The esplanade at Yacht Haven Grande will host a “Dance to Break the Silence; Help Families Heal” Zumba dance marathon from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday with all proceeds going to the Family Resource Center, according to the FRC.
Cynthia Gómez Martín, a St. Thomas instructor in Zumba – an aerobic fitness/dance program inspired by Latin dance – is producing the “Zumbathon” with FRC in mind. Gomez Martin and FRC have been in discussion about “creating a Zumba Fitness Program for victims residing in the shelter as a way to provide them with a safe space and an authentic ‘happy hour in which they can, at least temporarily, let go of their pain and be in the moment with dance,” said Martin.
“With budget cuts, FRC finds itself in a critical situation and we must raise $130,000 before year end or we will be forced to close the shelter and displace the women and children we are committed to serving,” said Vernon Araujo, director of development at FRC. FRC has been providing shelter and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for over 30 years. Three FRC events will be taking place Nov. 19 with a food drive at Cost-U-Less, the Zumbathon and finally, the Peace, Love and Motown Locomotion Party, also being held at Yacht Haven Grande.
“We are very pleased to party with a purpose and help FRC in its goal to raise awareness, to help break the silence that continues the cycle of domestic violence; and hopefully, raise some much needed money in the process,” Martín said.
“By keeping the minimum donation at just $10 per person, we feel the Zumbathon is affordable and accessible to many; and hope that entire families will come out to dance together, share some fun and fitness, and shine a light on domestic violence and sexual assault,” she said.
There will also be raffle prizes such as jewelry, gift certificates, spa and cosmetic “treats” and dining certificates from St Thomas’ favorite restaurants for lucky winners. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each and one must be present to win.
Headlining the Zumbathon is Brazilian massage therapist and Zumba instructor (or “Jammer," as the company calls them) Cristiane Machado. ZumbaJammers are selected by the home office to lead choreographic workshops for Zumba instructors around the world. Machado will be leading a workshop for local Zumba instructors earlier that day.
“We are very fortunate to have Cristiane come to St. Thomas for our Zumbathon,” said Gómez Martín. “She brings energy, creativity and passion to all her classes. And if you’ve ever wanted to learn to samba, this is your chance to learn it from the best – a Brazilian dancer.”
For more information contact Cynthia Gomez at 340-998-9802.