By Lindsey Kay Hurtt
The largest zumba class in recorded history is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 14 during Diadeloso—Baylor’s spring holiday celebration. The zumba event is a twofold celebration: it marks the fifteenth anniversary of the sanctioning of dancing on Baylor’s campus, and it raises support for the third-annual accounting vocational mission trip.
The accounting group is inviting everyone to come out and be a part of the effort to set the Guinness World Record for the largest zumba class. Zumba is a fusion of dance and aerobic exercise. “We thought a lot of people might think it was fun to participate in setting a world record. That’s something you can tell people the rest of your life,” said Dr. Kathy Hurtt, assistant professor of accounting. The current record, set this March at the University of South Carolina, stands at 1,135 participants. The accounting team is hoping for at least 3,000 participants. “We can only do it with a lot of support from a lot of people,” Hurtt said.
An accounting professor and his wife, who were looking for a creative fundraiser, got the idea for the zumba class from seeing a sign, and the idea snowballed from there. The support raised will help finance Baylor accounting students, accompanied by three faculty advisors and one alumnus, who will be in Uganda from May 16-27. They will be working with local entrepreneurs and Uganda Christian University students in Kampala, offering business consulting and professional advising. The accounting team will help the Pastors Discipleship Network, a Ugandan group that works to train pastors, with their budgeting and accounting and provide Bibles and culturally relevant biblical commentaries for the pastors, many of whom do not currently have Bibles. The team will also host two sports and activities camps for local children and work with Compassion International, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children in Third World countries.
“One of the things that’s different about this trip is that the projects are student-identified and student-led. Students pick a project, and they own that project. We hope that what they’re leading is what God’s called them to do and what they’re passionate about,” Hurtt explained.
Scott Orsak, a Mesquite junior, admits it can be challenging at times, as students, to be responsible for so many aspects of the trip. “It is fun, though, to be put in charge of something like that, to go over to a foreign country and have a professor say you can take the reins on this and go,” he said. Orsak’s projects will include an accounting systems project for Restoration Gateway, a Christian non-profit in northern Uganda that aims to provide housing, education, and community for those in need.
“One of the reasons I came to Baylor was for the opportunities Baylor offers to grow from a career, academic, and spiritual standpoint. This trip incorporates all of that,” Orsak said. “Experiencing the Ugandan culture and their passion for God will make a huge impact on me, and I hope that with the projects I’m working on and being there and learning, that I’ll be able to give something in return.”
There are several ways to give to the accounting trip. “What we most want from the Baylor community is their prayers—that God would move in the way he wants to move,” Hurtt said.
Chamber has generously donated the venue and equipment for the zumba class, so all the funds raised by the event will be used to support the trip, purchase supplies, and assist with student scholarships.
The cost to participate in the zumba class is $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the Third Street side of Fountain Mall. Alumni are invited to come and participate in the event. A training session will start at 9:00 a.m. for those who need to brush up on their zumba skills in preparation for the main event, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Zero zumba experience is required, so come and shake it on Fountain Mall, join in setting a world record, and help send the accounting-vocational-mission-trip team all the way to Africa.
If you would like to learn more about the trip or how you can help, please visit: Zumba at Baylor.