“Dance is a physical and mental workout. Once you get your body moving, you’ll see a difference.”
Dancing is a form of art and exercise that helps improve not only our physical well-being, but our mental state as well. But there’s more to the activity than mere workout and interest, it is also a medium to connect and bring together a group of people who may have completely different lives but share the same love for dancing.
This has been the quest of these six homeowners when they decided to establish a Zumba group within the community of Suntrust Shanata, a condominium project in Quezon City. Maribeth Tan, Mattheo Supranes, Mel Sim, Joan Heroza, Marites Resuello, and Ricky Ramos were once just neighbors who barely knew each other, but soon found one thing in common -- their love for zumba. They started to host weekly zumba sessions in the community clubhouse and the group of six people has started to grow since.
“We put effort on giving out leaflets, announcing on residents’ group chats, and whenever a new neighbor moves in, we instantly invite them to join,” shared Maribeth and Mattheo. The newly established group has spread through word of mouth quite quickly and it gave them the encouragement to push through their idea.
For the group, the zumba family which they dubbed “Zumbanatics”, is far more than the campaign to keep fit, but also to help build better relationships within the community. Their main goal is to create camaraderie and stronger connections, as they see the community as more than a dwelling place but a home where they feel safe and happy.
“Another thing is the cooperation and support of other friends and neighbors here in Shanata. Our first few zumba dance sessions created the noise and made a lot of impact to easily mobilize and encourage others to join. There, Zumbanatics grew in number and still continue to attract more to join us,” said Ricky. Currently, the group has 25 members more or less, quite a good number indeed for a neighborhood resided by people who live entirely different lives.
The group believes that staging zumba sessions help develop their community, as a community cannot be called a neighborhood if there is no friendship that connects them. And apart from the healthy effects of the activity, they see friendship as an important factor in their well-being too.
“Some of us were already friends before, but Zumba inside Shanata gave us the opportunity to win more friends in the neighborhood. It’s us who will benefit anyway, so we work our best for the betterment of our community,” they stated.
Zumba has been a Saturday morning routine for many residents, and aside from its physical benefits, they claim that it really has a relaxing and positive effect on their mental well-being as well. Aside from this, the community also actively holds other events and activities that benefit both their people and their neighbors outside the project. Just like their most recent donation drive for Typhoon Ulysses victims held last November, the residents enjoy lots of more fun activities that never forget to give “malasakit” to others.
Apart from the weekly zumba activities, the group enjoys a lot more things in the area. They love strolling across the wide walkways, having pool picnics, gardening, and simply relaxing. For them, these moments spent not only with their own families but with their Zumbanatics group are what make them #HappyAtHome.