Zumbathon combines exercise with good cause

Friday, October 24, 2014

After having her kids, Amanda Price began taking Zumba dance classes to get back in shape. She lost 40 pounds and became a Zumba instructor herself.

Now, she's using her Zumba experience to give back to her children. In conjunction with Eureka Springs Elementary School's parent group, called the Scottie Parent Group, Price and her business partner Dawn Anderson are hosting Zumbathon on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Taking place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the event will help raise funds for new playground equipment for the elementary school. Four guest instructors will add variation to the two-hour class, and there will be a silent auction with items from local businesses. Admission is $5.

Price has been a Zumba instructor for a year and a half. She said she disliked exercise before she took Zumba classes.

"I was overweight and out of shape, and I always hated exercise," she said. "But Zumba was so much fun. I enjoyed exercise for the first time in my life. It's just one of the best things I ever did."

She enjoys teaching the classes because of the personal connections she makes. As a busy mother, Price rarely has time for herself. She said Zumba allows her to socialize with other people in ways she never would otherwise.

Her children attend Eureka Springs Elementary School, and she is part of the Scottie Parent Group. The group has been looking for ways to raise money for new playground equipment for a while now; the current equipment is in "dire need" of an upgrade, according to Price. She believes Zumbathon is a way for community members to help raise money for this need while having fun.

"You're going to have a great time. It's not even going to feel like you're working out and it's all for a great cause," she said.

She added that people of all fitness levels could attend the event. Currently, Price teaches students from 12 to 70 years old.

"It's very easy to pick up if you despise exercise. It appeals to a wide variety of people," she said.

With multiple Zumba instructors, the event will feature various styles of dance.

"You'll get a good cross-section of different styles and specialties of Zumba," she said.

Carrie Freeman, the teacher liaison for the Scottie Parent Group, said the group is always looking for fundraising ideas like Zumbathon. The group is in need of volunteers, which Freeman hopes Zumbathon will illuminate.

"We are always interested in volunteers who are willing and able to assist teachers in a variety of ways, so it is my hope that in addition to raising money for our students, the Zumbathon will also raise awareness of the need for volunteers in the organization," she said.

The parent group helps raise money for various student needs, from playground equipment to field trip funds. For more information about the group, contact Freeman at cafreeman@es.k12.ar.us.

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