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Zumbathon helps area kids
Dance raises money for Children At Play fund
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Where: Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, 1545 Community Way, Gainesville

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5

How much: $5

Contact: 770-533-5850

If you’ve never tried the Zumba fitness craze, now is your chance.

Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center will be hosting its first Zumbathon from 1-3 p.m. Saturday.

Zumba is a dance fitness program that incorporates Latin American dance moves and aerobic exercises.

“You feel like you’re having a big dance party but you’re really exercising,” Zandrea Stephens, Zumba instructor at the center, said.

Throughout the year, the center has regular Zumba classes that last for 45 minutes to one hour. The Zumbathon will be two hours of nonstop dancing.

“You may be a little bit sore,” Stephens said. “But it’s a really good way to start the new year.”

Stephens said she expects to see a lot of regular Zumba attendees at the event but beginners shouldn’t be afraid to come and bust a move.

“You don’t have to know how to dance,” Stephens said. “You just have to be able to follow the instructor. Go at the pace that you can. You can modify as you need to.”

Stephens and April Lucas will be leading the Zumbathon and will show beginners how to perform modified dance moves.

The two-hour sweat session won’t just benefit your waistline.

The event costs $5 and all proceeds go to benefit Gainesville Parks and Recreation’s Children At Play Fund. The fund provides children of low-income families with opportunities to participate in recreational programs. The money goes to help pay for fees, equipment costs, supplies and transportation for the children of Gainesville.

The fund’s goal is to get more children involved with sports and recreation programs because it improves self-esteem and promotes healthy lifestyles.

Stephens encourages anyone who would like to participate in the event to attend.

“It’s so much fun you won’t even think you’re exercising,” Stephens said.

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