Zumbathon Charity Event Raises Awareness for Breast Cancer

Students gathered in the Bradley Center this past Tuesday to dance the night away and raise awareness for breast cancer at the Party in Pink Zumbathon Charity Event.

Held in the Auxiliary Gym from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m., Ramapo students united with their friends and dressed in pink to show support for the cause.

Upbeat music blasted from the front of the room as instructor Sarah Lane guided the group through a series of steps, lunges and twirls.

"It's a good event," Lane said. "It promotes being healthy and supporting breast cancer awareness."

Zumba is an energetic dance workout that combines fast footwork and body movements from different styles of dance, such as flamenco and salsa, all to popular songs that can be heard on the radio.

The exercise originated back in the mid 90s when fitness instructor Alberto "Beto" Perez forgot to bring his traditional aerobics music to a class, according to the official Zumba website. Instead, he used his own tapes of salsa music he grew up with, and Zumba was born on the spot.

"My mom was an instructor, so I kind of followed in her footsteps. After taking her classes, I fell in love with it so I decided I wanted to teach too," Lane said.

Participants were suggested to make a $5 donation at the door, with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the organization has focused on doing everything they can to raise awareness and gain support.

Zumba Fitness has also dedicated the whole month to the Party in Pink Zumbathon events, which have been set up all over the globe. Currently, more than $500,000 has been raised in total to support finding a cure for breast cancer.

Zumba is also held throughout the week as a free intramural class at Ramapo. The class is offered every weekday with the exception of Thursdays.

Sophomore Lydia Kim said that she usually goes to Zumba every week.

"I love Zumba, and my instructors are very passionate about this cause and event," she said.

Students have found Zumba to be a very fun and healthy alternative rather than just working out at the gym.

"I gained a lot more than the 'freshman fifteen' my freshman year, and I came back in the summer and a lot of my clothes didn't fit. I ended up throwing a lot of them away, and I was very upset," Kim said.

"I started over the summer with [Zumba] videos on YouTube. It became routine that I did it every morning. Then I came [to Ramapo] and the classes are free so I started doing classes," she added.

Lane agreed that it's important for students to remember to stay in good shape.

"It can actually be fun to be healthy," she said. "It doesn't have to be hard work."

Overall, Kim thought the event represented a very good cause.

"I think it is a very fun idea to get people who would've otherwise not thought about it into [zumba]," she said.