Zumba for Autism

The Sixth Annual Zumba for Autism is recapped by someone who has never been to Zumba before.


Darren Tung, Staff Writer

Last Thursday’s Zumba for Autism, led by Ward Melville’s SHARP Club, was another successful event to raise funds for autism awareness and action, the latter of which was marketed as a “new goal” this year.

For just $10, they enjoyed two hours of intense and exciting dancing led by instructors up on a stage in the gym. They also received a free raffle ticket for one of tens of prizes, including a Caffe Amici gift card, snacks, and bath lotions/salts.

Regarding the subject matter at hand, autism is a disorder affecting roughly 1 in 68 children that impedes social and mental development. Autistics are characterized by odd behaviors such as a lack of social interaction, language difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. Treatment can be extremely costly to families with children with autism, which is why fundraisers like this exist.

As for the actual event, it was your typical Zumba night: exciting, active, and extremely tiring. Zumba is a Latin American fitness activity first seen in Colombia around the 90s. It is characterized by dancing (intensely) to high-energy music, often in rows with instructors on stage. Oddly enough, the word doesn’t mean anything; it’s just a brand. It’s fantastic exercise that has been found to burn roughly 750 calories for just one hour of dancing.

However, such intensity does not go well with some people. During the night of Zumba for Autism, several people got up and left after just half an hour, myself included, because they could not handle the pressure. I was both psychologically and physically exhausted by Zumba, but after calming myself down and resting for some time, I joined for the last half hour, during which the entire SHARP club was asked to dance to a special tune.  I did enjoy my first time at Zumba despite my body being broken following the event, and I would most certainly be interested in future events.