People in the Muncie community have been bettering their health through dance for three years now through Cardinal Zumba and needs the community’s keep the music going.

The organization, which provides those who participate in the program with guided exercise, nutrition classes, and health and wellness assessments, is accepting donations to help support its program through Ball State Foundation’s crowdfunding website.

“We need a consistent amount of money to pay for Zumba instructors, food for our participants, and some students get paid for their work,” said Christina Jones, one of the program’s co-founders and directors.

According to its crowdfunding page, the money raised will be used to support Cardinal Zumba’s nutrition education food program through December 2020, as its current funding mechanism for the nutrition portion will expire in December 2019.

The funds, it states, provide the means for bi-weekly nutrition education classes, food samples that participants can take home to their families, as well as food and kitchen supplies for the nightly food demonstrations after Zumba class.

Without continued funding, the crowdfunding page states Cardinal Zumba will be unable to continue the nutrition education and nutritious food sample portion — “a significant part of the program.”

The group unveiled its most recent grant in September from the Hoosier Beverage Association at its third anniversary party which they will use for its food nutritional program.

According to a flyer distributed at the event, those who donate will receive “swag bags” from Cardinal Zumba with promotional items. They’ve also made a sponsorship bracket with special mentions for those who meet the requirements.

Jean-Charles Lebeau, assistant professor of sport and exercise psychology at Ball State, said it was important for participants to have their fitness assessed. 

“The data we gather helps show that the program is impactful to the community” said Lebeau, who is new to the program.

Through tests involving checking body mass index, blood pressure, cognitive assessments and nutrition assessments, the group can apply for grants and funding to keep these amenities free of charge.

“We want to emphasize that Cardinal Zumba is about overall well being and health as opposed to losing weight or looking better,” he said.

Muncie residents aren’t the only people Cardinal Zumba is trying to help. 

“We would like more students to get involved,” said Shannon Powers, one of the program’s co-founders and directors. 

Being a part of Zumba allows Ball State students to get real-world experience in their fields. 

“We don’t just have college of health majors. We also have people going into education, biology, and the natural sciences.” said Powers.

Whether it’s through an internship, a practicum, or a paid job, students of all majors can gain experience collecting data, preparing and cooking food, and communicating with participants.

For more information of Cardinal Zumba and how you can get involved, visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/CardinalZumba