Building a business, and a community through dance

For our latest newsletter on the theme of entrepreneurism, local journalist Telma Marotto spoke to Zumba instructor Sabrina Zigault about her success.

Doing what you love and making money out of it may sound like a distant dream for many. It was no different for Sabrina Zigault, until she decided to hire a room in Hornsey Vale Community Centre to start giving Zumba classes in 2014.

Turning her love for dancing into a business wasn’t part of the plan initially. “First I was really doing it for the love of dancing, for creating a community, and sharing the love. But the more I was doing it, the more I liked it.”

It all started when Sabrina began looking for a way to keep fit after having two children. She enrolled in a Zumba course and one thing led to the another. Soon she was immersed in the Zumba community and training to be a teacher.

Staying local was very important for Sabrina, a Crouch End resident for 15 years. So it was only natural that when she became a qualified Zumba teacher, she looked for opportunities close to home. “I wanted to have flexibility, to save time commuting, and stay close to my family,” she says. Hornsey Vale Community Centre was a handy option. 

Her Sunday morning classes have been a fixture at the centre since she started. Some people in her group have been with her since the very beginning.

“My classes are open to many different abilities. There are people who have been part of the group for years, and others who just joined. From 18 to 86 years old, they are all welcome,” Sabrina says. Currently, class sizes may vary from six to 20 people per session. She also keeps a laptop so some can join online.

“They say they like my energy but it’s me who loves the students’ energy. It’s from them that my energy comes. I want to be that somebody who brings you joy.”

It took a few years teaching at the centre before Sabrina’s entrepreneurialism matured to the point when she decided to make Zumba her main means of living. In 2019, she quit her job as a nursery caregiver to dedicate herself fully to the dance classes. She added sessions in other facilities in Muswell Hill, Palmers Green, at primary schools and at the YMCA in Crouch End. 

It was all going well until the pandemic came with all the uncertainty it brought. “It was a shock. I was asking myself ‘What have I done?’”, she recalls, uncertain of her decision to quit a stable job for dance classes. 

To her surprise, what initially appeared to be a big challenge turned into an opportunity. There was a lot of support from the Zumba community, and her students all managed to adjust to remote classes. She was even able to expand the amount of students she could reach, with students dialling in from places like Poland, France, and Guadeloupe.

“There’s always something to improve in the way we manage our business, but the community is very important for me, to make friends, to share the love,” Sabrina says. “I love my job, I do what I love and I make money with it.” Isn’t this the perfect combination?

If you want to know more about Sabrina’s Zumba classes check her on Instagram @zigbrina or Facebook Zumba with Sabrina. Sabrina’s class schedule at the Hornsey Vale Community Centre can be found here.


Taking the leap to becoming an entrepreneur

A splendid Jubilee Afternoon Tea