Zumba for a Cure

When Leah Kazakoff and Varinka Monbny began brainstorming fundraising ideas, they knew they wanted to keep the event and the money they raised local

It only made sense that the zumba instructor and her student would decide to turn a zumba class into a large-scale event.

Kazakoff has taught zumba for two years and is the co-owner of the Precision Martial Arts Academy in Edmonton. Her mother-in-law had spent the last few weeks of her life at the Cross Cancer Institute, and it became the organization that Kazakoff and Monbny wanted to fund. “It would be a great way to get people more familiar with what zumba is while doing it for a good cause,” she says.

For the uninitiated, zumba is a fitness program that uses Latin rhythms and dances, like the salsa, merengue and cumbia, along with belly dancing.
Originally slated to take place on the HMV stage at West Edmonton Mall, the class on Sept. 25 proved too large and was moved to the drop-down area in front of the stage. What can you expect with a group of six instructors and over 60 participants?

The class managed to raise $13,300. Participants were charged a minimum $10 donation, while onlookers contributed what they could. Part of the funds were raised thanks to efforts by the academy’s taekwondo students and their parents.

“We’d like to do something again next year,” admits Kazakoff, “but it would be at a different time of year, so we’re not competing with all the fundraising efforts going on.”

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