We might have briefly introduced you to Amani Abbasy a few years ago through one of our reviews of the Zumba classes she regularly coached at the BIVT. A worldwide exercise phenomenon that has taken the world by storm, the fitness program that blends hypnotic Latin rhythms through memorable steps is the ongoing obsession of Zumba-fanatic, Amani. We coined her the Zumba goddess a long time ago, yet we realized that we know very little about this self-confessed health and gym addict.
Born and raised in Richmond, VA, she moved back to Kuwait after getting married, to arrive in the Middle East as the first licensed Zumba instructor in the region. Besides the usual attractive catchphrase of burning 600 calories with every Zumba session, Amani recounts how people were so hesitant to try the addictively fun exercise. Before Zumba, Amani was a gym buff. She explains, “Like many people, I was hesitant! Yet, I was tired of the same routine and I hated cardio machines. One day my friend took me took a Zumba class and I was instantly hooked. I started going two to three times a week until I ended up going every day!” By breaking out of the routine and having fun at the same time, Zumba is the perfect break from our routine-orientated lives in Kuwait.
Oddly enough, our favorite and celebrated Zumba goddess is a sweet tooth junkie at heart, “TimTams, cupcakes, cookies, French fries; basically, I love everything that’s bad. I do have more of a sweet tooth, though. However I limit my cravings to once a week on my cheat day where I “treat” myself for all the hard work I put in at the gym or teaching Zumba.” Sounds fair enough to us!
Before we let her have her go at our Truth or Dare, we had to ask Amani for some much-needed healthy tips for the summer. She answers, “Maintain a healthy diet by eating smaller portions and more frequently throughout the day. Add strength or resistance training to your cardio regimen 2-3 times a week to help burn more calories, shape and tone your body. Even if you can’t get to the gym or a class, try to at least walk/jog, or do plyometric training (using your own body weight) at home. Doing something is better than nothing!” Yes, Ma’am!
Looking to the future, Amani is planning on opening up a state-of-the-art training facility for women, while continuing her Zumba certifications, personal training, and pursuing her desire to become a nutritionist.
How would your mother describe you in one word?
OCD (CLEAN FREAK).
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
Hi, is this ZUMBA? (Me giggling) No, this is Amani.
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
I was craving a Philly cheese steak. So when I lived in DC I drove 4 hours up to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to grab a real Philly cheese steak and drove back after I fulfilled my craving.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? / What is your dream retirement location?
I would like to live back in my hometown of Richmond, VA. I would love to retire in St John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
In the END everything will be ok, if its not ok its not the END.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
Rottweiler, because they are protective yet loving.
What do you miss about your childhood?
The innocence of the real world.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I love my name I wouldn’t change it.
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
Who is your favorite historical figure?
Martin Luther King Jr.
What in the world do you least desire?
What do you think is lacking in the world, which would make the world a better place?
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
I hope it is because I’m genuine and have an outgoing personality.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”