STEUBENVILLE - Beth Rupert-Warren has never participated in a Zumba exercise class.
That will all change Saturday afternoon when Rupert-Warren joins other novices and veterans of the Zumba dance fitness routine for a two-hour workout at Harding Stadium under the direction of seven Zumba instructors.
The two-hour event will start at 2 p.m. and is being organized as a United Way of Jefferson County fundraiser by Amy Colantoni.
A UNITED WAY ZUMBATHON — The United Way of Jefferson County will host a Zumbathon event from 2 until 4 p.m. Saturday at Harding Stadium. Holding a banner advertising the Zumbathon are, from left, Beth Rupert-Warren, executive director of the United Way of Jefferson County; Zumba instructor and event organizer Amy Colantoni; and Jodi Goff, administrative assistant at the United Way of Jefferson County. - Dave Gossett
"I am the assistant director for the Upward Bound program at Eastern Gateway Community College. We were having a meeting with our President Laura Meeks who asked for ideas for fundraising for the United Way. I am also a Zumba instructor at the YMCA, so I proposed holding a Zumbathon, and Dr. Meeks put me in touch with Beth," Colantoni explained.
"Zumba fitness was founded in 2001, and it is a combination of fitness, entertainment and culture that is a dance fitness that gives you a total body workout," said Colantoni.
"We will have seven different instructors each taking a turn on the stage. I have asked each instructor to have five different songs for their part of the program. I will be one of the instructors, along with Jennifer Fouty, Bernadette Madden, Nicole Garielli, Heather Koehnlein, Stacey Mort and Melissa Carapelotti," add Colantoni.
Rupert-Warren said advance tickets for the Zumbathon are $15 and are available at the United Way of Jefferson County offices at 511 N. Fourth St.; Mr. Key at 752 Main St. in Wintersville; and from area Zumba instructors.
"We will also have tickets available at the stadium on Saturday for $20 each," Rupert-Warren noted.
"The stage will be set up on the home stands side of the field and participants will spread across the field. I would like to extend a special thanks to the Steubenville school district for working with us to make this possible. In addition to the stadium the school district is supplying the sound system and stage," she remarked.
According to Colantoni, area high school cheerleader advisers have been invited to bring their cheering squads to the Zumbathon.
"So far we know we will have cheerleaders from Harding Middle School, Steubenville High School, Indian Creek High School and Toronto High School. I have told them to wear their uniforms to show their school colors," Colantoni said.
She said she first got involved with the Zumba fitness program when she was in high school.
"I continued when I started attending the University of Akron and found out my instructor there was originally from Steubenville. I am not a morning person but when I was asked to teach Zumba early every morning at the YMCA, I felt great getting up early and seeing the people in class reacting with such enthusiasm," Colantoni related.
"This will be a lot of fun for everyone. And as far as Beth and Jodi Goff, her administrative assistant who has never done this before, we advise all newcomers to do what they can and enjoy themselves. This will actually be one big party where people will exercise and have fun. I tell people to try this and they might get addicted to Zumba like I am. And Zumba is for men and women who want to exercise and get fit," stated Colantoni.
Rupert-Warren said United Way water bottles will be available for participants.
"I know it can get warm on a June afternoon on the football field, so we will have plenty of water for everyone. And if it does rain that day we will move the Zumbathon into the Harding Middle School gymnasium," said Rupert-Warren.
"I have never done Zumba in my life. But I will be on the field doing my best. And I have already told my board members I hope to see them participating Saturday. Once again we are showing unity in our community. We will be doing something fun that will have a positive impact on people who need help. We will also be selling Live United T-shirts at the event for $10 each," said Rupert-Warren.
"I love Steubenville. There is no place like home and this is my home. I came home to Steubenville because I wanted to and I want to be involved in the community," Colantoni commented.
Rupert-Warren said the Zumbathon is sponsored by Mr. Key, the Spot Bar, Aaron's, Tri-State Security, Apollo Pro Cleaning and Ambulance Service Inc.