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Life & Work with Stephanie Zitzer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Zitzer. 

Stephanie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I moved to Saint Louis back in 2003. I had a 2-year-old son at the time and still hadn’t dropped the baby weight I had gained. A friend encouraged me to try group fitness classes. I started with standard barbell classes and boot camp-type classes. I did it but didn’t enjoy it. 

Then I stepped into a Zumba class and my life was changed forever. I loved that dancing could be fitness and started attending regularly to the point where many of the members asked me to start teaching. I had a natural knack for dancing and as a former theater girl, I love performing. I decided to get certified and shortly thereafter was offered a class of my own. 

Fast forward I was getting bored with “Latin” music and the same types of moves. I decided to try to choreograph my own dance but to a top 40 hit. And it was it a hit! They loved everything about it and that is how my brand StephZ Cardio Dance was born. It continued to grow and grow organically throughout STL, then nationwide, and finally internationally. 

I have also created an amazing charity event called Hip Hop 4 Hounds. All dollars at the event go directly to Athletes for Animals. I am on the Board of Directors of A4A. We grant funds to shelters and rescues nationwide. The event has raised over $60K it grows each year. The last event was around 400 dancing. A4A was founded and run by former captain of the STL Blues, David Backes, and his wife Kelly. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It truly has been a smooth road and a natural progression! 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I choreograph all of the dances in my class. The dances are all to what’s currently on the radio which keeps my classes current and fresh. There is also a sexiness to them which I love. Women tend to lose that side of their selves after they become wives and mothers and I help them bring that back. 

I am also known for impacting lives through weight loss stories women and men have lost from 10 to over 70 lbs. dancing with me! 

Lastly, it’s about empowerment and the feeling you get while your dancing! Improving happiness and I love that! What sets me apart is my choreography but also the way I teach which is hard to put into words. 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I struggled with weight my entire life. I was teased as a kid called Pudge as a nickname. It has been a constant battle for me all my life. No one believes me when I tell them at one point, I was 60 lbs. overweight! 

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @stephzcardiodance
  • Facebook: @stephzcardiodance
  • Youtube: @stephzcardiodance

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