We’re keepin’ our community highlight series movin’ with ZIN™ Member Noelle Fraire and her partner/Zumba® fan Mariah Urbina! Not only do they dance together every chance they get, they’re each other’s biggest fans. Read on to learn more about this dynamic duo!
How did you two meet?
Noelle: We met in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2015. I was participating in Gina Grant and Dahrio Wonder’s “Came Here to Party Tour” and Mariah’s mom brought her along. Mariah’s mom and I had met prior to that at my Choreo ZIN™ Jam Session (when I was a ZJ™, which was around 2012). Her mom and I became friends, but I didn’t know she had a daughter until Mariah spoke to me while I was checking people into the venue. She said “I think you know my mom,” and I asked her who her mom was and then I asked what her name was. She said she was so nervous she forgot to introduce herself. Years went by and we became the best of friends. She ended up moving to Colorado and took a job in Denver, CO, which was an hour and a half away. When she wasn’t working, she was renting out my other room.
What was your first impression of your partner?
Noelle: When I first met Mariah, I thought she was really sweet. She seemed nervous and so I thought I would break the ice and ask if she could help me sign people in and give out the raffle tickets. She immediately turned red in the face but was eager to help me.
Mariah: When I first saw Noelle, I thought she was the most beautiful woman! I was so nervous to be around her. When she started to dance on stage, I was even more mesmerized.
What is your favorite song to dance to together?
Noelle: We dance to EVERYTHING! Any chance we get, we’re dancing! Mariah is always playing music, so when it’s on, we’re on. We listen to all genres and don’t have just one song we like to dance to.
What does it mean to see your significant other in a Zumba® class?
Noelle: Mariah has taken many Zumba classes of mine and has brought her co-workers to my classes as well. She said she loves watching me teach. When she’s able to take my classes, it gives me an extra boost and feels incredible! I’ve always wanted a partner to work out with and always wanted them to take my classes! I also love going up to dance with her because she still gets red in the face, and even though she may mess up, I love knowing that she supports me and loves to see me happy in class.
Describe your favorite attribute about your partner?
Noelle: I love Mariah’s heart. She is so caring and wants to help others all the time. She would give someone her jacket on a cold snowy day here if she saw someone outside cold. Her parents have told me stories about how she’s made sack lunches for the homeless in her hometown.
Mariah: I love how humble Noelle is when it comes to just about anything she does in her life. She could get praised up and down but she never manages to lose sight of her humbleness. I also love Noelle’s loving heart. Her message is made clear to everyone that she just wants good vibes, no judgment and to be kind to one another.
How did Zumba® help you with your personal journey?
Noelle: Zumba has literally saved my life, actually twice now. The first time, I was in an abusive relationship. I had put on weight, and I was just so unhappy with life. Then, I found Zumba. It gave me life again!
Zumba is about love and doesn’t discriminate against sexual orientation. I just wanted to be free and feel free like when I was teaching. I knew I had to be true to myself and stop hiding who I really was. Zumba has made me a stronger and happier woman! I feel so empowered that I am able to help others and show them it’s okay to be who you are. It’s about love, not hatred. I am so grateful for Zumba Fitness and all that it has taught me. I am forever grateful for this program. I honestly don’t know if I’d still be here if it wasn’t for Zumba, my family, and my friends.