Meet The Theatre Nurse That Transformed Into “The Zumba Queen”

BRHS Theatre Nurse Nicole Mann before heading off to Florida last month for an international Zumba convention. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS.


You see them around the hospital, and you would never know.

Some remarkable people work here at BRHS, their surgical scrubs or business uniform concealing a metaphorical superhero disguise of a whole other sort underneath.

Like Nicole Mann, for example, Theatre Nurse, whose life outside BRHS has taken on a whole new twist in recent years with the explosion of a new passion and second career.

Meet Nicole Mann, jet-setting Zumba devotee and renowned local instructor.

Last week Nicole was in Orlando, Florida, for the International Zumba Instructors Convention, which brings together thousands of the world’s best Zumba instructors and leaders in the industry.

For those who haven’t heard of it, Zumba is a fitness program usually held in group classes, using high-energy music and dance moves to provide excellent aerobic and resistance training.

“I’m helping people. Now I can help prevent as well as treat.”

It has enjoyed a boom in popularity in recent years, and become something of a cultural phenomenon.

Nicole says the very first step she took on her Zumba journey was an introductory class at the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre in 2011.

“I instantly loved it,” she remembers. “But I had no fitness or dance background, and so I attended another instructors’ class for three years, until I did the training and launched my own career.”

Photos courtesy Nicole Mann.

Nicole has been a Zumba instructor since 2014, and has obtained a Certificate in Fitness.

She teaches Gentle Aerobics for seniors twice a week, as well as Zumba and Zumba Gold, a variation of Zumba designed specifically for older adults.

Listening to Nicole talk about her own experiences with Zumba, the impact that the sport has had on her life is clear.

“The stimulation of regular exercise has not only made me fit but I feel like I have re-wired my brain,” she describes. “I feel more awake, my memory is better, I react quicker and I can multitask on another level.”

Nicole says her new role as a Zumba instructor is really an evolution of what brought her to nursing in the first place.

“I’m helping people,” she says. “Now I can help prevent as well as treat.”

“I’m now known at work and in the community as Zumba Queen. It’s quite surreal.”

“I like the fact that I can make people exercise to music, not only through Zumba but aerobics also. They have such a great time that they are forgetting that it’s a workout!”

Good on you, Nicole.

You can learn more about Zumba classes in the area at the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre’s webpage.