Well, well, well. Look who it is! I’m so excited about this one. This girl is a pro, she added all the ®’s after Zumba and everything! Do you know how long that usually takes me!?!? hahah
I met Stephanie once, in Orlando at the last Convention, but it was very brief. I saw her again in Lille 2 weeks ago but i didn’t have the chance to say hi then. I was so happily suprised to see her there though! She helped Gina Grant with the Burlesque session that i attended and i loved the way she danced. She is such a sweet girl. Big smile and you can tell that she is passionate about what she is doing. Can’t wait to see you in Orlando this year Stephanie. Until then, read a bit more about our ZES Stephanie here <3
Where are you from?
I was born right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA. I was actually born in an ambulance, delivered by my uncle (who, yes, was a doctor). I’ve lived here my whole life- minus the time I spent at college in Pittsburgh, PA and in study abroad, where I lived in England for 4 months.
Where do you work as a ZES?
I mostly teach instructor training courses in Pennsylvania (USA) but also have Ohio and New Jersey for trainings as well. I have also been very fortunate to do some international trainings in England, Sweden and India.
What is your favorite dance style?
I really do find something I love about every style of dance, but recently have been really getting into Caribbean rhythms like Soca and Dancehall.
What did you do before you became a ZES?
I originally went to college for marketing. I graduated with a bachelors in business and worked at my dad’s gym as the fitness events coordinator. It was here I decided the “business” world was not for me and I wanted to do something with teaching. I had been teaching dance to kids and adults at the gym and loved it. So, I decided to go back to school for my masters in elementary education to become a teacher. Along with being a nanny, I started teaching Zumba® classes to help pay for grad school, and that brought me to being a ZES.
According to you, what is the best thing about Zumba® Fitness?
I have found that Zumba® fitness has found a way to bring all types of people together in a happy, healthy way. Dance seems to move and inspire people in a magical way, even if they do not consider themselves to be a “dancer”. Dance has been a part of my life since I was 2, when I started dancing, and being part of a Zumba® class, whether I am a student or teaching, allows me to do one of the things I love the most. At my age, without being a professional dancer, there are not many “jobs” I could have that allow me to dance without having to have some sort of technical mark or ability. This is why I love the program and one of the best things about it – that Zumba® fitness is not just for one type of person, but for all different types of people.
What was your first Zumba® experience?
As a dance instructor at my dad’s gym, like mentioned above, the group fitness coordinator was looking for a new program to add to the schedule, and found Zumba® fitness. She had asked if I would be interested in taking an instructor training course to start teaching the program at the gym. This was in 2006, when no one knew what Zumba® fitness was in my area. So, my first experience was in the actual training class. I showed up, having no idea what to expect, and after about 8 hours of craziness with my ZES, Asuka Boutcher (no longer a ZES), I was hooked and in love!
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I hate to admit it, but I LOVE TV. I love getting absorbed in a story line with crazy characters that touch you in different ways. Whether it’s the nutty antics of Modern Family that make me laugh so hard I almost pee myself, or the heartfelt relationships in Parenthood that remind me of my family, I like to get taken away. It may not be the most exciting or “healthy” activity, but sometimes your brain just needs to shut down. I also am a BIG FOODIE. I love to eat, and am finally open to trying all kinds of food. When I was young, I was the pickiest eater around, but now that I am “grown up” I love to eat and try new foods. Again, maybe not the healthiest, but there is something about food that makes me salivate- literally
Where do you find inspiration?
It is hard for me to pinpoint where exactly I find Inspiration. I think everything that happens in your life; the things you do, the people you meet, the places you go, somehow subconsciously influence what you do. I know when I go to other Zumba® classes, I find motivation in other instructors. When I am at my trainings, especially Zumba® Basic 2 courses- where we talk about experiences, I find inspiration in the stories from the instructors there. My mother has shown me strength through all she has been through in her life and how she has coped with it all. My siblings, who are my best friends, show me unconventional love and make me laugh more than anyone or anything else. My fiancée, who has a very “tough” exterior, shows me every day that you cannot judge a book by its cover- as he is extremely giving and considerate to even complete strangers. And I have friends that show me what it means to be a friend, sticking around even though my life has been taken over this crazy, but amazing, Zumba® world. Inspiration, to me, is all around us.