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Zoom into zumbathon

West End school raising money for dance program and charity

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Nathan Martins (left), Stephanie Okabe, and Denice Linag will be participating in the second annual zumbathon at General Wolfe School (661 Banning St.). Funds will go to both the school’s dance program and Variety the Children’s Charity of Manitoba.

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Nathan Martins (left), Stephanie Okabe, and Denice Linag will be participating in the second annual zumbathon at General Wolfe School (661 Banning St.). Funds will go to both the school’s dance program and Variety the Children’s Charity of Manitoba. Photo Store

Get ready to dance your pants off.

General Wolfe School is throwing its second annual zumbathon fundraiser on Feb. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Half of the evening’s earnings will pay for the West End junior high school’s dance program, and the other half will be donated to Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba.

Although the event is taking place at General Wolfe, at 661 Banning St., it is open to everyone, said organizer Stephanie Okabe, who teaches dance and English at the school.

Okabe, who is also a zumba instructor, created the zumbathon last year after a conversation with a client that works for Variety.

"We got to talking and I thought, ‘How cool would it be to have kids helping kids to give back to the community?’" Okabe said.

Okabe paired up with Variety for the first zumbathon last year, raising just under $5,000. This year, Okabe and Variety hope to raise at least $5,000.

According to Okabe, the evening will be a two-hour zumba class.

"You just kind of follow the leader," Okabe explained.

There will be 25 zumba instructors at the zumbathon.

A couple of students in Okabe’s dance class are looking forward to showing off some of the moves they’ve learned.

"In our dance program, they get to create their own zumba routines to present the night of as well," Okabe said.

Fourteen-year-olds Denice Linag and Nathan Martins have tried zumba in the past, and will be participating in the zumbathon this coming Friday.

"I like playing a lot of sports, and zumba is just another way to get active and loosen up my body," Martins said. "It’s a way to get things off your mind. If you’re stressed, you can just dance it out."

"You get to be fit and have fun at the same time. And you can do it with friends and family," said Linag, who will be in charge of tickets and admissions at the zumbathon, said.

A silent auction will also be held, with donations from Shapes Fitness Centres and local jeweller Hilary Druxman.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Doors will be open at General Wolfe at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Okabe at sokabe@wsd1.org


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