Today: Jun 18, 2024

Zumba shakes it for a cause

Jourdan Duncan | Special to The Southern News A large group of Southern students exercise to Zumba moves in the Fitness Center last week.

Jourdan Duncan – Special to The Southern News

Fitness Center coordinator Jessica Scibek smiled as she peaked through the Student Center ballroom doors to watch the crowd of Southern students rapidly move their hips while aligned to the instructor and in sync with the beat. Having made many interactions and developed relationships with various students as an instructor herself, Scibek said “we have some really talented students on this campus” as she continued to support the third annual Zumba Pink event for breast cancer awareness.

“A few years ago, we started out having big Zumba parties just for fun,” said Scibek. “Then, we thought to ourselves ‘what else can we do to make it an event and put it together?’ It worked so we kept it going.”

Jourdan Duncan | Special to The Southern News
A large group of Southern students exercise to Zumba moves in the Fitness Center last week.

Zumba Pink is a fundraiser event sponsored by the Fitness Center, Zeta Phi Beta sorority and the Health and Wellness Center. Donations are made at the table when attendees arrive to sign up and all proceeds go to Making Strides in Hamden. Scibek said it is an organization for breast cancer research.

“We can provide instruction, but they provide support by wearing pink and making donations,” Scibek said.

Zumba Pink has grown into a large event that has attracted many Southern students. According to Scibek, in the past three years, the highest number of attendees was 135 and in total they have raised $147.

Freshman biology/pre-vet major Natalie Savoy has a personal connection to the cause and said she has attended Zumba classes, but this was her first time participating in Zumba Pink.

“A lot of people in my family have cancer, so even though no one specifically has breast cancer, I like helping out in any way I can,” Savoy said.

As her face begins to match her pink shirt in support of breast cancer awareness, freshman biology major Gabriella DiPreta shyly states her concerns in joining the others in Zumba Pink.

“I’ve never done Zumba, but I am a dancer. I do ballet,” DiPreta said, laughing to herself. “I can’t really shake my hips though, so this is going to be interesting.”

With enthusiasm and sweat, Zumba instructor and senior Spanish major Amanda Meador breathes life into the dance and movement as the group of students mirror her every move with excitement and dedication. Meador said she is a newly licensed Zumba instructor from this past summer and this is only her fourth time teaching it.

“I think in general it is good to find a lot of people who are afraid to start a physical activity or group exercise or anything like that because they don’t think they’re going to be good enough at a class or a boot camp,” Meador said. “So it is really good to do these types of programs because more likely than not somebody has a friend that’s taken Zumba that is going to recommend them to come and they are going to love it and they are going to find some other way that they can be active and start their own hobby.”

As the music fades out and all shades of pink exit the ballroom, Meador said awareness is important for students because it allows them to research the topic and find out what they are working for on their own.

“As far as breast cancer awareness is concerned, it’s awareness,” Meador said. “Maybe they have someone in their family who has breast cancer, so it is a good way to go and support and show that they care.”

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