Denver-based Zumba instructor Brittney Rae Reese danced her way to national attention on CBS'sLet's Make a Deal
-- where, unfortunately, she was "zonked" on an episode that aired recently.
Reese was visiting a friend in California last Halloween when she was surprised with tickets to the popular TV show. Since Reese went to the taping dressed in a one-of-a-kind homemade costume -- a bag of money -- she had the feeling she would be selected as a contestant on the show. And her unique dance moves in the audience didn't hurt....
Once she was chosen as a contestant, Reese impressed host Wayne Brady by showing him her "shimmy" and some salsa moves. "I don't think he expected me to take the initiative with showing him my moves, but I can tell he loved it," she says. "He said so himself."
But he wasn't as impressed by her choices in the game. Asked to decide between a DVD case of Ocean's Twelve (which she later found out contained $1,200) and a curtain labeled "Monster Garage," Reese chose the curtain. Behind it was a monster truck -- made out of cardboard.
"Deep down, I wanted that cardboard truck," Reese says. "I kept thinking of how cool that would be to have in my parents' backyard. But the $1,200 in the Ocean's Twelve case would have been nicer."
She might not have gotten the prize, but Reese's TV debut has helped her Zumba classes, Zumba by Joslyn & Brittney Rae, gain in popularity. Reese has been an instructor since 2007, and she and her sister hold classes -- also known as "The Party Starters" -- three days a week.
Because of the increased interest in her class, Reese has also been able to launch a new fitness boot camp; she hopes to soon introduce the kind of dance class she taught when she lived in Brooklyn. Reese has danced since she was five years old and has been teaching classes for about seven years. She was even a certified instructor in Managua, Nicaragua, during a three-month backpacking trip across Central America.
"Needless to say, being a Zumba instructor in Denver has been a rewarding experience," Reese says. "I love my party people!"
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Check out Reese's national TV debut with Wayne Brady here.