This Is Carolina: Horry County woman with Down syndrome teaches Zumba class

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - An Horry County woman with Down syndrome is sharing her dedication to staying fit with a global audience.

Every Friday at 11 a.m., Brenda Purvis teaches a Zumba class, using the Horry County Special Olympics Facebook page to broadcast her workouts on Facebook Live.

Not only that, but she does it all.

“I train myself,” said Purvis. “I’m my own trainer, my own producer.”

She also said she loves what she does.

“It puts a smile on my face every time I do this,” said Purvis.

Brenda started teaching these virtual classes when COVID-19 started.

The director of the Horry County Special Olympics asked Brenda if she would stream the class to the organization’s Facebook page. That one-time request turned into a regular routine.

“I made it into an every Friday thing,” said Purvis.

Two years later, and she still never misses a class. Her dad, Mike, says even vacations don’t interrupt Brenda’s class schedule.

“We’ve been up visiting my son in Connecticut. She’s performed it there. We’ve been visiting my daughter in Chicago. She’s performed it there. She just does not want to miss,” he said.

Brenda’s dedication comes as no surprise to Mike.

“Brenda’s always been active. Very active,” he said.

Brenda’s zest for life doesn’t just make Mike happy, it makes him feel all kinds of emotions.

I start talking about her, and I’ll get a tear in my eye, because I’m so proud of her,” he said.

But raising a child with Down syndrome is not always easy. Mike says he dealt with lots of heartache as Brenda grew up.

“She’s also said when she was younger, probably 12 or 13, ‘I don’t want to have Down syndrome anymore.’ Well, you can’t do anything about that,” he said.

Brenda wants to keep her Friday morning Zumba classes going as long as she can.

She knows she’ll always have her supportive dad encouraging her every step of the way.

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