From CPA to Dancing Queen

Charlene Rhinehart grew up like so many young girls – introverted, shy, and lacking the inner confidence needed to chase her dreams. She was what her friends referred to as book smart or academically talented. But little did they know that there was a tiny dancer inside her soul, yearning to be set free.

“I always wanted to dance because it provided me with the freedom and female bonding that made me feel like I was a part of something greater,” says Charlene. “Every time an opportunity to audition came around, my stomach would churn with butterflies because I was so fearful of what others would say about my dance abilities.”

Those fears paralyzed her dance pursuits well into her teenage years until the day she found Zumba® classes, a discovery she equates with finding romantic love. Charlene says that Zumba was her Prince Charming.

“With each step I took, I began to move down curtains of doubts that had held me hostage. It was an untraditional dance love affair. Zumba fitness rescued me from my fears and exposed me to the best years of my life,” explains Charlene.

Charlene went on to study accounting and become a CPA, but always kept her love of dance close to her heart. At age 24, she decided to put herself out there and pursue her dance ambitions by auditioning for the 2011 season dance team for the Chicago Mustangs Semi-Pro Football Team. Lo and behold, she was one of only 20 women to make the cut.

“I was elated and knew that this dream would not have been possible without the Zumba program,” says Charlene. “Not only did Zumba teach me the importance of having fun on the dance floor but it also gave me the courage to be confident in my own skin. When you are comfortable and confident in who you are, there is no limit to who you can become!”

She used her newfound self-assurance to propel her forward in her professional career, achieving the honor of being named Ms. Corporate America in 2015. Charlene’s message to all women is clear: move from fear to confidence in order to live your most desired dreams at any age.

Charlene continues to spread her message in the corporate world as well as the fitness world. As a licensed Zumba Instructor, she tells her students that during each class, they all have the permission to have fun and be unapologetically their most authentic selves.

“I want students to leave with a new and renewed zest for life and the ability to win in the workplace and as entrepreneurs,” says Charlene. “The Zumba program is a way to motivate, inspire, and help people to fall in love with the possibilities that await them.”

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