Night of dance helps raise heart awareness

We’ve all done it at one point or another in our lives at your cousin’s weddings, your friend’s open houses and, of course, at your family reunions: Worked off all that food you’d destroyed in one sitting and when that beat pumped, ran like a maniac to the dance floor and hustled the house down. Breaking a good sweat and exclaiming in excitement, you were having a fun workout and didn’t even know it.

Eastern Michigan University’s Center for Multicultural Affairs presents the Hustle Your Heart Out Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Student Center Ballrooms A and B. After an amazing turnout last year which raised $300 for the American Heart Association, this year promises to be bigger and better with a night of dance and fun to get your heart pumping as well as raising awareness. The first 200 people to arrive will receive a free T-shirt commemorating the event. The event is free to the public but donations are suggested.

If you’ve noticed “It’s a Selah-bration” tagline on posters around campus, it’s a small tribute to the daughter of EMU Director of Diversity and Community Involvement Reginald Barnes who lost his daughter Selah last year due to heart complications. In partnership with the AHA, the core of this event is being motivated to live a healthier life as well as to celebrate the lives lost due to heart complications like heart disease.

Raffles will be held during the event including $50 gift cards from the EMU bookstore, gift cards to Jamaican Jerk Pit, Aubree’s, L.A. Fitness, Powerhouse Gym, Tower Inn Café, Leo’s Coney Island, Golden Egg and Taqueiria La Fiesta. Grand prizes will be a one-week rental of a Mini Cooper sponsored by Eitel Dahm Motor Group, a one night stay at MGM Grand Detroit in the luxury king suite and a surprise that will be revealed during the event.

There will also be three hustle instructors from around Michigan: Maurice Adams representing Mr. Smooth, Sherry Hawkins of Dance with Elegance and Teddy “Jam” Massey who will teach old and new hustles.

Zara Northover, graduate assistant at the CMA and creator of Hustle Your Heart Out, organized this event to not only bring awareness to health and donate to a good cause, but to have a place where people can come together. Along with Barnes, Northover experienced a serious loss with the death of her father, who succumbed to heart failure in April 2012.

“I love to do the hustles and this is a great way to get active and promote fitness,” Northover said.

“However, when coming up with the idea for this event the goal was to create something that every student regardless about gender, race or organization would want to participate in. Doing this for the American Heart Association provides the philanthropic effort that is important to instill amongst our students.

“I had one goal when taking on my [graduate assistant] position and that was to be a part of creating an event that everyone wants to come to Eastern to participate in,” Northover said. “To see people from the community, other schools and the different organizations, faculty, students and staff as well as athletics come together and support.”

For more information contact Northover at 734-487-3529 or Make sure to also follow the Hustle Your Heart Out Facebook fan page.

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