DANCERS caught hold of a new craze to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Hundreds of volunteers, young and old, turned out at Greenhead Park yesterday for three hours of zumba to raise cash for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
Zumba, which has been popular in the USA for over a decade, is a form of aerobics which uses rhythms and steps from salsa, merengue and other Latin American music.
The craze, which is gaining momentum in Britain, was even picked up by Kirklees Mayor, Eric Firth, who spotted posters for zumba classes around the borough.
Joining in the fun was Lisa Ross, 36, of Clayton West, and her seven-year-old daughter, Bailey.
Lisa said: “We’re having a nice time watching and dancing.
“The music is great but I just spotted the live percussionist (Bongo Dave, from the Camel Club) and he’s really good.
“I do zumba and I love it and think everyone should join in.”
The event, led by instructors from Talk Active, raised cash for the children’s hospice, which is Clr Firth’s chosen charity for his year as mayor.
The mayor hopes to organise zumba sessions at sports centres for the hospice around Kirklees in the next months.
Clr Firth, who took part in some of the dancing, said: “I was having a good time. I wish I was dressed for it!
“The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is such a deserving cause and so much is needed. There’s nothing to serve Kirklees, Calderdale or Wakefield.
“I’ve seen zumba in Chickenley and I saw how enthusiastic people were.
“I’m hoping to have a world record zumba attempt to put Kirklees Council and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice on the map and raise lots of funds.
“It keeps people fit and it’s so much fun.”
The hospice provides respite and palliative care from children with chronic and terminal conditions.
The charity will receive keys to their new hospice, at Brackenhall, at Huddersfield Town’s home fixture against Stevenage on October 8.
Hospice partnership development manager, Gina Fielding, said: “I’m very happy with the turnout. It’s fantastic. It’s nice to see everyone out.
“We’re actually glad the sun isn’t as hot as yesterday because it would have been too hot for people.”
To see a video of the mass zumba party at Greenhead Park visit www.examiner.co.uk