The South Carroll Senior and Community Center will host a day of fun and fitness Sunday.
The day's events will kick off with the 4th annual Carroll County Zumbathon from 9 to 11 a.m. in the gym at the center, at 5928 Mineral Hill Road in Eldersburg.
The Zumbathon will be followed by the 13th Annual Freedom Fitness and Health Expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., also in the center's gym. The expo features dance and musical entertainment, plus vendors offering fitness and health information and products.
The Zumbathon and expo are open to all ages and fitness levels. Both events are being coordinated by Tracy Cox, director of Freedom Fitness studio, an affiliate of Freedom Area Recreation Council.
FARC, like other Carroll County recreation councils, is a volunteer organization that seeks to build public recreation programs in cooperation with the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks.
The Zumbathon is $15 if you register online by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, or $20 if you pay at the door. Admission to the expo is free.
Breanna Shumpert, Freedom Fitness instructor coordinator and trainer, who is a Zumba-licensed instructor, is one of the teachers for the Zumbathon.
"The Zumbathon's a great chance to come out and try Zumba for the first time," she said.
Shumpert said there are always people at the Zumbathon who have never done Zumba before. She said that she and the other instructors will teach the steps as they go, so people do not need to know Zumba in order to participate.
Shumpert said attendees can participate for as little or as much of the dance fitness marathon as they wish. There are bleachers in the gym so people can rest if they need to take a break.
The Zumbathon, now its own event, used to be part of the expo, Cox said.
"Over the years, Zumba participation [grew] so much that it seemed to overshadow a lot of the other demos at the health expo," Cox wrote in an email. "We decided to give Zumba its own outlet and create a separate event that generated funds for FARC programs."
Cox said about 120 people participated in last year's Zumbathon, raising more than $1,500 for FARC programs. She said funds raised go into FARC's general fund, which supports fitness scholarships for families in need, new programs, and other activities that benefit the community.
"The bulk of it goes to kids' and adult fitness," Cox said, "but it also goes wherever the need lies."
Shumpert recommends wearing comfortable clothes and tennis shoes and bringing water. She said the Zumbathon will offer something for everyone, from beginner to advanced-level fitness.
Everyone who registers for the Zumbathon will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Zumba Wear gift card to be used at www.zumba.com.
But the energy won't stop when the Zumbathon ends. Immediately after the Zumbathon is the fitness and health expo.
Each expo has a theme, with this year's being community unity.
"Every year we are astounded at the way the community comes together to produce this event, so it is a natural theme," Cox said.
Major sponsors for this year's expo include Carroll County Recreation and Parks, Carroll Hospital Center/LifeBridge Health, Carroll County Health Department's Cigarette Restitution Fund Program, which helps Carroll residents quit smoking, Freedom Area Recreation Council, Freedom Fitness, Innovative Security Systems, and Transitions Healthcare.
Dave "Detour Dave" Sandler of WBAL will serve as DJ and emcee for the Zumbathon and expo, as he has every year.
Food will be available for purchase at the expo, all catered by Salerno's Restaurant and Catering of Eldersburg. Offerings will include sandwiches, salads, wraps and drinks.
Cox said the expo will feature about a dozen exhibitors and vendors including Cath's Creations, a Steeped Tea representative; the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library; the Sykesville Rotary Club; Sykesville Veterinary Clinic, which will provide healthy pet info; and Therapeutic Kneads Wellness Center, which will offer free mini-massages.
The expo will also offer free demonstration classes of FARC programs in the center cafeteria. Demo classes are 20 to 25 minutes long and start every half-hour.
The first demo is tae kwon do led by Allen Evans at 11:30 a.m., followed by kids' Zumba for ages 4 and older with Katie Bernstein at noon, piloxing — a combination of pilates, boxing and dance — with Heather Snyder and Nicole Darner at 12:30 p.m., Zumba gold with Katie Bernstein at 1 p.m., Kettlebell AMPD — a combination of aerobics and strength training that uses kettlebells as weights — with Jan Smith at 1:30 p.m., and Golden Barre — barre exercise for active seniors — with Jackie Jones.
The expo will also feature performances by FARC members Freedom Fire Stars Dance Twirl Team at 11 a.m., Stepping Stars at 11:45 a.m., and the Joey D. Cares Rock Orchestra at 1 p.m.
The Joey D. Cares Rock Orchestra, led by Joseph Dundore, a former Oklahoma Road Middle School music teacher, is comprised of seventh- through twelfth-graders and adults. This is the first year they will be performing at the expo, said Carol Good, orchestra member and booking agent.
Good said the orchestra plays a variety of music from Motown and jazz to current pop, including songs by Michael Jackson, Chicago, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons.
Stepping Stars dance students study ballet, tap and jazz, and range in age from 2 to 18. Selena LaVeck, director of Stepping Stars, said the younger teams perform one dance and the older teams sometimes perform two.
"The kids love this expo," LaVeck said. "It is their first performance opportunity of the season, and we include everybody. You can feel the energy."
If you go:
What: 4th annual Carroll County Zumbathon
When: 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 24
Where: The gym at the South Carroll Senior and Community Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Road in Eldersburg
Cost: The Zumbathon is $15 if you register online by 11:59 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 23, or $20 if you pay at the door.
More information: Businesses interested in vendor spaces must sign up by contacting Cox before 5 p.m. on Jan. 22. Each space is $169. Vendors can contact Cox at Freedom Fitness at 410-795-9101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.