Tuesday, 29 July 2014

An Interview with Zumba Creator, Beto Perez!

A couple of Fridays ago I was super lucky to have been invited to head down to the Excel Centre in London to attend the Zumba Instructor Academy which was in the UK that weekend. It's normally only open to qualified instructors so I felt really privileged when the email popped into my inbox, and promptly booked the day off of work to make sure that I could attend!
The day itself was absolutely amazing - with a masterclass which was led by the creator himself, Beto Perez, among heaps of other classes and workshops. Fortunately for you guys I also managed to sneak a cheeky interview with the main man, which I have made sure that I type up for you all so you can see what a lovely guy he is for yourself! :)

Q: So Zumba is now one of the biggest fitness brands in the world - did you ever imagine when you taught your first Zumba class that it would become what it is today?

A: Yes! It's my dream. What happened [when I forgot my music - which ultimately led to the creation of Zumba!] was an accident, but I see the reaction of the people and I say 'Wow!'.
I'm having a good time, they pay me for this, and I have girls around me - it's the perfect job! My passion for dance is so big, and this is the thing that I want to do for my whole life, but I know that I need to work hard, and I want to conquer the World so that everyone knows what [Zumba] is.
I started [teaching exercise classes] when I was very young - only 16 - I said 'OK, I don't want to spend time making the wrong decision', because sometimes when you are a teenager you go to college and you don't know what you want to do, but I didn't have this time. I said OK [dancing] is the thing that I want to do for my living and now I need to work hard.

Q: You discovered your passion for dancing when you were really young, how did you discover that you wanted to be a dancer?

A: When I was 6 or 7 years old I went with my mum to see the movie Grease with John Travolta, and when I saw this movie I was like 'Wow!' - for me this was my first musical and that was when I knew that I had a passion for dance. It's funny because I discovered my passion for dance through Rock & Roll and I love Rock & Roll!

Q: So which is your favourite song from Grease then?

A: Wow ermm... Dog, Dog. Dog.. Erm... *lots of long pauses as he thinks* I put the song in one of the Zins! (Zumba music tracks).
*Beto then preceeds to spend he next few minutes trying to sing and explain it to me, while a lovely lady (whose name escapes me, sorry!) searches for the Grease soundtrack on her phone! We did get there eventually however, and it turns out it was Hound Dog by Elvis!*

Q: So Zumba has loads of variations now like Step, Sentato (sp?) Zumbabinis (sp?) - do you have a favourite out of them?

A: So Zumbabinis is for like babies, and then there are ones for little kids. But all of the programmes are special to me - they have a specialness to me because they are my creations you know? Like when I create something and then people follow, have passion and identify, change [their] lives, lose weight - it's amazing.

Q: What do you do when you're not doing Zumba?

A: I have my own studio in Miami where I teach Zumba,
For other exercise I [weight] train or I will lose weight from too much cardio. I need to maintain my muscle and I have a special diet too. I need to take care of myself all the time.

Q: My mum wanted me to ask you what sort of food she should be eating to keep healthy. Do you recommend anything?

A: The trick for me is no sugar and to drink a lot of water. I eat a lot of protein from meat and fish, then vegetables, water, brown rice, sweet potato - that's it! It's so boring but it's the only way for me.
We also have a programme called Zumba Gold which has a different beat and rhythm to normal Zumba. I recommend this for people who may not be as fit or who are older. It's still hard work out but we use different music!

Q: And one last question before I let you get back to the day - if you could describe Zumba in one word, what would it be?

A: Happiness.

And I can't fault him - Zumba is some of the best fun I've ever had while exercising. So much fun in fact that I am seriously considering becoming an Instructor! All of the people who I spoke to whilst I was at the Academy were so lovely and said that becoming an instructor was one of the best thing's that they've ever done, so if I do decide to take the plunge then I know that I will be in amazing company. :)

I just want to thank Zumba & See.Saw for inviting me to the Instructor Academy for the day. I had an amazing time and genuinely feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to interview a man who is an inspiration to so many people all around the world! I met people that day who have been waiting to even have a photo with Beto for five years, so for me to be able to have a one-on-one chat with him like that is beyond a privilege and is something that I will remember forever! :)
Not quite sure what move I was meant to be doing here, but lets roll with it anyway!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Fit Fashion | Social Discoveries

For all people say that the internet can be a dark and scary place at times, the vast majority of the time I don't think I would have discovered half of the brands, hobbies and information that I know about today if it wasn't for the internet. Social media in particular has been HUGE in uncovering some absolute gems, and I couldn't resist sharing these two fantastic sportswear brands which I have completely fallen in love with since finding them on Instagram and Twitter!

Lexie Sport - www.lexiesport.co.uk/

Lexie Sport are as serious abut fashion as they are about creating performance sportswear, and it definitely shows with their Blonde Collection in particular being a beautiful one. The gorgeous print which features in some way on each of the items looks perfect - and their Lake leggings are the top of the crop for me! All of Lexie's products are made in Britain which is always a great thing to hear in my eyes and as well as all this and looking amazing, they're also fantastic technically speaking with 4-way stretch and UV protective fabric all coming as part of the package.
If next season's lines are anything to go by, I personally cannot wait for them as I'm sure the next batch will be just as awesome. Keep it up Lexie, you're doing aright by me!

Fabletics - www.fabletics.co.uk

Fabletics is a brand which literally launches today! (8th July!) I've been so excited for it - as it seems to be along similar lines to the styles of more premium brands such as Sweaty Betty and Lululemon, but for a much more friendly price which I am absolutely thrilled about. A full outfit for £44??? Yes please!
The brand has been co-created by Kate Hudson in collaboration with the fashion subscription service, JustFab - and is inspired by Kate's active lifestyle and personal wardrobe. The pieces are so easily layered, and if the shopping experience for the UK arm is anything like the US one, it makes it super simple to select a whole outfit and customize colours to suit your own individual style. Win!
So what am I loving? The biggies for me are the sports bra with the cool back (accurate naming I know! I don't have an actual name though so this will have to do), and the sports top and bra combo which looks equally as awesome. From what I understand they'll be available in a fair few colours so while I may not have my exact choice nailed, at least I have a pretty good idea of what I'm gunning for when I get onto the site!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Personal | June Review & July Goals!

So I had planned to post this yesterday in my usual Tuesday slot, but after a crazy few days at Glastonbury Festival (in case you couldn't tell from Instagram) I was so tired today that I could barely concentrate on a computer screen at work, let alone come home and continue to sit on one! So the entirety of last night was spent chilling out with the girls and catching up on what had happened over the weekend instead, as today was our first evening all back together.
June went by just as quickly as all of the other months seem to have done so far in 2014, and I'm now in the final month of my internship which is super sad as I've absolutely loved it. In all of the hustle and bustle of the month, I have to admit that whilst I have kept to a few of my goals, there have also been a couple which fell by the way-side a little - but I've done the major ones and that's the main thing! If you need a recap of my June goals and the story behind each one then click here, but if not here is the low-down on how I did on each of them before spilling the beans on July's goals of choice!


Nail the Keto Diet

I researched into this way of eating for well over a month before deciding to give it a try, and I have to admit it is not for the faint-hearted!
So. Did I do it? In short, yes. Did I see improvements in body-shape and a drop in weight/body-fat? Yep. Am I going to continue to do it? Nope. And after beginning to write a summary of my experience and why I won't be doing keto any more I realized that I had made this post IMPOSSIBLY long! So I promise that I will explain all, just in a different blog post!

Consistent Blogging

Last month I promised myself that I would blog twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays, and generally speaking I did! Although I switched to Tuesdays and Fridays to give me more time between posts to organise my thoughts... I still did it though right?! I'm proud of me no matter what you say haha. ;)
I still have a lot of posts backed up in draft mode, but as I mentioned in my June goals post I honestly did just want to make sure I can plan my posts properly first instead of getting too ahead of myself - something which I definitely feel that I've managed to do throughout June. For now I've decided that I am going to continue Tuesdays any Fridays (I know this is a Wednesday but cut me a little slack!) perhaps adding in Sunday blog posts if I can get everything organised in a couple of weeks - if that happens I shall of course let you all know!

#Junathon & #100happydays

Anndddddd now for the failure.... Well there was bound to be one, wasn't there! What an absolute flop of an attempt at these two Instagram series. Junathon was a non-starter as despite me having tried something along these lines,, my gym is far too busy for me to feel comfortable taking lots of workout selfies (no matter how discretely I tried, I definitely think that I was always caught), and the rest of the time I just get completely into 'the zone' and forget!
I did make a better attempt at #100happydays but again kept forgetting to post every day (is there really anything happy about a bog-standard day at work followed by sitting in front of the telly post-gym?). I am going to keep it up though and will probably do a blog post when I hit the quarter or halfway point as I do think that it is a lovely concept!


Three goals again! I've decided to shift my focus slightly to things which are going to benefit me in the run-up to heading back to university, in the hope that I can slot back in without too many issues after a year out working.
  • To not spend money on 'stuff'.
    And buy stuff I mean, things that I don't need! If I'm going out fro a drink with friends, or it's someone's birthday then that's fine as long as I'm sensible and don't go buying bottles of Moet for everyone. I'm planning to use August as a balancing month where I counteract all of the spending that I did during my internship ready for uni so hopefully this will be a good test run for me!
  • To begin to improve my functional strength and flexibility.
    I'll FINALLY be able to pick-up competitive cheerleading again in a couple of months which I feel like I've been away from for far too long! Whilst I've been working on my strength, I've been super lazy on my flexibility and have lost a lot of it as a result. I also want to try to optimse my weight training to involve a lot more functional movements such as clean and jerks, and overhead presses to build on some of the muscle movements I use when I cheer, and get in some more HIIT to replicate the energy and strength I'll need during a routine - so maybe a little Tabata? I'll let you know how I get on!
  • To keep a food diary.
    After coming off of keto I still haven't been feelnig 100% and I am becoming more and more certain that there is something which I am eating which I may have a slight intolerance  to. So for a couple of weeks this month I'm hoping to keep a food diary of what I'm eating/dribking and also how i'm feeling with hope of figuring it out! I will also be working on improving my healthy eating habits and trialling new recipes but that is another story! :)

What are your goals for July? Let me know! :)

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