From counting cash to calories

Bored with her sedentary lifestyle this bank employee quit her job to become a Zumba fitness instructor.

May 19, 2015 07:22 pm | Updated 08:09 pm IST

CHANGINGLANESShwetambari. Photo: Sudhakara Jain

CHANGINGLANESShwetambari. Photo: Sudhakara Jain

Shwetambari Shetty came to Bengaluru all the way from Kundapur, Mangalore, seeking an education and a job. Coming from a family of bank employees, who were also into fitness, Shwetambari also took up a job in a bank and for fitness trained in Bollywood and contemporary dance.

It was the “sedentary lifestyle that I led as a bank employee” that forced Shwetambari to attend a Zumba fitness training class, which changed her life completely.”

The 34-year-old, is now a Zumba Fitness Trainer. “While working in the bank I was asked to take care of operations for a new health club. They wanted someone who was not a fitness expert but some one who had the expertise in handling people and operations. Just months after that Zumba came into the country and there was an instructor’s course for which I was compelled to attend as I was young and fit,” says Shwetambari.

She then started working in the same health club till she got married and decided to take a break and she adds that it was at the insistence of her husband that she got back to Zumba.

“I still remember my first class. I had one student! It was a disaster as Zumba is a group activity. But, gradually the number increased. As Zumba was very new, I was invited by various fitness clubs to teach. So started my classes in Jayanagar, Indiranagar or Koramangala. I would conduct three to four classes everyday. It was physically exhausting as I had to be there with the students doing every move and exercise to motivate them.”

She explains that Zumba Fitness is a cardio activity. “It is an international dance fitness activity.

The core movement is dance with the use of Latin music, a little English. As we are in India, we are allowed one Bollywood dance,” she grins.

Shwetambari adds that this is the only fitness style where you are “smiling when you are working out and burning calories. I also keep myself updated on the latest techniques every quarterly from my training centre in the U.S.”

She is trained in Zumba gold (for those aged 50 years and above or those with injuries), Zumba Kids and Aqua Zumba (which is done in water), and Zumba steps (done using steps).

“Life changed from my banking life. I believe fitness runs in my veins now. It happened to me in the form of dance and has become my career.”

When she met Sudeep Kulkarni and Nikita Suresh, Tribe Fitness Club was born, on 100 Feet Road Indiranagar.

“We have everything a group exercise format needs – yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling etc. We are not gyms as we are against using traditional machines. But prefer to use group activities and peer pressure to motivate each other.”

“Bangalore is becoming a fitness hub right now. With years of IT, lives have become sedentary with back problems, RSI and big bellies as we have also become a pub city and everyone likes their drink once a week."

"I see a need in having fitness classes. Some have been asked by their doctors to start physical exercise. Fitness in India is still a luxury but in Europe it’s a necessity.”

She adds that the element of fun is so much in Zumba fitness that even a housewife will be motivated to take to it.

For more on her get on to

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