lot of fun today,” said Sobel. “I got sweaty, couldn’t breathe, but overall I had fun.”

Nearly 50 people gathered, raising $535 for the American Cancer Society. The money raised this weekend pushed the current total to $13,450, past last year’s grand total of $13,000 and closer to their goal of $20,000.

Sobel said she was excited about the success of the “Zumbathon” and that the event will definitely be a part of next year’s Relay for Life.

This year’s Relay for Life event will be held on Saturday, April 21 on Old Main Quad from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.