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ID: Paula Mary Pawloski

  • Paula Pawloski for I.D.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Paula Pawloski for I.D.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

Paula Pawloski says she’s found the secret to a successful fitness program: Zumba. Others seem to agree with the local instructor. “I can’t go to Stop & Shop without seeing someone from my classes and having them squeal at me,” she says. “And I squeal right back at e_SSRqem!”

Full name: Paula Mary Pawloski

People know you as: PPZ

Date and place of birth: November 1972, Northampton

Address: Northampton

Job: Zumba instructor

Pets: My furry children (cats), Maggie and Sassy

Education: Journalism and casino management, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hobbies: Dancin’ and romancin’

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving

Favorite movie/TV show/singer/group: Movie — “I Heart Huckabees”; TV — “The People’s Court”; singer — Freddie Mercury; group — The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Five items you can’t live without: Advil, iPod, strong coffee, olive martinis and my hat

Last thing you purchased just for fun: A pair of Lululemon exercise pants. I fly in these babies. And it’s your god-given right as a woman to invest in a pair of exercise pants that make you look good, feel good and want to work out

Life-changing experience: I won a year’s supply of toilet paper in a toilet paper contest

Strangest job you ever held: I am a volunteer Zumba instructor for a women’s correctional facility. Usually I have to sit there awhile before they come to class. It makes me understand how good I have it. I can’t imagine being locked up, being told what and when to do things, essentially having every freedom taken away from you. Teaching these women, it’s making me a better instructor

Current Facebook status: “If I could get myself pregnant, that last class would have done it.”

A little-known fact about you: I generally don’t like to dance in public (unless I have a few olive martinis under my belt)

Dumbest thing you ever did: See “A little-known fact about you”

One fashion you’d like to see return: Tailored leather pants

What really sets you off? When I pull out my bag after class and realize I have inevitably forgotten one of four things: a brush, a clean pair of socks, a bra or (worst) underpants. Always, I run into someone I know

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Michael Jackson, the “Thriller” days. I would ask him to critique my moonwalk

Best advice you ever got: “Every time you go out there, you have to show them you are BADDER than the last time” — Bonnie Raitt

Favorite place to get a bite: Bueno y Sano in Northampton for the BBQ quesadilla and Webster’s Fish Hook in Northampton for the lobster roll

Favorite athlete: Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba. Without him there would be no PPZ

What does your ideal weekend look like? Sleeping late. Waking up to a strong cup of coffee. Always, always, always having the music cranked up. A cat sitting on my lap. Then I am happiest researching music and putting together choreographies

One thing you would change about yourself: People misread my passion for something else. For some reason, I don’t get the same effort when I say, “OK everybody, we are going to bump up the cardio!” Versus having a crazed smile on my face while summoning a guttural voice “GETCHER KNEES UP! YOU DON’T WANT ME TO COME BACK THERE!”

What gives you the creeps? Baby poop = dry heaves

People who knew you in high school thought you were: Overweight

Whom do you most admire? Shout-out to my mom (of course!), and my mentor, adviser and friend, Howard Ziff, who created the University of Massachusetts journalism program. He taught me to be fearless, to take major risks and even to fail. But persistence always pays off. And there is always a story there. With that advice, man, did I create some stories in my life. Stories that would have never happened otherwise. When I succeeded, Ziff would always give me a wink, and I knew I did good

Parting shot: Always give proper respect to the people who support you along your way. In my life, there are everyday shout-outs to my mentors. From the wink, to the music, to the hat

— Keri-Ann Aubin

Editor’s Note — To suggest someone for ID, email Keri-Ann Aubin at kaubin@gazettenet.com.

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