On Monday, March 11, 165 KU students and five non-students took on the challenge of a two-hour Zumbathon in the KU recreational center. Each student donated one dollar as an entry fee and other participants donated five dollars to dance the night away.
The funds were raised for the KU Latino Awareness organization and the Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Honor Society.
“We’re raising money so we have funds to do other events on campus,” commented freshman, Jordan Thomas, parliamentarian for the organization and society.
In addition to his role with both Latino organizations, Thomas is a Zumba Fitness instructor at the KU recreational center. At the Zumbathon, Thomas was one of the three instructors. Previously to teaching at KU, he has taught Zumba at other locations since October 2011.
Zumba is a great time, but it has proved to be an even better workout. “Everybody can do it,” Thomas said. “If you don’t know what’s going on you still move and burn calories, but personally, somebody like me and the other two instructors up there, we burn around 2,500 calories in an hour. So even if you’re just hopping around, you can burn at least 500 calories.”
Zumba is a cardio workout that targets cardiovascular fitness through Latin inspired dance moves. It features a mix of exotic rhythms and international hits by artists such as Pitbull and Chris Brown. The combination of moderately paced song/dance routines mixed with faster paced song/dance routines provides your body with a workout that gets you shaking, sweating and smiling.
“It’s fun, and you don’t have to be that coordinated because everyone looks like an idiot doing it [Zumba],” said freshman participant, Kayla Grater.
Generally, working out causes people to feel in an all around better mood, but Zumba releases stress in a fun, exhilarating way that makes participants look forward to going to the next class. Often in Zumba class the instructor will shout, and the students will shout back to add to the already high-energy in the room. The shouting, sweating and swaying to the music relieves stress from the body and mind.
The popularity boom of Zumba Fitness began in 2001 and has grown remarkably fast. According to Zumba.com, “More than 14 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages take weekly Zumba classes in over 140,000 locations across more than 150 countries.” Here at KU, Zumba is offered at the recreational center eight times a week, everyday except Friday.
To find out more about attending a Zumba class at KU, head to the recreational center website for listings, or just head over for a workout that will whip you into shape.

By Haley Bianco

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