Dancing the Winter Blues Away ZwithC Style!

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
Dancing the Winter Blues Away ZwithC Style!
Top row left to right: Stephen Douris, Mitchel Roy, Angele D'Alessio, Laurie Campeau, and Jane DeGray. Bottom row left to right: Rachel Tooley, Val Bowen and Christal Bowen

A Blue Monday collaboration between Zumba with Christal and CMHA Champlain-East had over 100 people hit the dancefloor for an energizing Zumba class on Monday, January 16, 2023.

Blue Monday is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year! Although this is a myth says CMHA’s Angele D’Alessio, what is real is the winter blues and SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder). The goal of the evening was to raise awareness of mental health, share resources from our local CMHA and encourage an activity that is well researched and backed by evidence: EXERCISE.

“The energy was electric in the room,” said Christal Bowen, “We had a great turn out and I am very proud to say that they have honoured me with the title of community mental health ambassador. It’s nice after sixteen years, knowing what we are doing helps people with their mental and physical health.”

Bowen was the first Canadian to get her Zumba license 16 years ago in Virginia Beach. She originally pursued it because she loved to dance; she never thought it would turn into a passion for others. Since then, Christal has created a wonderful community filled with generous and dedicated people who share her vision of making the world a better place.

At Zumba Cornwall/Zumba Christal everyone is welcome, there are no wrong moves, and the only rules are to have fun and not stress. Going “the wrong way” is reframed as an “impromptu solo”!

“Mental health is so important because it affects everybody. Whether you know it or don’t know it, its unseen and its super important,” Bowen shared, “If you suffer in silence, you’re in your own thoughts and Zumba allows that to release, it allows it to go on to the dancefloor instead and you turn off the world for a while.”

Christal noticed that looking forward to Zumba classes helped people regain the spark they had lost during Covid. During the pandemic, people lost consistency, but these classes never stopped. They went online instead.

“I love it, its something I don’t feel I’m going to give up on anytime soon. You keep moving forward and keep coming up with new ways to make the community better. I always say that I’m not alone in this, I have a whole army of people backing me up to make big changes,” Bowen told Seaway News.

CMHA is continuing their awareness events in January with the upcoming virtual ZOOM event- MenTALK a Bell Let’s Talk Conversation on Jan 24th at 6:30pm

To register for this event click here or contact Angele D’Alessio 613-551-9253

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