Culture: The Zumba Uprising
For certain members of the tony Sports Club/LA, a fitness instructor is the new cause célèbre.
When Monday finally rolled around, about 60 Malzone supporters showed up for the meeting. As it turned out, the PowerPoint presentation wasn’t necessary. Far more powerful were the tearful testimonials attesting to how Malzone had changed members’ lives. Wioletta Zywina, proprietor of the Italian restaurant Da Vinci, was among the speakers: “I own a restaurant and I deal with customer service on a daily basis,” she says. “I know good customer service, and I know a good employee. So I kind of stood up and said to the club COO and manager, ‘You should be proud of yourself that you have an employee in this club who can create so much emotion.’”
Korcak felt confident after the meeting, but she still hadn’t heard anything by Wednesday. That afternoon, she e-mailed Million to ask if she could expect to see Malzone at the next day’s Zumba class. Million’s assistant called Korcak later that day. “I’m happy to tell you Alexa will be teaching tomorrow,” she said.
Even now, the members aren’t sure why Malzone was going to leave — if she was fired or if she really resigned. When asked, the instructor deferred to SCLA’s publicist, Kate Conti, who said the club had wanted to retain Malzone all along. “She commutes from Rhode Island,” says Conti. “There was a time when we were talking back and forth, the company and Alexa, just to see what situation works the best.” As for the Monday meeting, Conti says the goal was simply “to allay concerns and make sure they knew the company was dedicated to having Alexa as an employee.”
Whatever the case, Malzone’s admirers are thrilled to have her back. SCLA didn’t make an official announcement until that Friday, but by then the good news had already spread via Twitter and text messages. One of the agitators updated her Facebook status as soon as she heard. “We proved that when people unite together in voice and reason on behalf of something good, great results are achieved.”