Pulse’s Tammy Panzironi, as seen in Table Hopping

This spring, Table Hopping profiled Pulse owner Tammy Panzironi in their “People of Interest” series:
Table Hopping

Keeping the Pulse

by Jessica Novak

Tammy Panzironi loves her job. And her fitness studio Pulse, at 713 W. Fayette Street in Syracuse, with brightly painted walls and a long list of offered classes, reflects her energy and excitement for what she does.

“Aerobic classes and cardio started getting really stale for me,” said Panzironi who began in fitness instruction about 19 years ago. “It’s all repetitive. But Zumba is so much fun because you’re mixing dance and fitness together.”

Panzironi originally taught traditional fitness classes like step before she was introduced to Zumba three years ago. She worked off-site at a variety of locations, teaching corporate fitness at University Hospital, Oasis Center, the town of DeWitt Parks and Recreation and others. But upon learning about the potential of Zumba, Panzironi thought, “This is something to bring people together in one location.”

“If you don’t like it, forget it. Ninety percent of people end up dropping their workout regimen in the first month, but with this, people stick with it.”

Pulse opened in January 2010 and on opening day welcomed 100 people. The Latin-inspired dance class mixes international music and dance styles to make the overall experience engaging and fun. Salsa, belly-dancing, bollywood and pop all find a place in a Zumba workout, based on the tastes and style of the instructor.

Pulse currently has eight instructors, all of which were handpicked by Panzironi as they came into the studio to try out the classes. “I saw something in all of them,” said Panzironi.

The class schedule offers different variations of Zumba as well as yoga, belly-dancing, kickboxing, lunch express workouts and T-n-T, Tight-n-Tone, a class that focuses on the thighs, hips, stomach and buttocks. Classes are either $5 or $7 or participants can join on a month-by-month basis of unlimited classes for $70. There are no commitments and no membership fees.

“That was another reason I wanted to open the studio,” said Panzironi. “Because a lot of my classes ran in sessions, so people had to pay for 12 weeks. This is giving them the opportunity to pay as they go when they have free time.”

The methods have proven effective. Panzironi noted that one Zumba-goer dropped 75 pounds in just four months by coming three times a week.

“Zumba is effective because people stick with it because they like it,” she said. “That has to be the main thing. If you don’t like it, forget it. Ninety percent of people end up dropping their workout regimen in the first month, but with this, people stick with it. I have pretty good retention here. People usually come back.”

Panzironi also makes it a point to give back to the community as much as possible. She’s done benefits supporting breast cancer research, the Father Champlin’s Guardian Angel Society and the American Heart Association. She also travels to local schools and volunteers her time to teach Zumba to the students.

“It’s fun and it’s rewarding,” she said. “You have to give back a little bit.”

Children also come to classes occasionally with their parents who range greatly in occupation. Panzironi sees teachers, doctors, nurse practitioners, retired people, college students and more come through the doors. And she loves seeing the mix.

“It’s funny because nobody knows at first,” she said. “You start talking to people, but you don’t know what that person does. One’s a stock-broker, one’s a house-wife. So we all come together as a family, everybody’s always welcoming and nice and we’re all dressed in sweats or Zumba clothing and sweating. There’s no upper, lower or middle class here. Everybody’s on the same level. It’s comfortable.”

The location also allows people from the suburbs, school campuses or city to easily make the trip. Only minutes from the highway and downtown and with a parking lot, Pulse is in a prime location for anyone looking for a fun workout.

But for as much fun as her participants have, Panzironi seems to be having the best time.

“My favorite part of the whole thing is the people and watching the results,” she said. “And how people look forward to coming here. It’s something you can do with your friends and it’s a little getaway escape. It’s something you want to do. It makes me happy.”

(Reprinted with permission from Table Hopping, March 2011, page 18)

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