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Central City hosts Zumba party

Oct. 13, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Students at Central City Elementary in Huntington started their day off right on Friday by getting a 30-minute Zumba workout.

The exercise party was led by Erick Santana, one of the original Zumba education specialists from Miami. He talked to the children about the importance of exercising their brains and their bodies, then cranked up the Latin-style music to show them how much fun Zumba can be.

"The same way we exercise our brains with words and lessons, our bodies need exercise too," Santana said. "It's dance, fitness and exercise, but also fun."

His visits preceded a public event Friday evening at Christ Temple Church, proceeds from which will benefit the Pink Ribbon Fund at St. Mary's Medical Center. The fund pays for mammograms for underinsured and uninsured women.

Santana was joined on stage by local Zumba instructor Toni Karle and Cassie Beckner, the school's Title I reading teacher. Beckner also is a Zumba instructor and has led students in different activities in the past. She said she hopes the children seeing her on stage will encourage them to become more active.

"I just want them to see how much fun Zumba is, and that exercise can be fun," she said.

Jeff Jones, who teaches physical education at Central City and Highlawn elementary schools, said he usually has students warm up to some of the same music. But after seeing the participation Friday morning, he would like to incorporate Zumba into that routine.

"This will be a great as a warm-up," Jones said. "I see kids that will not do anything that are getting into it, and they love it."

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