Escaping bullying through Zumba class
Standing up to bullies is one thing, but doing it as a community while wearing pink is another. That is exactly what happens at a Zumba class in Tokoroa.
Every year on May 26, people all around the world celebrate Pink Shirt Day and stand together to take action against bullying.
Bullying is something Desiree Shortland feels strongly about all year around though, and is the reason behind creating a new Zumba class.
Shortland has created a Zumba class for people to attend weekly as a way to escape or deal with bullying.
‘‘Its not just about the exercise or dance side of it,’’ she said.
‘‘Its about letting go and feeling safe.’’
Shortland said Zumba is designed as an escape. It provides a non judgmental environment and it is promoted as ‘‘a positive and happy place.’’
Every Wednesday at 6pm Shortland is joined by a class of 15 to 20 people.
She said it was so fun ‘‘you forget you are exercising.’’
For Shortland, Zumba has been a life changing experience; from being the shy newby in the back of the class, to being on stage and teaching.
‘‘It’s hard to be shy with Zumba.
‘‘You never know what’s going to happen in the class.’’
She said that you never know whose life you are going to change by taking these classes.
Shortland used to suffer from back problems and had a hard time moving, but with the Zumba programme she has changed her life for the better, and now wishes to help others.
Shortland travels from Hamilton every Wednesday to teach her classes at the Tokoroa Event Centre between 6pm-7pm. She said as long as she has the demand, her classes will continue.
She said she looks forward to Wednesdays, not just because of Zumba classes, but to enjoy the Tokoroa community.
‘‘I want to keep going as long as my body allows me to.’’
This Wednesday she wants everyone to dress up in pink, to stand up to the bullying that happens everywhere world wide.
She said Pink Shirt day is open to the whole community to take part and help spread awareness.
Every Wednesday a donation of $5 is collected to go towards the Zumba classes
Desiree Shortland and her Hamilton Zumba class