Participants brave winter elements for Zumbathon fundraiser

January 21, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • Instructor Lauren DeLauter leads about 30 dancers through Zumba moves Saturday during a Zumbathon fundraiser at the Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Community Center.
By Richard F. Belisle

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Zumbathon looked like a lot of fun.

The dance-based fundraiser Saturday morning attracted about 30 participants who braved the winter elements to, as the promotional flier said, “Ditch the Workout. Join the Party.”

Held in the Shepherdstown Community Center, Zumbathon’s goal was to raise money to defray the costs of sending 33 Shepherd University students to two Habitat for Humanity building sites over spring break.

The students will build homes for the needy rather than head to destinations such as Cancun or Florida. The Zumbathon theme was “Help Shepherd University students make a difference this spring break.”

In previous years, Shepherd students built Habitat homes in West Virginia, New Jersey and North Carolina, said Rachel Crum, who organized the fundraiser along with Ineabelle Ferreris.

Crum is Shepherd’s community services coordinator, and Ferreris is the Zumba instructor at the university’s wellness center.

“We were expecting about 120 people,” Crum said, who said Saturday’s snow and ice kept many of them away.

Five Zumba instructors and a DJ donated their time, and door prizes were donated.

Ferreris said Zumba started to become popular about a decade ago.

“It’s a Latin-based fitness program,” she said. “We incorporate fitness with dance. All the moves can be modified to a different level. You go at your own pace.”

Own pace or not, there was a whole lotta shakin’ going on among the dancers bouncing around under the direction of instructor Lauren DeLauter. The floor was shaking under their gyrations. It was organized chaos as the dancers tried, mostly successfully, to follow DeLauter’s frenetic lead.

Zumba dancers wear the “uniform” of brightly colored tank tops and loose-fitting pants often adorned with tassels to enhance the shaking.

“Zumba has become a national craze,” Ferreris said. “It’s popular in more than 125 countries.”

She said the music, from around the world, includes Latin-based rhythms, belly dancing music, hip hop and more.

Crum said a second Zumbathon will be held before the Habitat trip scheduled for March 11. A pancake breakfast will be held to raise money for the trip on Feb. 25 at the community center.

Saturday’s fundraiser was sponsored by the Office of Student Community Services and Service Learning.

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