Wal­dorf Zumba in­struc­tor vies for Mrs. Mary­land USA

Lo­cal Zumba in­struc­tor vy­ing for Mrs. Mary­land United States crown

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

One of the most pop­u­lar pag- eants in Mary­land is search­ing for a one-of-a-kind, com­muni- ty-ori­ented can­di­date to reign as Mrs. Mary­land United States. Wal­dorf res­i­dent and fit­ness guru Tammy Wright feels she em­bod­ies all of what the pageant rep­re­sents — and hopes to be crowned next.

“The Mrs. Mary­land United States or­ga­ni­za­tion is a ‘sis­ter- hood’ pageant that em­pow­ers women and gives them an op­por­tu­nity to part­ner with char- itable or­ga­ni­za­tions that are close to their hearts. I’m ex­cited to see all these amaz­ing women com­pete for the cov­eted Mrs. Mary­land United States 2017 crown,” said Teri Brown-Walk- er, ex­ec­u­tive state di­rec­tor for the Mrs. Mary­land United States Pageant.

Since 1986, the Mrs. United States Na­tional Pageant assem- bles an­nu­ally to cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of mar­ried wom- en through­out the 50 states. Ac- cord­ing to Pageant Planet, the Mrs. Mary­land United States pageant was re­cently ranked No. 6 on the list for top 10 state pageants of 2016. It has be­come an exclusive source for mar­ried women, ages 21 and older, to demon­strate sports­man­ship and to seek a change through ex­press­ing in­di­vid­u­al­ity in a glam­orous, so­phis­ti­cated way.

Mrs. Mary­land United States is a pre­lim­i­nary pageant to the na­tional Mrs. United States pageant — in­clud­ing an in­ter­view, swim­suit, evening gown and cos­tume cat­e­gory for all con- tes­tants to com­pete. Part of the prize pack­age in­cludes a guest ap­pear­ance on the TV talk show, “So­ci­ety Moms.”

Wright, 44, a co-owner of ABC Fit­ness Con­nec­tion LLC, said this is her first time par­tic- ipat­ing in a pageant. She said al­though the ex­pe­ri­ence has been amaz­ing, the stakes are set even higher this year with a to­tal of 16 com­peti­tors, 10 more than the pageant had in 2016.

“[The pageant] gives me the plat­form to fur­ther what I love to do, which is ed­u­cat­ing fami- lies about well­ness, fit­ness and health. Chronic dis­eases are hit­ting home a lot ear­lier now. There are chil­dren with di­a­betes and right now health is more im­por­tant than any­thing. If I can get one fam­ily to un­der­stand that, then I feel I’ve made a gen­er­a­tional change in that fam­ily,” she said.

Wright’s plat­form for the pageant, “Kid Fit Be Fit,” will fo­cus on get­ting fam­i­lies healthy to “kick out” chronic dis­eases. She be­lieves the one way for par­ents to spend time with their chil­dren is through healthy ac­tiv­i­ties.

She said the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture notes that fam­ily mem­bers who get their daily rec­om­mended ex­er­cise feel bet­ter about them­selves, which can lead to a hap­pier fam­ily unit.

Wright’s gym and fit­ness pro­gram has been thriv­ing in Wal­dorf for eight years and she re­cently be­gan teach­ing a Zumba class with Charles County Parks and Recre­ation on Feb. 13. Classes are held every Mon­day and Wed­nes­day at Matta- woman Mid­dle School at 7 p.m.

The Zumba guru said this pageant is a “dream come true,” and she’s not a quit­ter when it comes to ac­com­plish­ing her goals. She de­scribes her­self as a leader, a de­ter­mined in­di­vid- ual and a vi­sion­ary, which are all qual­i­ties that she said makes her a winner.

Not only is Wright a proud sup­porter of South­ern Mary- land, but she also has more than 22 years in the mil­i­tary. She went from be­ing a tomboy when she was younger to an ac- com­plished woman of el­e­gance and strength.

“Never let any­one dic­tate what the fu­ture is go­ing to hold for you,” she said.

Her hus­band, John Wright, said she is a winner be­cause she al­ways has high stan­dards go­ing into sit­u­a­tions. He added that she is smart, tal­ented, hard­work­ing and has a very in- fec­tious spirit.

“There’s so many things about her, so you can’t just put her in a box. Just talk­ing about her, she gen­uinely loves peo­ple and any­thing she can do to help, she’s there. She has a lot of at­tributes that are rare in this day and time. Even though she’s a prod­uct of the in­ner city, she came up from South­east Wash­ing­ton, D.C., to be who she is to­day,” John said.

Cur­rently, Wright does Zumba and mo­ti­va­tional speak­ing en­gage­ments at a ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­ter in Bal­ti­more. She plans to go to lo­cal mid­dle schools and high schools to talk about how drugs, such as the use of elec­tronic cig­a­rettes, to­bacco and va­p­ing, are harm­ful to a per­son’s health.

“I have to win to con­tinue my plat­form for Kid Fit Be Fit. The di­rec­tor wants to see a rookie who can go up there, be orig­i­nal and is ac­tive in the com­mu­nity. Prayer­fully it’s not based on how some­one looks, but based off of con­fi­dence and our plat­form,” Wright said.

Vot­ing for the Mrs. Mary­land United States Pageant ends on Fri­day, Feb. 24 — one day prior to the pageant. Votes cost a min­i­mum of $2 each with the pro­ceeds ben­e­fit­ting the “No Kid Hun­gry” cam­paign, the of­fi­cial char­ity of the Mrs. United States or­ga­ni­za­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www.mrsm­dunit­ed­states.com/peo­ple-schoice2.html.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Tammy Wright, a co-owner of ABC Fit­ness Con­nec­tion LLC, is com­pet­ing to be Mrs. Mary­land United States 2017.

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