Fighting cancer with the power of Zumba

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Photo gallery

Sweat session: Christina Moore smiles as she shimmies and shakes to the music.
Leading lady: Zumba instructor Cassandra Phifer shows the crowd how to move and groove.
Get low: Iris Ardon feels the burn as she adds some squats to the Colombian-style dance workout.
Dance party: The crowd worked up quite a sweat together throughout the afternoon.
Forever fighting: Residents from across the borough came together to raise awareness about their fight against cancer.

It pays to have good dance moves!

Zealous Zumba dancers from across the borough raised more than $4,000 for the American Cancer Society at the third-annual “Fight Back with Fitness Day” Zumbathon at the St. Bernard Clairvaux Parish in Bergen Beach in Jan. 11.

Nearly 300 kids and adults participated in the event, which included separate sweat sessions for the youngsters and their parents. One participant said the fitness fun was a great way to raise money for a good cause.

“You have people of all ages, all backgrounds — you can come and let loose,” said Christina Moore, a dance instructor from Bensonhurst. “And I think the fact that it is for a good cause brings more people out — shake it for a reason.”

The Zumbathon was one of several Zumba events over the weekend in the city and across the nation hosted by the American Cancer Society. Residents also met in Queens and Pennsylvania to move to the music, according to one of the organizers, who said he was thrilled with Brooklyn’s turnout.

“We packed the place in, from the front of the stage to the back of the gym,” said Joe “Zumba Daddy” Gillette.

And he said the fitness frenzy didn’t stop when the event ended.

“When you go home and you see on Facebook that there are 300 different tags and posts, you know people had a good time,” he said.

Gillette said he is already looking forward to next year, which he said will be even better.

“Next year, bigger — I promise,” he said.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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