Jennifer Nielson

Jennifer Nielson

What do you do at Pulse?

Plan, organize, problem solve, and schedule.  With my remaining time, I also enjoy teaching Zumba, Melt and Pound+Burn.

What’s your background in dance, fitness, or both?

Prior to having my daughter I taught American-Style Ballroom Dance. After an 11-year absence from a dance studio, I wandered into a Zumba class 7 years ago.  It was love at first class! It had all of my favorite things about ballroom: fun music, great moves, and great energy. I knew right away that it was something I needed to teach. After taking the Zumba training, I got AFAA certified and have been adding formats to my resume ever since: Zumba Gold, Zumbatomic, Silver and Fit, Pound, and Melt Method.

What’s your favorite thing about Pulse?

The diversity of our students and the richness of our community!  I love that people with very different backgrounds, beliefs, and lifestyles can all come together in one place and laugh, dance, sweat, and bond together in a way that doesn’t happen any other place that I know of. I have seen many strong friendships form between people that never would have crossed paths, or spoken, with each other in any other setting.

What’s your favorite song, class, or routine?

That is like asking a parent which child is their favorite!  I love them all in very different ways. While Zumba is my first fitness love, I wouldn’t be able to teach as many classes as I do without also teaching Melt and Pound+Burn. Melt has truly been life-changing and keeps me relatively pain-free despite a couple of chronic injuries.  It is incredible body magic backed up by cutting-edge science and research. Pound+Burn, on the other hand, is therapeutic in a very different way. It was a revelation to discover how satisfying and stress-relieving hitting things could be! Plus, the strength aspects are pretty amazing and keep my joints stable and healthy for Zumba.

What’s your “guilty pleasure” (as long as it’s PG-rated)?

Food magazines with really beautiful, glossy pictures!  I don’t cook out of them much, I just like to look at them. I should say I read them for the articles…

Can you describe your favorite memory of an experience at Pulse?

I have so many favorites!  I won’t name names, but one of my tops is watching particular people progress from the very back of the room to becoming a front row regular that jumps up onstage. For some this process takes weeks, for others it takes years.  The first time someone makes that journey and  dances with me onstage, it always feels magical

Lastly, how would you describe PulsePDX to someone that you know would enjoy it here?

Pulse is a place like no other!  Whether you have health goals you are working towards, need a way to relieve some stress, want a supportive community to be a part of, or just want to sneak in quietly and have an hour to yourself, you can get that there in a supportive, kind, and welcoming environment.  Plus the classes, staff, and teachers are amazing!