By Da’Sha Tuck, Staff writer
Seven instructors, 30 songs, a room full of dancers and one cause: raising money for breast cancer research.
$150 was raised for the Susan G. Komen Foundation with a Party in Pink Zumba-thon on Saturday at the Wellness Center.
“We’ll raise money and then a hundred percent of it goes right back to Zumba’s grant,” said Trish Lofton, Zumba instructor and administrative assistant for the Curris Center. “It is for breast cancer awareness and prevention.”
Lofton said the grant is specialized through Zumba and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
With a theme of “The Fight Ain’t Over, So The Party Don’t Stop”, the Zumba-thon began with intensity.
Chanel Schwenck, Zumba instructor and lecturer in the Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling Department and Human Services at Murray State, said Zumba set up the structure of the event.
For this event, there were five instructors besides Lofton and Schwenck: Maria Woods, Stephanie Shepherd, Gloria W. Futrell, Sheila Lumansoc Conner and Lori Mathis.
Each instructor led two songs at a time. The time in between leading was supposed to be used as rest time for the instructors but they joined the crowd and kept dancing.
Students got in free with their Murray State IDs. There was a suggested donation of $5.
Lofton said there were some people who wanted to come to the event but couldn’t. Instead, they showed their support with donations.
Prizes were given out throughout the event. Murray State T-Shirts, Los Portales gift cards, pink beaded necklaces and a basket of goodies were raffled off.
Sponsors for the event were Murray State Racer Wellness for Employees, Murray State Campus Recreation and Wellness, Dining Services and Health Services.
Dining services provided free water bottles and bananas for all Zumba dancers and instructors.
Lofton and Schwenck said they were very thankful for all the donations including prizes.
Students, faculty and members of the Murray community came to show their support. Some heard about the event from the instructors and others saw posters on campus and social media.
Morgan Cooper is a senior veterinary-technician major who came and danced for the entire two hours.
“It was challenging but a fun challenging,” Cooper said. “I encourage anybody to try Zumba, even if they feel like they will look silly. It’s about laughing at yourself and having a good time dancing.”
Cooper said she was glad to be able to support breast cancer research.
“I think it’s awesome,” Cooper said. “I personally don’t know anybody that is affected with breast cancer, but I like to help when I can and it was a pretty fun way to help.”
This was the first time in almost four years that this event has been held at Murray State and Lofton said she and Schwenck hope this becomes an annual event.
Lofton said breast cancer affects a lot of people even if they just know someone fighting it.
“We are going to dance for our mothers, our sisters, our aunts, our grandmothers,” Lofton said. “For every woman and man in our lives that has faced breast cancer. We are dancing for a cure.”