Lowestoft firefighters show off their zumba skills

A GROUP of Lowestoft firefighters have shown they are red hot on the dance floor as they joined 100 women in a wacky fund-raising zumba session.

The firefighters at Stradbroke Road fire station took part in a special zumba dance performance to help raise �640 for the Firefighters Charity, which helps current and former firemen and women.

Last Friday night saw the firefighters joined by 100 female zumba enthusiasts as the fire station was turned into a giant dance studio.

For an hour the women, many of them in colourful fancy dress, and the firefighters, including Chris Wallace dressed as a human pumpkin, performed a wide range of zumba moves as they danced to 17 songs with a Latin flavour - and got themselves fitter into the bargain.

There was a slight hitch to the night as members of the on-call white watch crew who had been due to take part had to rush off as the zumba session started to attend a chimney fire in Hollingsworth Road.

However the event was declared a 'fantastic success' by organiser Helen Pybus who runs zumba sessions in the area through her Helen Pybus Piltates and Health company.

Helen set up the fund-raising night after she was contacted by Tracey Biggs, business support officer at the fire station, who asked her to arrange a zumba fitness session for the station's crew.

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But instead of running a class Helen, with the strong support of Tracey, decided to set up the Firefighters Charity event as she thought it would be a good cause to support.

She soon sold 100 tickets costing �5 each to female zumba fans for the event - with Helen saying some women had bought tickets to get a chance to dance with the firefighters!

As well as �500 from ticket sales the Firefighter Charity was also boosted by a further �140 in donations from the night.

And as well as raising such a large amount, the night also proved a major success in another way as some of the firefighters who took part have said they may take up zumba as an activity.

Helen, 45, and who has organised other charity dance sessions, said: 'The firefighters were absolutely fantastic. They were really up for it and were full of Latin flavour.

'The night was fantastic success. I was overwhelmed by the support people have shown.'

Helen said she now hopes to make the firefighters zumba session an annual event.

Neil Henderson is the commander of white watch and said the firefighters who took part in the zumba night had enjoyed it.

He said: 'Zumba is definitely beneficial. They(the firefighters) had a really good work out. It was brilliant night and it was a fantastic effort from everyone involved for such a good cause.'

For information on Helen Pybus Pilates and Health visit www.pilatesandhealth.co.uk

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