YMCA aiming to break world Zumba record on Jan. 1

The Greater Wichita YMCA is urging people and families to dance their way into the record books Saturday by joining the world's largest Zumba class.

The New Year's Day Zumbathon will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Farha Sport Center, 3405 S. Meridian, near the South Branch YMCA. Participants must check in by 12:30 p.m. and remain in the class for at least the first 33 minutes to be counted for the world record.

"We introduced Zumba to Y members in September and the response has been overwhelming," said Rachel Stuhlsatz, health and fitness director for the YMCA.

"When we saw more than 400 people participating in Zumba classes Thanksgiving morning, we figured we might have a shot at a world record. Plus, this event is a fun way for people to kick off their New Year's resolutions and support a great cause."

Zumba is a fitness program created by a Columbian dancer and choreographer that combines Latin and international music with dance to make exercise fun.

The most recent record for the world's largest Zumba class took place on Oct. 7 in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, UK. Although the record has yet to be confirmed, the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility gathered 836 participants to break the previous Canadian record by nearly 300 participants.

The Wichita YMCA's goal is to have 1,111 participants Saturday to commemorate the date of the event — 1/1/11.

Registration is $10 in advance at any area YMCA or online at ymcawichita.org. The fee includes an event T-shirt, and proceeds benefit the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

For more details, go to zumba.ymcawichita.org. To find out which YMCA branches offer Zumba classes, visit ymcawichita.org.

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