First Class Wellness and Dance holds Zumbathon for breast cancer awarenessIn the spirit of the season, members, friends, family and others gathered at First Class Wellness and Dance in Mitchell on Saturday to celebrate something that can be very scary.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
In the spirit of the season, members, friends, family and others gathered at First Class Wellness and Dance in Mitchell on Saturday to celebrate something that can be very scary.
No, this wasn’t a Halloween party. Mary Schaefer, owner of First Class, held a Zumbathon to raise awareness of breast cancer, which is celebrated through National Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October. This was the second annual event, from which all funds raised go to the You’ll Never Walk Alone breast cancer foundation.
About 25 people attended the event, all wearing pink and white, ready to shake and shimmy.
“If you can shake, you can do Zumba,” Schaefer said. “Anyone who comes here ends up bringing a friend, family member or co-worker.”
She said the event went well and brought in several people who have never tried Zumba.
Being a 15-year breast cancer survivor, Schaefer loves seeing people gather to support a cause that can seem scary. Although it is a difficult road to travel, she wants others to know cancer is not something anyone has to go through alone.
Schaefer said the Zumbathon is an effort to bring awareness, hope and encouragement, and to reach out to others. She is a physician’s assistant at Avera St. Benedict in Parkston, so Schaefer has a real passion for enlightening women about breast cancer. She stresses that mammograms are important. Her cancer was detected through her regular mammogram.
First Class instructor Devin Carey led the group Saturday in two hours of Zumba, with a lesson in dancing Michael Jackson’s famed “Thriller.”
Schaefer said this is the fourth year they taught the “Thriller” routine in October. She said the group at First Class enjoyed it and were obviously familiar with some of the signature moves.
The fundraising fun doesn’t end this month for First Class. Schaefer said the gym will hold a food drive for the local food pantry in November and has scheduled another event in January.
She hopes to hold more events throughout 2012, whether it’s to help the afterschool snack program or hold a Zumbathon for the YWCA Kids Club. She said she’s excited to help out the community.
“We’ll see what comes in,” she said. “We’re always open to whatever someone throws out there for a good cause to help out with.”
Andrea Engels, 7, dances next to Laurenda Olson during the Zumbathon Saturday at First Class Wellness and Dance in Mitchell. This was the second annual event to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. All funds raised go to the You’ll Never Walk Alone breast cancer foundation.
About 25 people attended the second annual Zumbathon Saturday at First Class Wellness and Dance in Mitchell. From left, Wendy VandeBerg, Megann Davis, Laurenda Olson, Robin Weins, Mary Schaefer, Laurie Yeo and Zumba instructor Devin Carey dance during the event.