So having not done Zumba for roughly 5 years, when I heard that my gym were holding a Zumbathon for a local charity, the Sparkle Appeal, obviously I thought it would be a great idea to dust of my dancing shoes and sign up!
I dragged my former Zumba buddy, my sister Tamsin along for the ride and we had a brilliant time. But first here is a bit about the charity we were raising money for:
Sparkle Appeal’s tagline is Helping Special Children Shine. Sparkle Appeal is a local to me (Newport, South Wales) charity and is the main charity for the Serennu Children’s Centre. The Serennu Children’s Centre provides care, treatment and activities for children and young people with disabilities and is state of the art and has loads of facilities on offer. I once took Mollie there for a hearing test and she didn’t want to leave. There were so many toys to keep children entertained and they were all in great condition unlike many other healthcare centres we have been too.
As their main charity, Sparkle Appeal has to raise over £400,000 every year to fund the services they support such as swimming lessons, cookery lessons, family liaison support and access to psychological support for parents, all offered at the Serennu Centre. They do this with grants, donations and by holding fundraising events. I could go on all day about this amazing charity and the work they do. For more information about the Sparkle Appeal please check out their website here and they also have a Facebook page, just search Sparkle Appeal.
So, to raise money for the Sparkle Appeal, Active Newport held a Zumbathon in their city centre location, Newport centre. The Zumbathon consisted of 3 hours of Zumba although you could join for as many hours as you liked.
It was £6 to enter and you were given sponsor forms to raise money for the charity (your entrance fee was also donated to the charity). As I have just finished fundraising for the Race for Life I didn’t really want to harass my family and friends for more money so I only paid my entrance fee on this occasion.
As I mentioned, I have not taken a Zumba class for at least 5 years. It only occurred to me the night before that the people going might actually be from the classes held by Active Newport and we might be the only ones who didn’t know the moves! It also occurred to me that I might not actually be fit enough to complete 3 hours of Zumba, but there was no backing out now!
We arrived at Newport Centre, paid our entry fee and found a space for our bags and water. There were loads of people there; it was a really good turnout. After a few group photos the music started and the warm up began. There were several different instructors leading the dances, doing 3 or 4 each and then swapping. My old friend Miyazim (he’s not really my old friend, I once trained with him and thought I was going to die, read about it here) was taking some of the dances along with 3 other amazing instructors. I loved how different each of their styles were. Mandy had such a fun vibe had some really good moves, most of her songs where ones I recognised such as Beyonce – Single Ladies and Pharrel – Happy. Miyazim was very wiggly in his dance moves and definitely had the ladies cheering! The other 2 ladies (as usual I have forgotten their names, I think one was Lousie) were both brilliant and had some really great, energetic moves. The instructors seemed to switch at just the right times, and I found it quite motivating to have a newly energised one jump on stage every 15 mins or so and bring some new moves out.
They also did some fun things with everyone such as dancing into the crowd, lining us up and having a dance off in the middle and bringing people up on stage to dance with them. It really was the most fun 3 hours I have ever spent exercising although it was pretty hard going at times and by the last hour I could feel myself flagging a bit.
All in all it was a brilliant way to spend a Sunday afternoon and a fabulous workout. My Fitbit was going crazy with all the steps, I think I did about 16,000 in total! It also reminded me how much fun Zumba classes are so I will definitely be looking to take one over the next few weeks! The best bit about the day was how much money was raised, over £200! Such an amazing amount of money raised for a fabulous cause. Looking forward to participating in future fundraising events with them and raising a bit more money.
Have you taken part in any charity events lately? Do you ever do dance workouts like Zumba? Would love to hear from you in the comments.