If you want a Zumba instructor with a sense of humor, a down-to-earth vibe, and the skills to match, look no further! You may have seen Susan gettin’ down in Daniel’s Zumba classes, but now she’s got classes of her own, and it’s time to check ’em out! Read on to learn about Susan, what she does outside the studio, and what her classes are all about.
When you aren’t at Community Fitness shimmyin’ and shakin’, what do you do?
I’m a mom to two teenage boys, which means I spend a lot of time driving, supervising homework and encouraging deodorant use. I’m also a part-time financial consultant for small businesses; I love helping design financial systems so clients have all the info they need to make the best strategic decisions to move toward their goals. I also play violin and viola and am excited to start playing with an ensemble again soon!
You mentioned in your bio that Zumba has made a huge difference in your life. In what ways?
In 2011, I was very depressed and overweight. While taking a Zumba class, I had an epiphany…right in the middle of a song! I realized that the feeling I had dancing was better than anything I had tried to make myself feel better, including food. So, I challenged myself to take a Zumba class every day for two weeks, and I haven’t stopped dancing since. Along the way, I healed my depression and lost over 120 pounds (so far). Zumba reconnected me with one of my first loves, music, and gave me the energetic lift I needed to start taking care of myself physically and emotionally. I am so fortunate that I now get to help others discover this resource that exists inside all of us.
What’s your favorite way to spend a day or night off?
Getting out of town! Going for a hike with my family up in the mountains, or having a date night with my husband.
What are you most passionate about in life?
Humor. I believe humor not only makes people happier and healthier, but also helps us keep perspective on things. As the saying goes, the secret to happiness is a strong sense of humor and a poor memory!
What is something not many people know about you?
Many people know I have a son with autism, but what’s less known is how profoundly this has changed me for the better. It has taught me patience, compassion, and has opened my understanding to so much more of the world. I am very passionate about disability awareness and strongly believe that all people, regardless of ability, have a vital and important role to play.
If you could instantly master any skill/superpower/talent/knowledge, what would it be?
I’ve long had a secret wish to be a DJ! I’d love to have the technical skills and talent needed to create my own music that compliments the mood of the audience.
Any good movies/books/bands/foods/discoveries lately that you’d recommend?
I’ve was recently introduced to a whole genre of hip-hop violin artists that I’ve been enjoying. They are talented violinists who have crossed over and are doing some creative work — artists like Paul Dateh and Black Violin. I try to incorporate them into my classes!
What do you want people to know about your class?
I don’t take myself seriously and I encourage my students to do the same. I can be a vampy burlesque performer, a sweaty motivated athlete, a backup dancer in a reggaeton video, and a total dork, all in the space of one class. I aim to create a space where everyone can feel comfortable to push themselves in whatever way they want to.
You can catch Susan’s Zumba classes on Tuesdays at 10:45am and Thursdays at 8:30am in our Play Studio!