I really only need two words to sum up my Friday night: Zumbathon® rocked!
The energy that filled the Roseland Ballroom was palpable the moment Ebonny and I walked through the doors and were greeted by fellow Zumba lovers wearing sparklers in their hair. (Of course, I had to buy a sparkler!) By the way, Ebonny is the fabulous fitness friend who introduced me to this amazing phenomenon last year. I was so glad we could participate in this event together! An added bonus was catching up with another Zumba pal, Michelle, whom I hadn’t seen since my Basic Instructor licensing workshop. After snapping some photos and downing some water, it was time to get moving with Zumba® Fitness and Team Fox in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease!
As soon as Michael Jackson’s “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” started blaring from the speakers, I knew I was in for a booty-shaking good time! With our heart rates elevated and muscles warmed up, Zumba superstars Tanya Beardsley and Gina Grant took the stage and led us through the energizing Zumba mash-up of Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Reggaeton. (I was lucky enough to have Tanya as my instructor for the licensing workshop back in January!) As the two hours flew by to the feel-g00d sounds of songs like “Caliente” by Daddy Yankee, I sweat more than I have from any workout in recent memory – and I never stopped smiling.
Just like the classes I’ve taken, this event featured Zumba lovers of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels. While I certainly couldn’t nail all the moves Tanya and Gina busted out with ease, and despite my turning in the wrong direction at least a half-dozen times, I never felt self-conscious. Why? Because Zumba isn’t about mastering each and every step. It’s about enjoying the moment and letting the music move you. Fueled by a constant flow of positive energy, you get all the benefits of exercise and an extra dose of fun.
One of the Zumba mantras Tanya had us repeat over and over again during our training workshop was this: “Leave your ego at the door.” If you’re someone who shys away from going to the gym because you’re self-conscious and you dislike the idea of “traditional” exercise programs, give Zumba a try.
Of course, the added bonus of this particular feel-good event was knowing the proceeds would help the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s aggressive search for a cure for a disease that affects more than one million people in the United States. Beth Hochstein, the force behind this Zumbathon, is one of them.
At the age of 36, the podiatrist and foot surgeon was diagnosed with young-onset PD. She retired from her career and after finding Zumba helped her reduce her symptoms, she became a licensed instructor. As a Team Fox member, she’s raised more than $60,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation – and that was before Friday night’s Zumbathon! It was exhilarating to be a part of something to help in the ongoing fight against the progressive and chronic disease of the nervous system.
The final takeaway from this night was it made me realize I really want to start teaching! With some more practice and dedication, I hope that some time in the not-so-distant future I’ll have another way to help others on their journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
More than one thousand people are expected to get their Zumba on during what’s sure to be an amazing event. It marks the first time Zumba® Fitness and Team Fox have joined forces to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and its fight against Parkinson’s Disease. PD is a progressive and chronic disease of the nervous system marked by tremor and muscular rigidity.
Here are some of the latest statistics for Parkinson’s Disease in the United States from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation:
- Nearly one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease.
- Between 50,000 and 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year.
- An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease.
Needless to say, I’m excited to get moving to the sounds of Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Reggaeton for a good cause. I’m also pumped because the event is being presented by Zumba superstars Gina Grant and Tanya Beardsley. I was lucky to have Tanya as my instructor for my basic instructor licensing workshop back in January. I simply can’t wait to experience the positive and booty-shaking energy she and Gina will surely create in a crowded ballroom. Last but certainly not least, I can’t wait to enjoy a heart-pounding good time with some Zumba friends and I also look forward to meeting new ones!
You know what I’ll be writing about for Monday! Til then, I wish you all a wonderful weekend and whether your plans include Zumba or a long walk on the beach, here’s to plenty of opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!