Alberto “Beto” Perez is the creative genius behind Zumba®, the fitness formula that has revolutionized the way millions of people think about exercise. Beto began as a fitness instructor in his home city of Cali, Colombia. One day, upon arriving to one of his classes, he realized he had left his traditional aerobics music at home. Improvising, he unpacked some salsa and merengue tapes from his backpack, popped them into the sound system, and taught his first Zumba class!
After a relatively successful career as a trainer and choreographer in Colombia, Beto decided to make the big move to the United States. Armed only with his personal charisma and unstoppable will power, he sold all his belongings and moved to Miami in search of the American Dream. He didn’t speak a word of English.
At first, Beto had a rough time settling into his new environment (he ran out of money and had to sleep in park for two nights!), but due to his relentless dedication, he managed to quickly surpass this period of hardship. After several months, his talent and magnetism landed him a job as an instructor at a prestigious local health club. Not surprisingly, with his catchy, danceable aerobic routines performed to the tune of upbeat Latin rhythms, Beto’s ZUMBA® class soon became the most popular at the gym – just like had occurred in his native Colombia! He also became renowned due to his sincere passion for making people enjoy their workout, consequently improving their lifestyles.
In 2001, his innovative style caught the attention of two entrepreneurs: Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. Instinctively seeing Zumba’s enormous business potential, they wasted no time in teaming up with Beto to create Zumba Fitness, LLC. The three of them have since turned Zumba into a worldwide movement. Today, Zumba is one of the largest fitness programs in the world, with more than 3.5 million DVD’s sold, 4 million weekly class attendees, and some 25,000 Zumba Fitness instructors in over 40 countries. Beto recently came back from China, where he trained hundreds of new instructors in the Zumba philosophy – he says “I feel like Forrest Gump when he started running, I just started dancing, and everybody danced with me!“
Beto & co's biographies
Alberto “Beto” Perez is the creative genius behind Zumba®, the fitness formula that has revolutionized the way millions of people think about exercise. Read his biography, and discover who the other zumba instructors are.
Salvador is the land of Axe Music, Samba and Carnaval. In Brazil they say that when you are born in Bahia you have God in your heart and the Devil in your hips. Dance was part of Bruno’s life since he was a toddler. He showed his first dancing moving when he was 3 years old. In Brazil he has danced several styles including Flamenco, Maculele, Samba de Roda, Ijexa, Pagode and Frevo.
It was during his teenage years that Bruno identified more with the folklore of his land and became passionate about Samba and Axe. Axe means “positive vibes, good energy, happiness…” It was with that definition that in the late 80s, Salvador created the Axe Music. Everybody in this city embraced the new style incorporating it in the Carnaval traditions. At the age of 14 Bruno was already a Carnaval-Pro.
He came to US to finish his education and complete his Masters Degree. Here he met his new family and became an US Citizen. Bruno has a Masters Degree in Food Science and Nutrition. In 2008 he found Zumba, or like he wants to say; “Zumba found him…” He knew that with Zumba he would have the chance to incorporate Axe and Samba to a good workout. Bruno is also a certified Zumba Instructor.
Zumba is Bruno’s new passion. In his class you will be delighted with all of the rhythms he incorporates in his routines: Salsa, Merengue, Belly Dance, Flamenco, Tango, Cumbia, Samba, Brazilian Funk, Forro, Lambada, Arrocha, Pagode and of course lot’s of Axe Music.
Gina Grant was born on June 27th in Hayward, California. During her childhood years, she was drawn into the art of dance. This was accredited to her mother and grandmother’s dream of becoming dancers. She began her destiny at the age of four and over time, mastered various genres including Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Hawaiian, Tahitian, Musical Theatre, and now Zumba. Dance has always been an outlet and an instrument used to express her feelings, as well as stay in shape. “Dance has always been my passion,” according to Gina. This passion has led her to become a professional dancer/choreographer for over 15 years and counting. Over the course of time she has reigned as a phenomenal dance instructor for children, teens and adults. As a professional dancer/choreographer, Gina danced for the NBA as well as performed in numerous televised events all over the world.
The most important accomplishment for Gina was having a family. She is a very family oriented woman who is married to Brian Grant, a former NBA player, and together they have four beautiful children.
The Grant family was relocated from Portland, Oregon to Miami, Florida in 2000. While living there, she discovered Zumba. For seven years, she was fortunate to have been trained in Zumba by Beto Perez, the creator. After being a regular student, she became an instructor, and is currently a Zumba Education Specialist and International Presenter. Gina is featured in the latest Zumba Fitness DVD Collection, and can been seen on the Zumba infomercial. Her latest project is appearing as a host in the new Zumbatomic DVD’s for kids, launcing in 2009. Gina is a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with both AFAA and ACE.
With the support of her family, Gina is able to continue to live passionately through dance, with the hopes of inspiring others through her instruction.