Fundraiser will Benefit Artists with Special Needs

Courtesy photo    Members of Alameda Adaptive Arts join Yulissa Arescurenaga at the recent Earth Day Festival in Washington Park. Arescurenaga will lead a Zumba fundraiser to benefit the local arts group geared for people with special needs.

The first and only licensed Zumba instructor with Down Syndrome, Yulissa Arescurenaga, 26, will be among the instructors at Alameda Adaptive Art’s Zumbathon fundraiser at Mariner Square Athletic Club this Saturday, June 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit Alameda’s performing arts group for young adults with special needs.  

Arescurenaga fell in love with Zumba, a Latin-inspired dance group workout, in 2008. After practicing and memorizing dance routines for nearly six hours a day, Arescurenaga became certified to teach Zumba in 2012. 

Currently, she teaches several classes in the Bay Area; she recently taught Zumba in Alaska at the National Down Syndrome Congress.  

Founder and director of Alameda Adaptive Arts, Marcy Morrison Pearce says she hopes Arescurenaga’s appearance at the June 9 fundraiser will inspire the young adults in her performance group. She says the group’s motto is “It’s not about the disability; it’s not even about the ability. It’s about the possibility.”  

“We’ve found a lot of joy exploring the possibility of what we can create together through music and dance,” said Pearce.

During the past three years, Alameda Adaptive Arts has performed choreographed dance and song at such community events as the Alameda Holiday Home Tour and the Alameda Recreation and Park Department’s Earth Day Festival. 

The public is invited to join in the Zumbathon on Saturday. Mariner Square Athletic Club is located at 2227 Mariner Square Loop. For more information, call 523-8011.