Zumbathon dance party funds breast cancer research


Zumba participants joined together for a “Zumbathon”, a giant zumba party to raise money for the Susan G. Komen on Friday evening Oct. 11, 2013. Photo by Emily Lambillotte.

Chase Bonhotel

The Student Center Ballroom teemed with an array of dancers in pink clothing during Friday night’s “Zumbathon,” which raised $1,635 for breast cancer research. The event was sponsored by the Golden Reflections, a Kent State hip-hop dance team.

The “Party in Pink” Zumbathon took place from 7-9 p.m. and required its 150 participants to wear pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Danielle Novotny, the Kent State Zumba instructor in charge of the event, said Zumba has its own research grant for breast cancer prevention. Together, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Zumba have raised millions of dollars throughout the world. The funds help with clinical trials, such as the effects of flaxseed oil in breast cancer patients.

“We are getting closer and closer to finding a cure everyday,” Novotny said. “And Zumbathons play a big part in raising funds for breast cancer research.”

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds went to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The other 25 percent went to the Golden Reflections.

Deneese Cameron, Golden Reflections team captain, said her team’s 25 percent will go toward the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, which is in Akron on Oct. 20.

“I love doing stuff for breast cancer,“ Cameron said. “We will use what we have raised here and the walk in Akron to raise money for Strides.”

The event also raised money through raffle baskets, which were donated by local vendors. Basket prizes included Cleveland Cavaliers and Browns tickets, Christmas baskets, movie night baskets and salon gift cards.

Breast cancer awareness ribbons were sold and used to fill a giant cardboard ribbon dedicated to survivors and those who lost their lives.

“I am very excited to be a part of the event,” said breast cancer survivor Kim Hernandez. “Zumba played a big part in my after-treatment — getting me back in shape.”

According to Zumba.com, Zumba was created in 2001 as an effective, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning dance party. Zumbathons are two-hour Zumba marathons, which utilize the same calorie-burning techniques while raising money for various charities.

“It’s amazing what people can do when we come together and Zumba for two hours,” Novotny said. “The support is overwhelming and that really shows how many people care about this charity and care about finding a cure for this disease.”

Contact Chase Bonhotel at [email protected].