Zumba Glow for Good at Habersham YMCA raises money for charity
Put your hips and heart into it...
When Fitness Director DeDe Roberts announced another Zumba Glow for Good, about 100 people signed up from as young as four to as old as is possible to shake one's hips without breaking them.
The aerobics room floor was transformed with the help of Tapestry Church who hung black curtains around all the windows and set up their big screen TV and stereo equipment and glowing lights.
Little kids slathered themselves in glow paint, while adults adorned glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces and wore Zumba costumes that looked like parachute pants trimmed down for the 2013 crowd, with sports bras covered by loose tank tops and fanny tags that hung like miniature raccoon tails off the backs of lady's pants.
About a half dozen men joined the group, including an elderly woman in a stroller chair as different ethnic groups chatted excitedly down the halls.
It looked like a world cultural events with just about every race and ethnicity present and everyone was excited about getting their groove on and raising money to help the Priceless Gifts Campaign which provides funds to needy children so that they can come to summer camp, take swimming lessons, play on soccer teams and participate in reduced cost after school care including free tutoring and social skills games that help them adapt better in school and at home.
Nina Idol, a Zumba trainer and dance choreographer, opened up the event, followed by local Zumba instructors with an occasional long time student jumping in to help guide the moves from the mirrored front.
At one point the dance floor split into surround mode with everyone facing one another in a huge rectangle and dancing forward and back while laughing and having so much fun, that no one really thought about it being exercise until after the music stopped and they realized they were glowing in sweat as well as body paint!
At one point, it was too dark to really see the instructor from the back so the front row looked a little like members of the Bolshoi ballet while the back row crowd looked more like an ill prepared flash mob reenacting Michael Jackson's Thriller, but it was all for fun and after a while everyone seemed to come in sync and move as one, almost giving the dance a kind of spiritual quality.
Before dancers knew it, their time was up. Shy dancers were shaking their hips like old pros and sixty year old ladies were doing the shoulder shake and shimmy like they were born to boogie.
Prizes were raffled off and thank you's were offered to everyone for making the event a success as many smiling faces helped to make the Y accessible to those who might otherwise not have a safe place to come and spend quality time and learning new skills and making new friends.
If you have been putting off joining the gym, most YMCAs will offer you a free week to try the gym out and many more offer discount programs if you are having financial difficulties and are willing to fill out the scholarship applications.
Some Ys also have food pantries, back to school supplies, free health screenings and rehabilitation programs, so visit your local YMCA and see what they have to offer or volunteer at a local YMCA and offer to give something back to the community, especially if you are able to coach a sport or tutor a child in an after care program.