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ARHS hosts Zumbathon Feb. 21

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Feb. 20 | Modified: Feb. 22
ARHS hosts Zumbathon Feb. 21

Zumba instructor Gwen Dhing says the exercise is more akin to dancing than working out.

Photo by Rob Moore

Exercise enthusiasts who are interested in benefiting their community, as well as their bodies, are invited to the Zumbathon at the Paul Broyhill Wellness Center, from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System sponsors the exercise program.

“The Zumba program is very popular at the Wellness Center, and the Zumbathon is an opportunity for those who regularly participate in the classes, as well as anyone from the community who wants to try Zumba to participate and be benefiting not only themselves, but a good cause, as well,” said Gillian Baker, vice president of corporate communications for ARHS. “The Zumbathon is an opportunity for people who wish to participate in a Zumba class to do so and also raise money for the ARHS Thrive — Transition to Wellness program. Anyone is welcome to attend; it is not just for Wellness Center members.”

Zumba is a full workout, too.

“The participants will benefit from getting a great cardio workout and have the opportunity to learn Zumba from four different instructors,” Baker said. “In addition, participants in the Thrive program will benefit from the scholarships provided as part of the event.”

According to, the exercise fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-fitness sensation. Zumba exercise classes are “fitness parties” that blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography for a total body workout, according to the website.
Area Zumba instructor Gwen Dhing stumbled upon the idea while looking for a new style of workout.

“I was looking for a workout for the masses, because not everyone is a gym rat,” Dhing said. “It’s not a hard workout, but it burns a lot of calories. People who like to dance will love it. It’s almost like being in a dance class, rather than an exercise class.”

Zumbathon is what the name applies — a marathon style Zumba class.

“It’s really fun because everyone has such different styles, and it’s like a dance club without having to go to a club,” Dhing said. “People will find any excuse to come and dance.”

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