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Don't challenge Suyumi Quiroz to a dance off. This certified Zumba instructor is a celebrity trainer in her own right, and big name brands like Reebok have taken note. She's currently sponsored by the athletic wear brand and travels around the country leading Zumba master classes and special events for charities. Luckily for us, Miami is her home base and you can easily catch her samba dancing at 24 Hour Fitness in Miramar, Pembroke Pines, and Coconut Grove.
"Respect all. Fear no one." – Suyumi Quiroz
"I've been teaching fitness for 20 years, since I was 13 back in Mexico," she admits. As a child Suyumi was an athlete and got into teaching fitness because her sister needed a substitute one day. "I guess I always liked challenges so I said, ok, give me the music and I'll do what I can."
Suyumi went on to move to the U.S., first to Texas and then to Chicago where she helped open several gyms and eventually got a position with Equinox. She moved down to Miami to be in charge of group fitness at the company's South Beach location and later at Equinox Aventura, but realized that management wasn't the right fit.
"I realized I loved my job and was making good money, but I was incomplete because I was not teaching my own classes. I was making my instructors rock stars, but I wanted to be one too," she says. It was around the time that she stepped down that she met Beto Pérez, the founder of Zumba, who invited this firey redhead to join the program. The rest is history.
"I found that Zumba was fun and easy for everyone," she admits, "and it gave me a different view on how we should be approaching our clients and programming, taking the simple way to make them feel successful instead of just being fancy and forgetting that these people actually want to change their lives."
Suyumi is notorious for her insane amount of energy, but while she maintains her bounce, she keeps it professional in the studio although she admits to having a funny side. "My students don't know I'm actually a dork," she admits. "When I'm teaching I can be happy, but as a woman in this industry you have to have some type of character. People may think I'm serious, but I'm not. It's a cover to get respect, but I can be fun too!"
One surprising thing about Suyumi is her taste in music: Latin is actually not her favorite genre to play in class (although "La Gozadera" by Marc Anthony and Gente de Zona is her favorite song of the moment). One thing that's not? Her humble attitude amidst her celebrity, something she's learned from Zumba's founder himself.
"Beto taught me how to be humble and work hard," she says. "Never forget that you're a human being just like everyone else."