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Zumba dancers move to the groove at fitness event
Zandrea Stephens, the assistant division manager for Gainesville Parks and Recreation, dances along to the music at the Gainesville Parks and Recreation and the American Heart Association’s Zumba Party Hearty event Saturday morning at the Gainesville Civic Center. Stephens was one of about 30 participants at the event. - photo by HAILEY VAN PARYS

Party Hearty Zumba Fitness Fundraiser

When: 1-3:30 p.m. Feb. 18

Where: J.A. Walters YMCA, 2455 Howard Road, Gainesville

More info: Suggested $5 donation, all proceeds go to the American Heart Association

Never stop moving.

If you’re going to do Zumba right, you can’t stop moving. Keeping your feet, arms or other parts moving is part of the workout regimen that is Zumba.

The trend isn’t new and may not be for everyone, but there were still plenty of people at the Zumba Party Hearty event at the Gainesville Civic Center Saturday morning.

Quinterra Wright, who lives in Alpharetta but works in Gainesville, is used to the exercise’s style and has been to many Zumba classes.

She also had a special reason for coming to this particular class. The event was co-hosted by Gainesville Parks and Recreation and the American Heart Association, an organization important to Wright.

“My dad died from heart disease, so I try and support everything the American Heart Association does,” Wright said.

The organizations split the profits from the event, according to Zandrea Stephens, assistant division manager for Gainesville Parks. For a $6 suggested donation at the door, about 30 people showed up to dance away their mornings with the instructors from Frances Meadows Aquatic Center.

The center holds Zumba classes Monday through Thursday at various times. A list of times can be found at

Tarnisha Reid, Kashuna Storey and Lakeisha Cofer came together to try it out for the first time.

“It was interesting. Definitely interesting,” Reid said. “I liked it though, I had fun.”

Cheryl Brown was one of the day’s instructors and led several songs throughout the two-hour event. She’s been teaching Zumba since 2009.

Brown said the idea is to incorporate exercise into a party environment. There are all types of dance types, from Latin to hip-hop and more, depending on the song.

“Getting them to move is the idea and stick to it, that’s the idea,” she said. “It’s all about health.”

Sisters Maggie and Erin Shay knew what they were getting into. Maggie said they had been to Zumba classes together and wanted to come after hearing about it through the Parks and Recreation’s email newsletter.

“I just like the energy,” Erin said. “It doesn’t really matter if you don’t know the moves.”

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