Zumba-ing to help defeat, raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease


Zumba represents not only fun exercise, but also a relief for Parkinson’s.

The Health Science Association is a new organization made for health science majors and any interdisciplinary students who are interested in helping others and gaining leadership qualities. The mission of the organization is to reach out to the community through fundraisers and help students network with new people in the same field. This is the first event that has been sponsored solely by the Health Science Association, but they previously took part in the Healthy U run earlier in the semester.

The goal was to raise $500 for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. The goal was a hit, as $504 was raised through the Zumba sessions. But the night was not only about raising money. It was also about spreading awareness.

Health science senior Jessica Ehle has been invested in helping the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation for some time and believes that the issue is as important than ever before.

“Something that people need to know is that Parkinson’s disease has become much more prevalent than most think,” Ehle said. “Everyone seems to know someone who has it, so it’s not rare any longer. People just don’t have the information they need to help and that’s why this event was good. We’re trying to help people figure out how to help their loved ones.”

Ehle added that Zumba is used for more than just exercise and that it is slowly being integrated to help with Parkinson’s.

“Zumba specifically connects to Parkinson’s because it releases dopamine,” Ehle said. “So a lot of patients are told to use the exercise as a type of therapy.”

“You can burn up to 1,200 calories during one hour of Zumba,” Ehle said. “So when you’re a student and you might only have an hour or so to work out in the day, this is perfect.”

Health science senior, Ebony Briscoe was a participant in the Zumba and feels as if it is the best, fun modern way to exercise.

“It’s something new and exciting,” Briscoe said. “Compared to the traditional workout. It also works out your entire body, even though it doesn’t really feel like it because you’re dancing.”

Briscoe went on to say why Zumba is current trend, especially with college age students.

“It’s just a popular attraction,” Briscoe said. “It’s the hot thing right now. You see more people doing it and it makes others want to try it. It’s also a social thing as well.”

The Health Science Association wants to encourage all undergraduate students who are health science majors to join, but also students who are involved with other fields like occupational therapy or biology.