Shape magazine announced this week that Cutchogue resident and local Zumba instructor Jill Schroeder won the first round of its national online contest seeking the nation’s most inspirational Zumba instructor.
According to Shape, Ms. Schroeder, owner of JABS in Mattituck, received the most votes out of the total 400,000 votes cast last month.
Ms. Schroeder said she found out she won Monday night after her fiancé stumbled upon an article about the contest at shape.com.
“I was excited and thought it was cool that I was featured on the website,” Ms. Schroeder said. “If it actually turns into a print article, I think it would be very good for me and my business.”
Created in Cali, Colombia during the mid-90s by aerobics instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez, the fitness program is an international sensation. To become an instructor, one must be licensed by Zumba Fitness, the organization that holds the trademark on the program.
Ms. Schroeder said she first became interested in Zumba five years ago after taking a class in Nassau County, which she said was the closest studio that offered the Latin dance exercise at the time. She opened JABS last year.
Ms. Schroeder was one of three Eastern Suffolk County Zumba instructors that were in the top 10 of the first round of Shape’s competition. Fellow JAB instructor Carol Leonard of Southold and Christine Locrotondo, a Manorville resident who teaches Zumba at Leg Works Dance in Mastic also did well in the first round.