Shweta Kulkarni, an architect by qualification and profession discovered Zumba in her quest to find alternatives to escape monotonous running on the treadmill. As a new mother in the US, Shweta realized that while motherhood was blissful to her, the extra kilos it brought along was not. She struggled to continue on her fitness schedule and while she was tiring herself out on the treadmill again she overheard a group of girls discussing about some Fitness Dance Party. She couldn’t resist approaching that group to learn more about their dance party. That was when she heard of Zumba for the first time. She attended a demo class and realized it was the happiest hour of her life. And that was it – she never looked back.
With dance being Shweta’s passion, it wasn’t surprising for her to get immediately hooked to Zumba. She attended every single class and found herself totally engrossed in Latin music and exposed to different international dance styles. She lost 15 kilos in the first year and spent the second year in toning her body. “This combo of weight loss and toning not only made me happy but also brought back my confidence that I lost due to weight gain”, Shweta said.
She looked for Zumba classes in Pune when she returned from the US in early 2011 but found the city to be unfamiliar with the new form of dance workout. That’s when she seriously considered her instructor’s recommendation of becoming an instructor. It was an inner calling and she went ahead to complete Zumba fitness instructor training certification in June 2011. “It wasn’t an easy start as people and gyms were unaware of Zumba and introducing a new concept is always tricky. However that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion. It was no longer about contributing to people’s fitness goals, it meant adding happiness to their lives.”
Zumba has become the world’s most successful dance fitness program with more than 14 million people from 150 countries actively pursuing it since 2001. It has also become popular in India in the last five years. There are different Zumba programs for people of all age groups and fitness levels: Zumbatomic for kids, Zumba Gold for active old participants, and several others for high-energy workouts and toning.
Shweta pursues dual career today. She is an architect with specialization in interiors for residential and commercial projects and landscaping, as well as a successful Zumba instructor. She is an active member of Zumba Instructors Network (ZIN).