back to top

Meet The 2 Sisters Who Made Zumba What It Is Today

Kass Martin and Emily Engemann, the Zumba queens

Posted on

Zumba is Still a Big Thing

You find yourself in Zumba class. You’ve always liked to dance, and you really need a workout. Not to mention, the guy you thought you wanted to be with isn’t interested in a relationship with you—and that is weighing heavy on your mind. Your first thought is that he doesn’t want to be with you because you’re overweight, and you want to change that. Fast.

Enter Kass Martin and Emily Engemann, the 2 sisters who can arguably say they’ve had the most significant impact on Zumba’s popularity to date. They discovered Zumba close to 8 years ago at their local gym, and from the second they walked into a class, it was love at first dance.

“Dancing, awesome music, and you could call it a workout? It was amazing! I had no intentions of teaching it though. I told Kass she needed to teach it. I wanted to attend the classes to have fun, but without the responsibility. I shortly after became pregnant and stepped out of the scene for a bit, and Kass started to teach and her classes grew and grew and grew. She started on a fast track to the top of Zumba.”

--Emily Engemann

Where It All Started

Zumba has transformed the lives of many who have had significant fitness goals, but had previously not enjoyed working out. With how enjoyable the classes are, it was easy for Kass to continue her teaching career, impacting the lives of many along the way. Kass started to travel more, working for Zumba corporate as a Zumba Education Specialist, and licensing people to become instructors. Her position involved an extensive amount of traveling, and it became clear that she needed a right-hand gal to step in and cover teaching classes for her while she was gone. Her sister Emily seemed like the right choice.

Journey to Become the Voice of Zumba

Finding Zumba enjoyable was easy, but it took hard work and perseverance to become an instructor. Kass claims that she struggled with the moves, and of course, taking a new direction with her life and career, but this was something she was going to be passionate about and work to improve. It took a lot of practice, but not long after she was teaching 8 classes a week and seeing noticeable growth personally and professionally.

Kass continually took opportunities to grow and enhance her career, and developed further in the Zumba professional community—first being selected for a competitive “Zumba Jammer” choreography specialist position, and then attending and networking at the annual Zumba instructor Convention in Orlando, Florida.

At the peak of her career, Kass was selected to be in "Zumba Exhilarate.” She mentioned that working on set was one of the coolest experiences of her fitness career, and she really took the opportunity to learn, network, and be positive and encouraging with herself. This experience opened up a lot of doors, and Kass was selected to be a Zumba spokeswoman for a number of TV shows including:

•The Biggest Loser

•So You Think You Can Dance

•The View

•Wendy Williams

•Steve Harvey

•Martha Stewart

•Extreme Weight Loss

•The Today Show, and more.

Further, she became a Zumba Education Specialist and now trains people how to teach Zumba, as well as presents for Zumba on their Zumba cruise—their global annual convention. Kass is now located and teaching in Utah primarily, and she came across very enthusiastic about where she has ended up.

“Zumba is about the people. It's a community driven workout program. People don't just walk in and out—people come in, make friends, become happier, let loose, connect and walk out happier than when they came in.”

In addition to sharing a family-oriented bond with her sister and her mother, Emily and Kass have started as an additional resource for those who love their fitness classes and are looking for additional life and health motivation. The explained that its intention is to be a “positive” website that is an additional creative outlet for them to discuss and discover “AWESOME” things:

“We are busy moms who like to shop on a budget and have fun. We love the creative outlet we get while hoping to uplift others. We focus on the good in the world and firmly believe that you will always get what you are looking for. So we are looking for AWESOME! Our motto is to find the little bits of awesome in everyday. While it may not be going in the direction of your choice, you can read some positive thoughts, try something new, uplift someone and your day will instantly turn around.”

They also use the site to promote some of their favorite products, like shoes to match their ZumbaWear, or Lipsense, a lip line that guarantees to stay fabulous even through some workout sweating.

So where do they get their energy to keep pushing? The story of Zumba would not be complete without touching on energy. When asked about energy Emily had a simple answer, “You want to come and think of your students and focus on them and their success and comfort during the class. We have LOVED Nanohydr8 and swear it's the difference we have been searching for, so that would be the key for me.”

Why You Can Benefit From Zumba

Emily emphasized that the thing that is truly the most important to both her and Kass is making sure their students feel “loved, accepted, free to be silly, carefree, and leave uplifted and happier then when the entered the room.” No matter where their students begin, they can be successful with a little positivity and effort. Much like the sisters started and achieved a lot in the Zumba world, so too can anyone joining the community that has enough passion and drive to succeed. It is not about perfection, it is about having fun and feeling good about yourself.

Have you ever considered Zumba as an alternative way to work out? Let us know in the comment section below. We want to hear your success stories!

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!