OCEANSIDE — Dozens of Zumba dancers hit the floor of Team Quest training center for two hours of merengue, salsa and cumbia dance steps to raise money for the American Heart Association on March 19.
Latin music pumped and sequined skirts shimmied as participants took part in a two-hour Zumbathon dance workout.
Zumba is a dance fitness program that uses choreographed Latin dance steps to help get participants in shape.
“It’s repetitive so you learn the steps,” Nichelle Hardman, Zumba instructor, said. “It uses your entire body instead of just focusing on one body part at a time.”
“And amazing music,” Hardman added. “One class and you’re addicted for life.”
Zumba helps support the American Heart Association in fundraising events held across the United States.
“For a Zumbathon you need to have a regular Zumba exercise routine,” Hardman said. “You can go as crazy you want to get with the fundraiser. We added a whole lot.”
In addition to the dance workout there were ongoing mixed martial arts demonstrations, raffle drawings and a silent auction to hold spectators’ attention and raise additional funds.
Vendors at the event sold health-related products and dancewear. More than 5 percent of the net sales were donated to the American Heart Association.
Hardman said she feels passionate about supporting the American Heart Association. Her son, who is now 9 years old, was born with a heart abnormality that was surgically corrected.
“This charity means a lot to me,” Hardman said.
Zumba classes are given twice a week at the Team Quest training center at 318 North Horne Street.
Team Quest is owned by Byran Harper, a mixed martial arts light heavyweight champ, and his wife Pamela Harper. Mixed martial arts, fitness classes, and kids classes are also taught at the center.