Dance teams get active for diabetes

Students gather for “Zumba for a Cause” at the FAMU Recreational basketball court pavilion. Courtesy of Nyla Staple


The organizations Attack Dance “Crew,” Ladies of Torque, Venom Pom Squad, Strikers Dance Troupe, Diamonds of FAMU, and House Arrest 2, all participated in a Zumba class to get active.

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar in the body. There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, according to the National Institute of Health. Type 2 diabetes is primarily associated with lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, lack of exercise and genetics, which lead to insulin resistance and insufficient insulin production.

Lysse, a third-year biology pre-dental major from Miami, said, “I mainly wanted to host this class to raise awareness of diabetes because of how common it is in youth, and because of how long it can go undetected. A lot of people don’t bring attention toward it, so I decided to shed some light.”

The class took place at the FAMU recreational pavilion where all participants warmed up and stretched for the start of the event. The instructor, Lex Dortelus from Fort Lauderdale, introduced himself and explained how Zumba is something he is passionate about. Dortelus even works at a gym where he hosts his own classes twice throughout the week.

“I love encouraging activeness and getting up out of the dorms for at least 30-60 minutes. I do this for my job and it’s something I love to do, and I enjoy making people smile knowing they are enjoying their time while working out,” Dortelus said. “I was also trying to spread awareness about diabetes. I know a couple people around me in organizations, I have family members as well as friends who are affected.”

Participants got the chance to feel what it’s like to take a Zumba class, which is a popular fitness program that combines elements of dance and aerobic exercise. Zumba classes are known for their high-energy, music-driven workouts that make exercise feel more like a dance party.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is a central aspect of diabetes awareness. Encouraging people to maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, and manage their weight can help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.