Zumba is about Sharing Love, Passion, and Music says Z Club NY co-founder Edmee Cherdieu d’Alexis at the 2013 WorkLife Congress – by Yali Szulanski for Z Club NY
“Who knows what Zumba is?”
Some hands race up, and some go up tentatively as the women in the room are in awe by the early morning performance, the energy on the stage, and the electricity now palpitating through the room. Edmée scans the crowd and, astonished, asks, “And none of you got off your chairs to dance with us? Come on, it’s never too early to Zumba!”
Her family – her daughter, Anaïs, and the instructors, who came out to perform with her and represent Z Club NY on this important day, supports Edmée on both sides of the stage. As she settles into her story, she realizes that she is on the stage representing the woman who somehow, can do it all – she is a mother, she is an entrepreneur, she is a strong woman, and she is an example for her daughter. In her mind, Edmée knows that this image takes a lot of strength to uphold, and that it can’t be done without taking a moment in the day to care for herself. She asks the crowd,
“Do you ever feel like you have that moment in the day just for you?”
The crowd settles into a hush. Hurried whispers cascade across the ballroom filled with working mothers, many of them CEOs and high powered executives, in response to Edmée Cherdieu D’Alexis’s opening question. She has just lead the Z Club NY team of instructors in a heart pumping choreography to “Timber” by Pitbull ft. Kesha and now, while catching her breath, shares how her passion for Zumba and dance has carried her through her life and brought her to this stage – speaking as Z Club NY’s co-founder, a woman, and a mom.
The room is filled with work life leaders who remain hard at work in reshaping initiatives, refreshing strategy and rethinking what is possible for mothers in the workplace. None of them expected to start the morning off with a Zumba class. That is, of course, until Edmée steps on stage with her radiant energy, her passionate enthusiasm, and her absolute love for her work, dance, and sharing that with the world.
“Zumba for me means that I can be a mom and still dance and do what I love what I love to do and have that little moment of escape, that little moment just for me. I get to forget all about the whole crazy life that I balance and take a different journey. Even though of course, my family is the reason that I do what I do.”
Edmée created Z Club NY as a way to create a home for her love for dance, her passion for moving and music and to share it with New York City – the city that she loves. Originally from the island of Guadeloupe, Edmée embodies the spirit of the island’s rich cultural heritage and sensual language of music. When she moved to New York City, she found herself wondering how she could still do what she loves while remaining connected to her roots.
Edmée speaks about creating Z Club NY with the sole purpose being able to spread a positive message of empowerment, of women being able to have fun doing something for themselves, and even more simply and beautifully – to share the tool that got her through her own struggles.
Edmée fills the room with strength – her pride for her work and her passion for dance, her love for music are contagious and the women in the room are soon on up and tapping their feet. The Z Club NY Instructors that glimmered on stage with Edmée are Irena Meletiou, Katherine Moncebaiz, Cindya Davis, Sarah Grimaud, Christ SantaMaria, Josh Vela, Katya Bryleva, Xavier Marzan and Wilber Escobar. They brilliantly evoke Edmée’s message of passion and energy as they seize the stage and perform an exciting salsa choreography and rhythm that Edmée relates to the crowd as connecting her to the islands.
“Z Club NY is about sharing that love and passion. It’s about sharing energy and emotion – and the best way to experience it is to get up and dance with us.”