“Shake Your Paws For A Cause!” Marist’s First Ever Zumbathon

Over 150 people (all women but one brave man actually showed up!) came out to the Marist Grey Gym to “shake their paws for a cause”. The event was a huge success – and a ton of fun! Students, faculty, and others from the area were there to support the Dutchess County SPCA, a local animal shelter.

If you’ve never tried Zumba before – I highly recommend you do! It’s been a recent trend worldwide. People have discovered the wonders of Zumba! It’s a mix between dance and aerobics, with a lot of Spanish influence to the music and moves. All people, no matter their age, gender or talents can enjoy this exercise. And lucky for the students at Marist – we get it as part of our intramurals. So when Aline Parnagian, student and intramural instructor, decided to organize a Zumbathon, you better believe that we were all excited to go!

The event was on Friday night, and it began at 7 PM. There were six instructors who had volunteered their time. Several were students at Marist, but many were instructors from the Hudson Valley – in fact, one came all the way from Massachusetts to be part of this event! Each instructor had her own style and added her own flare to the music and dance moves. When you’re used to your one instructor that you have every week, it made this event especially fun to learn a new way of Zumba. The instructors switched off each song, so each got to teach about three to five songs. This kept us on our feet because there was never a break or a second to pause – one jumped off and another jumped on!

People of all ages were there, from college students involved in the intramural program (and some newbies as well), to women that we all knew were as old as our moms that were dancing with us out there on the floor. You get used to taking classes with the same students each week and it was definitely a new experience to try out some of our moves with people outside of Marist. Some of them seemed a little shocked at first by the moves that we had already perfected, but they quickly caught on to our “club” way of dancing. The atmosphere was something that I had never experienced before. Everyone was filled with excitement to just go out and have a great time exercising and laugh at some of the moves that we were definitely not used to, and looked foolish trying to do.


At the end of the hour and a half Zumbathon there was $1097.00 raised for the animals at the SPCA. This is an amazing contribution to the shelter. According to Aline, the organizer of the Zumbathon, the shelter is currently planning to renovate the facility which will significantly improve the environment for the animals.

Chelsea Rigby & Marin Cleary

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