Yangon is bracing itself for a huge dance extravaganza in February, as the Zumba Festival returns for the second year. But the event is not just a day of fun exercise; it’s a chance to raise money for people in Myanmar living with HIV.
Local and international Zumba instructors, Myanmar celebrities and make-up artists will join the party—along with the DJs who will spin some Latin, reggaeton and house tunes to maintain the high energy and keep the people dancing.
On the ground, there will be counseling booths and free HIV blood tests, with 100 percent of the ticket sales going to combat HIV and help people who have the disease.
Organizer and certified yoga and Zumba instructor Zack Tu Nan Zing Hang from Kachin State used last year’s festival to donate money to internally displaced people (IDPs) in his home state.
“There are so many things to do in Myanmar: health, education, environment, and basic human needs,” he said. “I chose health this year because I have known that people need help since I was 12, laying in the hospital bed.”
“The medical requirements and facilities were so poor. I suffered from dengue fever and I saw many patients dying and suffering beside me. I was so sorry but I couldn’t do anything except watch and endure my own pain. Since then, I decided for myself that I am going to do everything possible to help them. That was the moment when the fire inside of me started to burn and I was determined to make it happen.”
Over 1,200 people of all ages and fitness levels attended last year’s event, with famous faces in the crowd including supermodels, artists and Miss Charity Myanmar.
A number of artists such as pop star Ah Moon will be present this year. As well as Myanmar, instructors will be from Vietnam, UK, Malaysia, Hungary, Korea, and Austria. And for all that moving, a food market will also be on site.
“In the 2019 event we will be supporting the education for children in Myanmar,” added Zack Tu Nan Zing Hang. “This is not just a one-time plan. My ambition is to promote better lives. I have a dream to build a foundation, social enterprise, and NGO of my own.”
Zumba Festival by Zumba Passion Myanmar takes place at Kandaw Gyi Myaw Sin island on Sunday, February 4 (subject to change, please check events at Myanmore.com). The food market runs from 12pm-5pm, the Zumba dance from 5-7.30pm and DJ Ana Red from 7.30-9pm. Tickets cost 6,000 kyats with all proceeds going to myanmarpositivegroup.org. Walk in also available on the event day but spaces cannot be guaranteed. Get your tickets via myanmore.com / flymya.com / flexiblepass.com / shop.com.mm.