October 17, 2012
In the last two years, Zumba has taken over the exercise world with a mix of high energy instructors, Latin and Caribbean music, and hot, explosive dance routines. Everyone from business men to professional dancers have been in classes around the country, but the fad really caught on with suburban housewives. So, it was no surprise that people in the sleepy vacation town of Kennebunk, Maine were caught up in the Zumba craze. Alexis Wright, a 29 year old fitness instructor in the town seized the opportunity for a few quick dollars and begin teaching classes. But, Alexis and her business partner, Mark Strong, stand accused of giving extra benefits on the side to her male clients. Kennebuck, Maine is now the site of one of the largest prostitution rings in recent history. Her books show upwards of 150 clients that used her sexual services in addition to the Zumba class.
Wright did not arouse any suspicion amongst her students. According to both her male and female clients, Alexis was boisterous and sometimes flirty, but seemed to be just a great dancer and teacher.
“She was very professional. She was an amazing dancer and she held a good class, so I liked going. I thought she was a little, not risque, but a little flirtatious with a couple of the male participants in the class. But it’s Zumba. You’re there to have fun. I didn’t think anything of it.”
Alison Ackley, one of Ms. Wright’s Zumba students
Her ability to move and the innate demureness of the dance shielded the regular students from seeing the dark underbelly of these classes. Zumba incorporates a lot of sexy dance moves in its workouts. It works the areas of the body that are difficult to tone through popular dance moves, but adds some grinding of the hips and pelvic thrusts for more impact and attitude. The Latin music and the sexy salsa and merengue choreography are naturally flirty and sexy, so with the additional overtly sexual moves, basic attraction between students and teachers is almost expected in a mixed sexes Zumba class. Both male and female teachers are usually very hands-on with their clients in these classes. But apparently, Wright is more of a “full body-on” lady. She was alleged to have slept with lawyers, firemen, policemen, and married men for money in this operation. The press in Maine is on the verge of releasing the names of the “johns” that used her services pending court approval. Alexis Wright has tapes of her and her clients in the midst of sexual acts and there are several video clips of her dancing in the nude and performing sexual acts by herself on the internet. Even if Wright is found to be innocent of the 106 counts of prostitution that is being brought against her, she has shook the formerly Puritan state of Maine.