Zumba dancers raise money to fight cancer

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By Julianne Cuba

Brooklyn Daily

It’s dancing for a cause!

More than 100 Zumba enthusiasts shook it out and got low during a “Zumba For Life” fund-raising event to raise money to fight the silent killer, ovarian cancer, at the Aviator Sports and Events Center on May 6. And all their hard work and sweat paid off — they raised a whopping $2,000 — but the best part of the day was feeling the support from everyone in the room, said one breast cancer survivor.

“You have these events that you meet people who are going through the same thing you’re going through,” said Theresa Butera, who lives in Gravesend. “I think that the purpose of it is it brings awareness to people. Just dancing and knowing that every survivor is doing this for not only yourself, but for people who can’t do it, or have lost their lives.”

Organizer Joe Gillette — known by most as “Zumba Daddy” — was thrilled to see everyone breaking a sweat, and was pretty satisfied with his own effort, he said.

“We had a lot of fun, had a nice turn out. The people love it, they love to come with a lot of enthusiasm,” said Gillette. “I did one very heavily intensive routine, like a champion, and then I did the cool down. I’m feeling pretty good three days later — not too sore.”

Gillette said he’s already getting in shape for next month’s mother of all fund-raising events for the American Cancer Society — the Relay for Life walk at MCU Park in Coney Island on June 10.

Relay for Life at MCU Park (1904 Surf Ave. in Coney Island) June 10 at 6 pm.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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