Cairns is Zumba City - 3105 dance their way to a world record
CAIRNS is claiming the title of Zumba capital of the world after more than 3000 people crammed into Fogarty Park yesterday to set a new mark for Guinness World Records.
The official tally last night was 3105 people, including Donna Patane (centre) of Cairns, who took part in the 30-minute dance fitness session and organisers are confident the record will be officially recognised next month.
IT was more like a rock concert than fitness class as a Cairns crowd of more than 3000 unofficially set the world record for the most participants at a Zumba class.
A sea of people screamed and punched the air after they completed the largest 30-minute Zumba beginner class at Fogarty Park yesterday.
Locals and visitors alike got their hearts pumping to the energetic Latin dance beats of the worldwide dance phenomenon.
Barring any disqualifications, the final figure of 3105 people has been submitted to the Guinness World Records which will process the numbers before making an official ruling in four weeks’ time.
Crocodiles, cassowaries, fairies and even a male pregnant nun were among a number of costumed Zumba-goers who joined the party.
The Cairns Taipans also added the Zumba workout to their weekly training schedule, as they swayed to Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca.
Mothers, grandmothers, tradies and sporting groups of all ages, eyed two stages at the park to follow the instructors’ direction.
Instructor Brooke Marshall, who had only 15 people in her first Cairns class two years ago, was overwhelmed by the throng of thousands.
"I felt like an absolute rock star, like Madonna or Britney Spears – now I know how they feel," she told The Cairns Post. "When they were all in time with their hands in the air it was just the best.
"We’re now ahead of London – on top of the world."
The record is held by Zumbawear in Twickenham, of Greater London, when about 2012 people participated in a 30-minute workout on June 11, 2011.
While some lost faces in the crowd turned to their neighbours for a little direction, other Zumbee veterans showed them how to shake it.
"I’ve got a crook hip but I still gave it my all," Cairns Zumba regular Helen Kezilas said. "Have a look around there’s so many people – it’s wonderful."
Mother-of-three Michelle Ballinger and daughters Bridget, 5, and Ashleigh, 7, of Brinsmead, enjoyed the overcast weather, which was a welcome relief from the mass of body heat. "It was good. Now I’m famous," Ashleigh said.
Mayor Val Schier said the success of the event was a major coup for the city and would look at running it as an annual event.
"We’re all pretty elated to see over 3000 people stream through the gates of Fogarty Park was just amazing – it was such a good image for the city and shows the people of Cairns love our active outdoor lifestyles and Zumba is perfect for that," she said.
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In the thick of it: Donna Patane (centre) took part in the Cairns Zumba world record attempt at Fogarty Park yesterday.