You would have seen the inspiring journey of the talented Zumba instructor, Yamini Sharma, in our previous Qalfit interview. But what about the people who brought Zumba into the mainstream fitness industry in India in the early 2010s? We are talking about Zumba specialists who train people to become Zumba instructors! Meet Shiv Kewat, the Zumba Education Specialist who handles the Uttar Pradesh region. Take a look at this exclusive interview around fitness, Zumba, and his lifestyle, Shiv gave to Qalfit.
What inspired you to start your fitness journey?
“My fitness journey started a long time back in 2011. I love dancing and I’m a dancer. Before I became a Zumba specialist, I was a dance instructor in Mumbai. I was also handling my father’s business.
Honestly, the first time I heard about Zumba from my friend, I was a little hesitant. But the idea of combining dance and fitness got my curiosity. I was also amazed by the creator of Zumba, Alberto “Beto” Pérez. I saw his workout videos, interviews, and became a great fan of him. So, I decided to give it a try. I attended a 2-day training session and got to know the basics of Zumba. I trained hard by myself for 6 months and got better at Zumba. Then, I opened a Zumba studio which is going great now!
Shiv adds “In 2018, I got an opportunity to become a Zumba Education Specialist (ZES). ZES is a qualification by which you can train other people to become a Zumba instructor. I got selected by the Zumba company in the US for an audition and I got qualified as a ZES. Now, I handle the Uttar Pradesh region. So, whoever wants to become a Zumba instructor, they need to train under me.”
DID YOU FACE ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DURING THIS TIME WHICH YOU THINK WOULD BE COMMON TO OTHER PEOPLE?
“I faced a lot of struggle to reach the position where I am now. When I decided to take Zumba as a full-time career in 2011, it was very difficult to get my family’s support. Also, Zumba was a relatively new concept at that time. So, it was tough to get people to enroll in my Zumba classes. I faced financial struggles and I was broken. But I knew that it was a long journey. I worked hard and slowly built a name for myself in the fitness industry.
Even now, when I feel low during sessions, I never fail to put in all my efforts. I always make sure that the one-hour Zumba session is worth their time money for my students.”
Shiv added, “I believe in hard work. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I never stopped working to reach it. I prepared for the harsh journey ahead and put all my efforts. This is how I overcame my struggles.”
HOW DO YOU THINK YOU INSPIRE PEOPLE AROUND YOU?
“A lot of people follow me on social media for my physique. People are quite amazed by the fact that I have eight pack abs and I still dance swiftly. I always tell my followers to practice daily. With consistent practice for 6 months, anyone can get 6 pack abs and be flexible at the same time. I also teach Zumba to people with developmental disabilities. I alter the workout moves to suit their movement.” Shiv says that he feels great satisfaction and joy in teaching Zumba.
WHAT ARE THE MISCONCEPTIONS THAT PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT FITNESS?
“People often think that the peak of fitness in men is getting six-pack abs and for girls, it’s being slim. This is completely wrong. Fitness is all about health and happiness. The peak of fitness is being healthy in your old age. If you can bend, work freely and do your work without others’ help in your old age, I would say you are fit. Also, people think that they can get fit by solely working out. They don’t understand the importance of a healthy diet. ‘No diet and all gym’ will get you nowhere.”
WHAT IS YOUR DAILY FITNESS ROUTINE?
“I usually have 3 Zumba sessions every day, from Monday to Friday. That’s 3 hours of cardio. Other than Zumba I do bodyweight exercise and stretches daily. Basically, I concentrate on three factors- cardio, strength training, and mobility.”
HOW DOES YOUR DAILY DIET CHART LOOK LIKE?
“My breakfast mostly consists of muesli with milk and 3 eggs. Then after the workout, my lunch would be 1 butter roti with green veggies and 2 eggs. I munch dry fruits in the evening and for dinner, it’s just fruits and salads with 2 eggs.
For every 20-25 days, I take a cheat day. I love burgers and pizzas loaded with cheese! I make sure that my cheat days fall right before my leg days so that I could vanish those extra calories with maximum effort.”
What are your other hobbies?
“I love movies. I never miss awesome movies. I have even acted in small roles in a few Bhojpuri movies. Notably, I did a small part in the movie ‘Raabta’, alongside Kriti Sanon and Sushant Singh Rajput in 2017. Other than movies, I love singing and spending time with my family. I’m enjoying the time I am spending with my family in this lockdown.”
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS?
“The creator of Zumba, Alberto “Beto” Pérez and Dwayne Johnson. They inspire me very much and I deeply connect with them.”
HOW HAS YOUR OVERALL JOURNEY BEEN AND HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF 5 YEARS DOWN THE LINE?
“Looking back, all the financial issues and personal struggles that I faced initially have made me who I am now. My education qualification is not even SSLC but I earn in dollars now. I am recognized on Instagram and Facebook as a celebrity fitness instructor, motivational speaker, and fitness influencer. I recently bought a new car. I feel proud of my journey!”
“In the next 5 years, I want to become an International presenter. I want to feature in the monthly edition of the Zumba workout that goes to 197 countries. I want to travel across the world teaching Zumba.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE JUST STARTED THEIR FITNESS JOURNEY?
“You need to believe in yourself when you start a workout. People will try to discourage you but you need to be positive at all times. If you want to achieve something, you shouldn’t stop till you achieve it.”
From an infamous dance instructor in Mumbai to becoming a renowned Zumba Education Specialist in India, Shiv has had an incredible journey through the years. His journey teaches us that Punctuality, hard work, and dedication will never let you down!
You can follow Shiv and his fitness and Zumba journey, health tips, and encouraging healthy self-development on his Instagram page @shivkewat_official.