Everybody Zumba for charity

MS walker gets a musical, sweaty boost

Participants at Blys Yoga Studio show how Zumba is done.

Participants at Blys Yoga Studio show how Zumba is done.

Rena Shaw plans to take part in the upcoming MS Walk in Nanaimo on April 17, but before she zooms down to The Port City, she plans to Zumba right here in Oceanside.

Shaw, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis herself, said she approached April Kuramoto and Anna Dodds at the Blys Yoga Studio in Parksville for a donation for the event, but what she got was much, much more.

“April and Anna know I wrestle with MS every day and they have seen firsthand the difference both Zumba and yoga have had in my life for this past year,” she said. “They both jumped to my aid when I needed it.”

Instead of a donation, the pair offered to hold a special Zumbathon fundraiser for Shaw tonight, Friday, April 15, starting at 7 p.m.

Zumba, she said, is a Latin music-based type of exercise class.

“Basically, it’s a big party where you sweat,” she said. “It’s great fun. I always walk out with a big smile on my face.”

She said the first half hour of the Zumbathon will be devoted to an instructional lesson for people unfamiliar with the techniques.

“They’ll benefit from a half hour of instruction about where to put their feet,” Shaw said. “Then, for the next hour and a half, the music will be cranked up and everyone will do their best to follow the instructor.”

This will be the third time Shaw has taken part in the MS Walk.

“I was diagnosed in October of 2002 and I believe it’s thanks to daily injections of Copazone that I have suffered only a handful of relapses over the years,” she said. “That’s not to say I don’t have lasting evidence of my disease, but I am a lucky girl. Most days my eyes, arms and legs all work. As long as I listen to my body and give it the rest it needs every day, all is well.”

Although she said Interac will not be available, cash or cheques will be welcome.

The Blys Yoga Studio is located at 10-102 East Island Highway in Parksville, although its entrance is on Middleton.