Health & Wellness

Zumba Fundraiser Raises The Roof

November 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM

NEWTON, NJ – Zumba is the latest fitness trend because it’s “fun energetic dancing,” according to Lynette Gomilla, an instructor.

It is even fun and energetic when it is being done for a couple of hours at a time, a group of women from Sussex County proved during a Zumba-thon fundraiser.

The Zumba instructors all over New Jersey came up with an idea to organize a fundraiser to help people who live in the Jersey Shore areas, who lost their homes during Hurricane Sandy. Most of the fundraisers were scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17, as was the Sussex County one held in the gymnasium at Sussex County Community College, just steps away from the FEMA help center for the county.

Sign Up for E-News

Khadezah Mitchell was the organizer for the county, and Theresa Hough and Michelle Herring, both guidance counselors at Newton High School, as well as independent Zumba instructors, secured the room, the music and the insurance. Hough and Herring mostly teach at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Andover Township. They have been teaching Zumba for about a year and a half.

The Zumba fundraiser attracted 67 participants, about 90 percent of whom are students of Zumba in Sussex County, the instructors said. Each was asked to donate $10 at the door, but most donated more, the instructors said. In addition, they brought canned goods, clothing, baby items, and anything else they thought could be used by the displaced Shore residents, Herring said.

She said the monetary donations will be taken to the Newton Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the items to the New Brunswick Chapter “and they distribute it to the shore. Apparently they are the only chapter who takes items and not just money,” she said.

“We planned it in a week and a half,” Herring said, sounding a little amazed that they pulled it off. “We decided to do it four days after Sandy.”

Besides Mitchell, Gomilla, Herring and Hough, instructors Samantha Levally and Jane Fizell were also teaching 20 minute routines during the fundraiser. The instructors alternated teaching, giving the participants a brief rest in between. Different teachers have different techniques and do not use the same music, so it was a challenge for the participants.

Each of the instructors teaches independently, or at a gym or dance studio in the county.

Gomilla explained there are overarching themes in Zumba music and routines, but the instructors also pick their own music and do their own choreography.

“Some people are outstanding choreographers,” she said.  

Zumba differs from aerobic or Jazzercise, in that it uses Latin-inspired and international music. According to the Zumba website, it was started by an aerobics instructor in Colombia in the mid 1990's, when founder Alberto "Beto" Perez, forgot his aerobics music, and instead used Salsa and Merengue tapes in his backpack. After becoming a hit in Colombia, the trend hit Miami, Fla., in 2001. Today, the Zumba website states over 14 million people in 150 countries participate in Zumba classes weekly.

The instructors were participating in each other’s routines during the fundraiser, picking up pointers and ideas and keeping their own energy levels up. 

“We borrow from each other all the time,” Gomilla said.


Continue to follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County news, as well as news and community information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Wantage Man Faces Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop

December 7, 2016

SPARTA, NJ – A Wantage man is facing drug charges after a traffic stop for an expired registration sticker.  According to Sparta police Shane Dedminicantanio was pulled over on Route 15 after he passed Sparta Cpl. Dan Elig and Police Officer Steve Guido on the Sparta Junction at 11:30 a.m. on December 4.

The officers smelled burnt marijuana while speaking with Dedminicantanio in his ...

Sparta Police: Lafayette Woman Nearly Crashes into Police Car, Faces DWI Charges

SPARTA, NJ – A Lafayette woman is being charged with driving while intoxicated after crossing the double yellow line, nearly colliding with a Sparta police car.  On November 28, at 9:50 p.m. Cpl. Rob Fraser and Police Officer Tom Herd were on Main Street near the Goddard School when Diana Agana-Hutchings was seen driving erratically, police report.

The police said they had to take ...

Sparta Police: Third Sparta Man Charged with DWI in One Week

SPARTA, NJ- For the third time in less than a week Sparta Police have charged a Sparta resident with driving while intoxicated.  On November 27. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped a 2015 Jeep, after seeing it being driven down the middle of the road, according to police. 

Christopher Liddle was pulled over for driving completely across the double yellow lines on West Shore Trail at 1:40 ...

Sussex County Legislators vote NO to domestic violence bill

December 5, 2016

To the Editor:

Domestic violence claims at least 2,000 lives each year. Seventy percent of the victims are women. More than half of the time, the weapon used to carry out an “intimate partner” homicide — when a person targets a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or someone with whom they previously had a romantic relationship — is a gun. To prevent intimate partner ...

Newton High School Student Shares Her Dominican Republic Mission Trip Experience

November 27, 2016

NEWTON, NJ- A Newton High School student traveled to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip over the summer with a group from Sussex County.  Freshman Gemma Meade put together a slide show with photos of her trip to provide a backdrop to a presentation she made to her fellow students.

Meade’s French teacher began celebrating Thanksgiving with her classes on Tuesday and had Meade ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, December 10, 5:30 PM

The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Morris Plains

Holidays in the Log House: The Candlelight Tour

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, December 11, 10:00 AM

Oak Ridge

Covenant Brass Quintet

Sun, December 11, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Lime Crest Quarry: Eons in the Making, Men in the ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sun, December 11, 3:45 PM

Oak Ridge

Annual Christmas Concert and Tableau

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, February 4, 9:30 AM

Sparta PAL, Sparta

Super Snowshoe Shuffle 5K Walk/Run

Giving Back Sports

Roxbury Eyes Little Lake Hopatcong Peninsula, State Says "Go For It"

December 2, 2016

ROXBURY, N.J. - Roxbury Township is on the verge of getting its first chunk of lakefront property on Lake Hopatcong, a strip of land that once served as a steamboat passenger platform in Landing.

The first thing it wants to put there: A big Christmas tree.

The state, which owns the half-acre peninsula adjacent to Lake's End Marina, is eager to enter into a ...

Curriculum Currents November Part 3 - Update to the Sparta School District Website

Over the past months, the Sparta School District has been working on plans to update our current website. Working from feedback received in Superintendent Forums and other community meetings, the focus of this update is to provide a site that is more easily navigated, helping our community find important information in a more efficient manner.

The website is scheduled to receive this update on ...

Oroho Bill to Remove Red Tape from Pharmaceutical Industry Signed into Law

December 9, 2016


Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to make the registration process easier for pharmaceutical companies is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie. The measure came out of the New Jersey Red Tape Review Commission.

“The seemingly never ending list of regulations and rules has handcuffed business in this state for far too ...