Zumbathon craze sweeps southeastern Wisconsin

By SHANNON VENEGAS

The Zumba fitness craze that grabbed the world by the hand, spun it in circles and infused fun salsa and merengue steps with basic fitness is now used as a fundraiser for a variety of organizations in the United States.

Members of the West Suburban YMCA follow their instructor in dancing the merengue. Participates can burn 500 to 1000 calories per hour in a Zumba class.

A Zumbathon is typically a minimum one-hour event where multiple Zumba teachers come together and take turns teaching a large group. Attendees pay a cover charge that goes to support a certain cause.

Zumba got its start in Columbia with Alberto “Beto” Perez, who substituted merengue and salsa music in his aerobics class after forgetting to bring his traditional aerobics tapes. According to zumba.com, Perez brought Zumba to Miami, Fla. in 2001 and joined up with two entrepreneurs, Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghionin, in order to turn Zumba fitness into a business and introduce it to the masses.

Now, groups in the southeastern Wisconsin area consistently host Zumbathons to raise money for a variety of causes. Oconomowoc area Zumba instructor Sharon Klug loves teaching at Zumbathons because they are always for a good cause and provide a great way for friends and family to get together.

“It doesn’t matter what your skill level is, many find themselves laughing uncontrollably at some point,” Klug said. “…At the end, there is always a sense of accomplishment for all. Zumba for two hours or more is quite the workout and what better way to burn calories, hang out with friends, family and be healthy.”

If any of the students or faculty are interested in taking Zumba classes at Mount Mary College, visit the Arches Facebook page to voice thoughts and time preferences to Cindy Kidd, Zumba fitness instructor and Mount Mary student.

Upcoming Zumba events:

Zumba Fitness at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Oct. 2, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Mount Mary College

Zumbathon (Renovate Greenfield Community Center)
Oct. 16, 2-4 p.m.
Greenfield High School
4800 S. 60th St., Greenfield, WI 53220

West Wood Health & Fitness Center
Oct. 26, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
2900 Golf Rd., Pewaukee, WI 53072

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