Zumba Changes Lives, from Teachers to Rock Stars – Literally!

My friends and I tried Zumba at other studios, but nothing could compare to the classes at Salsa and the Suburbs. I couldn’t imagine going anyplace else!

Zumba Changes Lives

Since its inception in the 1990s, Zumba has forever altered the dance fitness industry. This workout implements movements and rhythms from traditional dances, like the tango and salsa to reggaeton and hip hop.

The result?

A pulse-pounding, adrenaline- boosting and life-changing workout.

Just ask January’s students of the month, Audrey Neill and Courtney Jansen. Both students came to Salsa in the Suburbs seeking to supplement their current fitness regimens, unsure of what to expect, and haven’t looked back!

Neill, a seasoned teacher at St. Dorothy’s Catholic School in Drexel Hill, was encouraged by colleagues to give Zumba a try. Already an avid walker and Weight Watchers member, Audrey seized the Salsa in the Suburbs special offered on Groupon in June 2012 and “hasn’t stopped since.”

Similarly, Courtney Jansen, lead singer of Gypsy Wisdom, a Philadelphia area cover band, sought a new way to exercise. Friends mentioned they loved Zumba, so she gave it a try.

“I was hearing a lot of great things about Salsa in the Suburbs…I also knew two girls who were instructors and students there.” Like Neill, Jansen purchased a social media special and attended a Zumba class with her sister. She says, “I was hooked from the first class!”


Audrey recalls initialing feeling intimidated. “It took a few months for me to feel confident enough to relax and just enjoy myself.” But her commitment to her health goals kept Neill and her friends coming back for more. “My friends and I tried Zumba at other studios, but nothing could compare to the classes at Salsa and the Suburbs. After a class with Beth, I couldn’t imagine going anyplace else!”

At Salsa in the Suburbs, instructors focus on each individual student, giving them the support, encouragement and direction they need.

“I was coming with girls half my age who had done some exercise prior to Zumba…Beth was an incredible motivator and very supportive, she engages all of her students.”

Jansen agrees, stating that “the energy, skill level and motivation are a huge part of what keeps me coming back.”

And come back they did! Now, just over a year later, Neill boasts over an 85-pound weight loss, surpassing her initial weight loss goals. She attributes this to her love of and dedication to Zumba classes. The benefits of which have affected her life, both in the studio as well as in the classroom.

audrey TWO

Before and after! What a difference Zumba makes!

“Most noticeably is my stamina…As a Kindergarten teacher, I am on my feet all day. Before Zumba, I would walk up four flights of stairs and have to rest before having a conversation. Now, I can literally jog up the steps and talk the whole time.”

Jansen, no stranger to high-energy performances, has seen dramatic changes as well. “Zumba has increased my endurance, and I can really jump around the way I’ve always wanted to. I also smile when I catch myself adding some moves from class to a Lady Gaga song or Rihanna dance beat.”

Beyond their wellness goals, both Neill and Jansen enjoy the Zumba community offered at Salsa and the Suburbs. Courtney appreciates the overall friendliness of the studio, “I’ve seen some Salsa in the Suburbs’ students at Gypsy Wisdom shows, including [instructor] Beth.”


When Audrey was scheduled to go on a vacation, she couldn’t imagine being away from exercise class that long. Beth gave Neill her playlist so she could do Zumba while away from the studio. “That speaks volumes about the caring, supportive [staff].”

Now, as Zumba regulars, both ladies encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to come and see results for themselves. Continual changes in routine moves keep regulars consistently challenged, and new dances being added guarantee an energetic “sweat fest,” says Jansen.

For those a bit hesitant, Neill recommends, “Whenever anyone new comes to class, I encourage them to do what they can, not to be frustrated with the routines, and just relax and enjoy it!”

Ready to get in shape – the fun way? Try Zumba!