CAB holds Zumba night to sweat out stress

Julia Fulmer, Copy Editor

Popular music and laughter rang throughout the halls of the Smith University Center (UC) during the most recent UC After Dark event, hosted at 5 p.m. on March 31.

Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB), the event featured Marlon Thames, a Zumba instructor for Lake City Fitness Center, who led students in simple, repetitious dance moves, gradually increasing the difficulty throughout the songs as people began to feel more comfortable. In addition to the event, students were offered fresh popcorn and lemonade, a resource that quickly became popular during the strenuous workout.

Caira Wilson, executive chair of CAB and senior secondary English education major, said CAB hosted a Zumba event two years ago when the organization was just starting.

“We were just talking about it, and we decided to bring it back because it was such a hit when we had it,” Wilson said.  “So, we were like, ‘Okay, let’s get some people out of their rooms and enjoy some Zumba because a lot of people haven’t really been able to get out.’”

Wilson said she fell in love with CAB during her sophomore year and enjoys the sense of community the events bring to the student body.

“I think a lot of people are getting out of their shells, which is great,” said Wilson. “It gives people the avenue to have fun and be with their friends. Francis Marion is known to be a commuter campus, but we have a lot of students that actually live here on campus, and I want students to be able to have those opportunities to leave their rooms, have fun with their friends and actually enjoy what Francis Marion has to offer.”

Brittany Clark, CAB member and junior marketing major, said they decided to ask Thames to instruct the event because they were already familiar with her work.

“Another member of CAB is a family friend of hers,” Clark said. “She recommended and contacted her, and I also got in contact with her, and we just went from there.”

Carlyse Major and Tamara Jackson, two junior nursing majors, said they discovered the event after working out at the UC gym. Though they had not planned on participating in Zumba before, they ended up staying until the end.

Major said she enjoyed everything about the event, especially the dance to “Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige. Though she tried Zumba years ago, Major said she had fun taking the exercise aspect more seriously.

“I was younger, so I was just playing around, you know,” Major said. “I wasn’t really paying attention to the instructor. But doing Zumba just now, it was a nice workout, and I’m kind of tired now. Some of the dance moves were harder than others, but that’s okay. Everybody had a good time.”

Jackson said she enjoyed the event because it encouraged students to come together and be active.

“It gives students the chance to let their hair down and not focus on the stressful final exams coming up,” Jackson said. “You know, it’s the end of the semester, and everybody’s stressed, so this is a good stress-relieving event while also keeping everybody healthy.”