The class was initially named Rumba. When Perez moved to the US in pursuit of his American dream in 1999, people had a hard time pronouncing it, so Perez decided to rename it Sumba but with a “Z”; because he loved Zorro as a kid!
Zumba is now a world-wide phenomenon, about 15 million people take Zumba classes each week in over 180 different countries.
I have been a licensed Zumba instructor since 2011, and I have been teaching classes both in Brunei and here in Abu Dhabi. I have met a few of the Zumba Educational Specialists along the way in different trainings around the world, but never have I been close to have a Zumba experience like the one I've just had this weekend... meeting Beto... and Gina... and Ana, Liana and Jessica = the Zumba creator and his team - amazing!
There had been a Masterclass scheduled with Beto for a while, on the Friday night (and yes, of course I had got my ticket!) - but on quite short notice we got a VIP invitation, exclusive to the Zumba instructors of Abu Dhabi, to join Beto and his team for a Fashion Show and party the night before!
We were allowed to bring a guest, so Jenny, who does Zumba back in Sweden, was keen to come.
Jenny and I with the little firecracker ZES, and Beto's personal choreographer, Liana Veda:
Viceroy as a stunning backdrop, from The Venue balcony:
A few of my fellow instructors, we were all dolled up in our best Zumba wear!
Beto and his amazing team kicked off the fashion show with a little dance:
Then the ZES girls showed off the new collection of Zumba wear. The stunning Ms Gina (one of my all-time favourite Zumba stars!), so beautiful and full of funky personality and attitude:
Jessica, from Spain:
Ms Gina again (with Beto's PT) and Ms Liana:
Then the craziness started, with the photo session. Beto and his team were incredibly patient, and made sure that everybody got to take all the photos they wanted. They posed, and posed and posed... Luckily it was quite an intimate event, I wouldn't say there was more than about 100 people there, so it didn't go on forever, but still.
I got my fan photo with our Big Boss! So, so cool... Meeting Beto for a Zumba instructor, is like meeting the biggest rock star there ever was!
And of course, one with Ms Gina:
Jenny wanted a photo with our Abu Dhabi "Zumba Mama", Tammy; one of the most friendly, bouncy and happy people I have ever met:
After the photo session, Beto wanted to dance!! I didn't get the feeling this was actually planned, so it felt like such a treat getting to dance with him for a few tracks, in this small group. It was so lovely to share this evening with these fellow instructors, who are truly gorgeous and lovely, all of them - I felt so happy and had a smile on my face all night long! This is what Zumba® is all about, bringing people together!
Beto was brought up in Cali, Colombia by a single mother. This time he took her with him on his trip, it's the little lady in the green dress to his left, next to Gina. How lovely!