The mission of hospice is a personal one for Pauline Henriques, who owns and operates the Z-Lifestyle Dance Fitness studio at Westshore Plaza in Blauvelt. Henriques hosted a Zumba-thon Sunday, Feb. 10, to benefit United Hospice of Rockland. The event drew 60 people and raised $2046 for the charity.
Henriques recalls a hospice worker whose tenderness and attention helped her in the moments after a favorite aunt passed away. So, when one of Henriques’ students asked her to help raise money for hospice, she jumped on the opportunity.“The minute she asked me, I said ‘yes,’” Henriques recalls.“I just think they are very special people, these hospice care workers. Their heart is in it.”
That first Zumba-thon has led to a four-year partnership between Henriques’ studio and United Hospice.This year’s dance workout crowd was a mix of regular studio-goers, hospice supporters, and people who just love Zumba, Henriques said.
Henriques, a licensed Zumba instructor, with a list of other health and fitness certifications behind her name, is committed to using her talents to help people in need. She has crafted a unique brand of fitness philanthropy, raising money annually for hospice and People-to People, a Rockland County food pantry. She also hosts events that help individuals -- a woman who needed a double mastectomy, and a boy with leukemia.
“If something comes up in the community, I’ll do a fundraiser for it,” Henriques said.
Zumba is a powerhouse workout that feels more like a party. “People come in, they dance; they smile; they have fun; and they burn up to 1000 calories,” Henriques said. “It’s not a gym environment at all.”