The Zumba exercise craze not only tones muscles but also benefits charities.
Lisa Dorfman, professor of kinesiology and sport sciences, helps her students organize a Zumbathon as part of her course General Nutrition for Health and Performance.
This semester’s class chose to host a Zumbathon to raise funds for Save the Children, an organization dedicated to the safety and education of youth in more than 120 nations.
The event will be held on Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the University Center’s Flamingo Ballrooms C & D. Past classes have typically raised upwards of $4,000, according to Dorfman. This year, however, the funds raised for Save the Children will be matched four-fold by a U.S. government fund.
The day of, students will be raising a minimum of $1.00 for each minute of the hour of Zumba they dance. Leading up to the event, students will also be selling raffle tickets for gift baskets and gift certificates. The event and prizes are sponsored by various organizations in the Miami-Dade community, such as Pollo Tropical and the Shore Club, along with campus partners like the Frost School of Music and the Lowe Art Museum.
The project allows students to apply the concepts they’ve learned in class to real world situations to create a real world effect, Dorfman said.
“There’s more to it than just being great on tests or book smart,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see students enjoying themselves in action, outside the classroom.”
Dorfman also sees the Zumbathon as a way for students to reach out to the community.
“Being a healthy person is not only being healthy for yourself, but also giving back to your community,” she said.
Some of Dorfman’s past students have taken the experience of her class and applied it in pursuing careers as yoga instructors, healthy food chain owners, athletes and doctors.
Jessica Hall, a vitamin shop employee and former student of Dorfman’s, strives to follow closely in her mentor’s footsteps.
“I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness,” Hall said. “And she’s always kind of coached me to go into the life-coaching path.”
Next fall, Dorfman will expand her audience as director of the new graduate degree program, Nutrition for Health and Human Performance. The degree will have two tracks: Performance Nutrition, and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
If You Go:
When: Thursday 4 to 6 p.m.
Where: UC Ballrooms C & D
Wear sneakers and work out clothes