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Ice try! ‘Longest skating conga line’ record attempt is a bust

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They got lost in the shuffle!

Supporters of two cancer charities joined forces to raise money for their causes by breaking a world record for “the longest conga line on ice” at Prospect Park’s skating rink in Saturday, but only succeeded in one of those goals, according to the organizer.

“We worked together, we had a lot of fun, we raised some money, but we fell short on the record,” said Bergen Beach resident Joe Gillette of breast-cancer organization Relay for Life.

London’s Canary Wharf Ice Rink can breath easy knowing its 2013 record, in which 353 skaters successfully conga-ed for more than five minutes, is safe for the time being — the combined efforts of Relay for Life and fellow cancer-fighting outfit Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer could only muster a scant 82 people, Gillette said.

Gillette — known as “Zumba Daddy” for his efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer by staging multiple world record attempts for the largest indoor class of the aerobics-dance craze — blamed the poor showing on the unseasonably fair weather, which on that day averaged a pleasant 60 degrees.

“Let’s put it this way, there were more joggers than ice skaters,” Gillette said.

To make the attempt, Gillette hired certified conga instructor Gina Argano and put together a mix-tape featuring Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” and Buster Poindexter’s immortal “Hot Hot Hot.”

But even knowing their feeble numbers wouldn’t come close to breaking the record, the do-gooders maintained high spirits and strapped on their skates merely for the love of conga.

The assembled philanthropists managed to grasp each-other’s rumps and gyrate for five minutes without fail — proving that, while they didn’t have numbers, they had the chops to make into Guinness’s famed book, according to Argano.

“I was in front, but it looked like we were holding it together,” she said.

At the end of the day, no records were broken, but the collaboration between the two charities managed to raise $1,000 for two causes of equal merit, and Gillette even managed to learn a thing or two about breaking conga records.

“We learned the lesson that we have to work a little harder to convince people that the conga can be done on ice,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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