Ready to party — Kelly Estes, a breast cancer survivor, left, and friend/Zumba instructor Brandy Gill are the inspiration and perspiration behind the Party in Pink Zumbathon this Saturday at Oak Meadow Elementary. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

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Shake it ’til you make it at Saturday’s Zumbathon

By From page A3 | October 03, 2012

How do tears turn into sweat?

Ask Brandy Gill and Kelly Estes. The close friends and El Dorado Hills neighbors will likely share both this Saturday as Gill hosts the second annual Party in Pink Zumbathon to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Estes, a breast cancer survivor.

“It’s going to be kind of a crazy party,” said Gill, a Zumba instructor.

Zumba combines Latin dance, world music and exercise. Everyone attending should be prepared to sweat (athletic shoes a must) but Gill said she encourages participants to go at their own pace. Wear pink; the person with the craziest pink costume wins a prize.

Those who need a break can head over to vendor booths and do a little shopping or stop by the Pinkberry station and get some frozen yogurt.

Last year, while Estes was going through chemotherapy, Gill hosted two Zumbathons at Snap Fitness (the event’s sponsor) as a way to honor Estes and her family.

“I was worried about Kelly but I know she’s strong,” Gill said. “I just saw the devastating impact (the diagnosis) had on the family. You don’t realize how much it affects the whole family dynamic.”

Estes said she remembered being impressed with Gill’s project. The first Zumbathons went so well — her classroom was full — Gill decided to make it an annual event.

This year Party in Pink will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Oak Meadow Elementary School, where Estes teaches kindergarten. Gill said she hopes to see 200 participants and has 10 instructors lined up to lead. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance through Gill ([email protected]), at Snap Fitness in El Dorado Hills or at the door.

After the event in the school’s multi-purpose room everyone is invited to The Purple Place for more fun. A portion of drink sales that night will go to the foundation.

Estes, who had surgery last December and returned to teaching a month later, said with a smile, “They’ve given me the all clear.” That means she’ll have her workout gear on for this year’s Party in Pink.

“I’m doing (Zumba) for the first time that day,” Estes said with a hint of nervous energy. “I really probably need a lesson before.”

Gill reassured her, saying, “No coordination necessary. I have a shake it ’til you make it policy.”

Noel Stack


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