Rounding out this month’s community highlight series are ZIN™ Members Cindy and Emily Peterson. After meeting in a Zumba® class, it’s no surprise that Cindy and Emily would go on to host a Zumba dance party at their 2015 wedding and honeymoon at the annual Zumba® Instructor Network Convention in 2016. Read on for more details about this mega love story in the Q&A below!
How did you two meet?
Cindy: Where else – in a Zumba class! Emily’s best friend dragged her into what she was sure would be an absolute waste of time (she is very fitness-minded, but prefers weight lifting over cardio). I was struggling to get the party going as it was an extremely small class in a very cramped space, but her energy and enthusiasm filled the room (and quite honestly, my heart).
Emily: We met when I attended a Zumba class Cindy was teaching. It was my very first Zumba class, and I was very reluctant to go!
What was your first impression of your partner?
Cindy: I was definitely intrigued by the adorable dance-hater with a spunky attitude. She had tons of charisma and was not afraid to speak her mind!
Emily: I was very intrigued. I remember walking into the studio where the class was taking place and telling Cindy I hadn’t signed up for the class (sign-up was required for the class) and she just welcomed me with open arms. She said “there’s plenty of room, come on in.” When she started dancing, I was completely amazed. You could see the passion she had for Zumba. She wasn’t just doing the moves, but really making you feel them. I was completely consumed in the moment and 1 hour felt like minutes!
What is your favorite song to dance to together?
Cindy: I would have to say “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias. There’s just something magical between us when we teach that one together, and we love to have fun with it. It was one of the songs we played at our wedding!
Emily: My favorite will always be “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias. It’s our wedding song, and it was one of the first songs I learned. I actually learned it so I could do it for Cindy’s Zumba birthday class. I do wholeheartedly love every song that I get to dance with Cindy. Teaching with her is fun and we have this energy together that is completely different than when we teach apart.
What does it mean to see your significant other in a Zumba® class?
Cindy: Quite honestly, everything. Her spirit, loveability and overall infectious energy just permeates the entire room and participants can’t help but smile (and often laugh) at her zany comments and her off-the-wall facial expressions and gestures. She just brings another level of fun to every class she participates in.
Emily: My heart still skips a beat every time I have Cindy in class. She makes me nervous in a good way. But, at the same time, she calms me down. I still have moments where I forget my choreo and I look at her and she just tells me to keep going. She gives me confidence when I teach.
Describe your favorite attribute about your partner?
Cindy: Though fitness is her absolute passion, and I’m beyond impressed by her commitment and drive in this regard, my favorite attribute about my wife is her intelligence. I absolutely love having intense and thoughtful conversations about everything from raising our children to motivating our students. She is often coy about admitting this strength of hers, hiding behind a mask of childish silliness, but when we really connect and take the time to brainstorm, sometimes I feel like we could take on the world!
Emily: My favorite thing about Cindy is the way she always encourages me. From the little things, to my huge life goals, she is always there to give me the extra push I need. She is so passionate about life and she really likes to make sure that I have that feeling as well.
How did Zumba® help you with your personal journey?
Cindy: Zumba Fitness has played a pivotal role in our entire relationship. Since meeting in a class over six years ago, we have inspired each other’s passion for the program by encouraging each other to take on new classes and continuously expand our collective knowledge by attending various Jam Sessions and specialty trainings. I have lost over 80 pounds thanks to this incredible form of fitness, and it has brought me to my true love. We hosted a Zumba dance party as our wedding reception in 2015 and followed that up with a honeymoon at ZINCON 2016. Our Zumba students are truly our family, and we are constantly striving to bring joy and fitness into their lives. Our goal is to continue dancing and inspiring our students and the world to move – whether in face-to-face classes or through our new and exciting livestream format! Zumba truly makes our world go around!!
Emily: Zumba has been HUGE for me. I’ve always struggled with social anxiety and I’ve never been one for group classes. If Cindy wouldn’t have invited me into her class that first day, my anxiety would have taken over and I would have turned around and left. When I got licensed to teach, I never thought I would have the courage to actually get in front of people and do it but there’s something special about people who take Zumba, they just make you feel good. So teaching for me became easy because everyone was so welcoming. Once I was comfortable teaching in front of people, it helped me to branch off in other areas of fitness. I had always wanted to work at a gym, but I was shy. After I started teaching Zumba, I knew I could do anything. I started teaching other formats of group fitness, and I started personal training. Zumba is such a special thing. It’s not just a “dance fitness” class, but it’s a community and an attitude… a family. My entire life was completely changed because I decided to take a class.