Student Journeys @Z Club NY – Jessica Lee R.

By April 2, 2015blog

It was so great to interview Jessica Lee Reitmyer, and hear about her personal journey of transformation through Zumba® and Z Club NY.  Jessica discovered her love for Zumba® by tapping into her intrinsically artistic soul, and her determination to succeed. Now a licensed instructor, she says ” I am a musician and I am very moved by the music used in Zumba® classes.”  Zumba® has inspired her to strive for success, and unleash more of her creativity… – by Yali Szulanski for Z Club NY.


 How has taking classes with Z Club NY benefited your life?
Taking Zumba® classes has introduced me to amazing women and challenged my body and brain in immeasurable ways.  I have met some of my closest girlfriends through Zumba® classes.  It is wonderful knowing people with common goals and interests, and who are also just incredibly kind and fun.  My first ever Zumba® class happened to be Irena Meletiou’s, and she is a very precise and talented dancer, not to mention great instructor.  When I first took the class, I was blown away and completely horrible at all the choreography, but I had so much fun I was determined to succeed at it.  I started taking her class as much as possible, and I finally understood how to move to all the new dances I was learning.  I fell so in love, that I worked hard to become certified myself and I have recently started teaching as well.  

What inspires you to succeed in class and in your life?
People and emotions inspire me to succeed.  When I see someone shine, it inspires me to do the same. When I see strong women who live with confidence, it just makes me want to accomplish all I can in life too.  It motivates me to do what I love more!  I am a musician and I am very moved by the music used in Zumba® classes.  I was always more of an indie rock singer/songwriter, but when I started listening to so many new genres of music in my classes, I started writing new styles too.  My boyfriend and I are in a band called Montauk’s Infinity, and we write dance/electronic music together.  It has been new and extremely fun for me to write to this new style!  One of our songs is even used in a Z Club NY’s instructor’s class!

How has Zumba/ZClubNY supported your health and fitness goals?
Zumba® has helped me stay fit while having FUN! I used to be a runner, and honestly, I hate running. It’s just that nothing had ever kicked my butt like running did.  It was so hard, that I wanted to be good at it and I knew it would be the best workout since nothing else compared to the cardio.  Now, I have found something that is even higher cardio and forces me to use my brain instead of tuning out, and it’s also fun!

What have you learned about yourself through taking classes at Z Club NY?
I’ve learned I can do anything if I work hard enough.  When I first started taking classes, I was so clueless about the dances, that it was actually funny.  I was lost most of the time.  But all it took was practice.  People don’t believe me when I tell them how much I used to struggle in class, but that’s just proof that when you work hard at something, the practice pays off and you can actually get good at something you are not naturally gifted at.

How did you come across Z Club NY and Zumba in general? What is your favorite part about Z Club NY?
I was introduced to Z Club NY through Irena Meletiou. Hers was the first Zumba® class I had ever taken.  I remember that shortly after I took her class, she took a trip and left the country for awhile and I was excited to try other instructors.  I tried numerous other classes, even one at Alvin Ailey, but was extremely disappointed.  Nothing compared to the intensity of her cardio and the excitement of her choreography.  I was on her mailing list and there was a link in one of the emails for a Z Club NY Groupon.   bought it, and when she returned I was able to take her classes even more, and finally found other instructors that were amazing at Z Club NY.  My favorite thing about Z Club NY is the instructors!  There are so many talented people whose classes are energizing and unique!

Which classes/Instructors are your favorite? Why?
Ahh so many… Irena Meletiou because she is challenging and the choreogrpahy just blows me away every time.  Sarah Grimaud because of her fun music choices, amazing cueing, great energy and wonderful smile that never leaves her face while she teaches.  Jamie Forward because of her unbelievably helpful and kind personality and fun choreography.  Sabrina Ursaner because of her exciting choreography and friendly personality.  Jamie Drye because of his thrilling choreography and music choices!  They are all truly great instructors!

What is something unique about yourself that you’d like to share?
Well, I think being a musician and a singer is something unique about me.  I am very very in love with music and making it is truly my life’s passion.  I’ve been writing songs since I was very little, and performing them is one of my favorite things to do!  If you read this, and live in New York, I would love to see you at a show!  Check out if you’re interested in Zumba® inspired dance beats or if you’re more of an indie rocker.

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