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A VB Basics Giveaway: Win a Spot to Dance on Stage at the Breast Cancer Awareness Zumbathon®

October 5, 2016


If you’re familiar with Zumba® Fitness in Hampton Roads, then I’ll bet that you’ve heard of a certain Zumba® Instructor by the name of Rita Cohen. Not only is she one of the most positive and friendliest people I know, but boy can she dance and her energy is extremely contagious! She is also the best of the best when it comes to Zumba® Instructors near and far.

Over the years, my friendship Rita and our shared love of Zumba® has developed into something BIG. Together, we’ve created a wonderful annual event that not only brings people together, but also gives back to our Hampton Roads community in the form of an amazing cause.

Rita is upfront and honest why she does what she does.

I do it because my friend Louise Cheo, whom I met when I was doing an all female composer benefit recital for the National Breast Cancer Foundation in 2007, introduced me to Zumba® in 2008 before she died on Christmas Day that year from breast cancer.  I love it so much and how it’s changed my life and in turn change others’ for the better. I want a cure found!

For the past 5 years, our event: the Breast Cancer Awareness Zumbathon® at Norfolk Academy has raised over $20,000!!! This Saturday’s event will be the second year in a row that 100% of the donations will be given to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Hampton Roads chapter (after $500 is given to the our fantastic Norfolk Academy sponsors: The Cancervive Club).

So what exactly is a Zumbathon® you may ask. Picture a sea of 500+ people, all decked out in pink, dancing to music (for up to three hours!), all the while smiling, sweating, and having a great time. On a large stage at the back of the space, 50 of the 757’s finest Zumba® Instructors rotate on and off in groups, leading energetic routines that pump up the crowd and get everyone moving. Raffle prizes, tables of unique vendors lining the walls, and a silent auction break up the morning, giving attendees a chance to chug water and catch their breath.




Every year, when I stand at the back of the Norfolk Academy Pavilion and watch the morning unfold, I always get warm and fuzzy feelings and am SO proud to be part of this event. And honestly, I’m especially proud of Rita for what an amazing woman she is, and that she is primarily responsible for bringing us all together.

Breast Cancer Awareness Zumbathon®

Saturday, October 8, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Norfolk Academy Athletic Pavilion
1585 Wesleyan Dr, Norfolk, VA 23502

Which brings us to the Giveaway!

One lucky Zumba lover will win a chance to dance ONSTAGE with Rita during the “Survivor Dance”! I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love dancing on stage?

Simply leave a comment on this post if you’ll be dancing in honor of someone this Saturday, or why this event is special to you!

EXTRA ENTRIES (Leave a comment on the post telling me that you did so!)

Contest ends Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. Winner will be chosen at random, and announced at the Zumbathon that morning!

GOOD LUCK! And I can’t wait to see you at the fabulous event!

P.s. In case you want to purchase tickets, go to nazumbathon2016.eventbrite.com, suggested donation of $10 (or more) in advance/$15 at the door.

Photography by the talented Lavern Rushin

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  • Reply Lan Griffin October 5, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    My first time doing Zumba was when I met Diana Walton a ZUMBArific instructor in a Hawaii and she is the most humble person I know. She is a breast cancer survivor and is featured as a spoke model in Zumba for Cancer Survivor . I have been here in Virginia going 4 years and I have always dedicated my dances to her. She is the strongest person I know and she is so sweet to give back and love all her students. You may know her she is on the Hawaiian Dream team every year at ZUMBA convention… I have moved away but she has left me a great impression on her Cancer journey that I always think of her extra in October. It’s rare for a student to have a student/friend who finds that one teacher and just feel a special connection…… ps I hope I get chosen… lol 🙂

    • Reply Tessa Duquette October 5, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks for entering Lan! What a wonderful story. Looking forward to seeing you Saturday!

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