Forsyth County students attempt to dance into record book with Zumba
Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 7:53 pm | Updated: 12:39 am, Sat Feb 2, 2013.
Arika Herron/Winston-Salem Journal
Fourth- and fifth-grade students from six Winston-Salem/Forsyth County elementary schools took part in what was billed as the world’s largest Zumbatomic class – an aerobic program for children under the age of 15 – at the Benton Convention Center Friday morning to kick off the Go Red and Get moving initiative.
Go Red and Get Moving is designed to get children active and healthy and raise awareness of heart disease during the month of February.
Event coordinator Cheryl Lindsay said the event had three goals: break the world record for largest Zumbatomic class, start the Go Red and Get Moving campaign and teach kids about making healthy choices. It’s a lesson Lindsay said she hopes the students will adopt now and continue a lifetime.
Mayor Allen Joines joined the 1,121 students and their teachers for the 30-minute dance workout. As dance music blared, students followed choreographed routines performed by instructors on stage.
“It was really fun,” said Cecilia Beck, 9, a fourth-grader at Kernersville Elementary. “I’ve never done this before, so it was a new experience for me. I loved it.”
She wasn’t alone. At the end of the 30-minute session, students showed their enthusiasm with hugs, cheers and high fives. Many kept dancing to the music and rushed to the center of the floor for the finale balloon drop.
Keeping the kids moving for the rest of the month will be the focus now. The six schools that participated Friday - Cash, Diggs-Latham, Kernersville, Lewisville, Sherwood Forest and Meadowlark elementary schools – are just a few of the 20 schools that will participate in the Go Red and Get Moving campaign for the next month.
Students who participate commit to exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week and adopt one new healthy habit for the month of February. Students have been encouraged to set goals such as drinking more water, getting more sleep and eating more fruits and vegetables.
“I’m going to play and exercise and eat healthy food,” said Jaemarius Harper, 9, a fourth-grader at Kernersville Elementary.
Lexi Lovelace, 9, a fourth-grader at Lewisville Elementary, had a different idea.
“I’m going to drink tons of water,” she said, raising a half-empty water bottle.
Those are all good ideas that school administrators hope last longer than just the next 28 days.
Go Red and Get Moving is a way to keep health top of mind for students even after the challenge is over. Nancy Sutton, health and physical education specialist for the school system, said lifestyles today make it harder for students to be healthy. It’s never been more important to instill the importance of making healthy choices, she said.
“We’ve got a lot of things to fight,” Sutton said. “The younger you’re practicing healthy habits, the more likely those will carry into adulthood.”
The official designation of the world record attempted Friday should be announced in the next few weeks. The previous record for the largest Zumbatomic class was 383 participants, set in April 2012.