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How I became the first Zumba instructor with Down’s Syndrome

Hannah Payton, who lives Atherton near Wigan, is the UK's first person with Down's Syndrome to become a Zumba Instructor.

Hannah Payton, 24, began taking Zumba classes during the first lockdown in 2020 when she had to shield during the pandemic.

She said: “I have been doing Zumba on and off for a couple of years at leisure centres but I became really involved during the pandemic when I had to shield and discovered a Zumba class on Zoom.”

Having previously won medals for her country as a special Olympian in swimming and badminton, she turned to Zumba, which is an exercise class combining Latin and international music with dance moves.

A love for Zumba

“I love Zumba because it makes me very happy, I love the music and it keeps me fit,” she said.

Hannah Payton, Zumba instructor

Hannah recently became the first Zumba instructor with Down’s Syndrome, and it was her own instructor that encouraged her to go for it and become one herself.

She said: “When the live classes started again my instructor Emma Golpys encouraged me to become a Zumba instructor myself.

“I’m proud to be a Zumba instructor with Down’s Syndrome because there are not many instructors with it in the world.”

Just go for it

To those that want to follow in her footsteps, Hannah said: “If anybody wants to become a Zumba instructor I would tell them to just go for it.

“You won’t regret it, it changed my life.”

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.
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