***This post was sponsored by Zumba Kid Friendly***
A little fact about the editor of Growing in Jersey City, Jenna Firshein: She was a licensed Zumba instructor for 3 years, finding it after college. It is so much fun and reminds her of dancing in her younger years. So, when Kausar, owner of Zumba Kid Friendly, reached out about her Zumba Classes including Zumba Kids we knew that we had to chat. We also got to feel her flavor and do some warm up songs with her and the children (video at the bottom).
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kausar. I have two kids 4 years old and 18 months. I am biochemist by profession but decided to become a stay at home mom when my daughter was born since its very demanding job. I love being a mom! I also have a nonprofit organization called Mommies Heart to Heart. Our mission is to teach our children to be givers and my kids are the inspiration behind my nonprofit. I also love traveling and miss it because it is tough to do with kids.
How long have you been in Jersey City and what brought you here?
My husband works in Jersey City and we decided to move here in 2014 to be closer to his work. The first time I visited, I fell in love with the city.
We are here to talk about your Zumba Business.
Can you tell the readers out there what is Zumba? What can we expect from a class?
Zumba is an aerobic fitness program featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music, but now includes dances from all over the world. I love to incorporate the latest songs from the radio and my members love it; I call it a feel good dance and music session. You can expect a high impact dance workout that does not require prior knowledge about dance. And the best part is you are burning a lot of calories without realizing it.
Who can do Zumba?
Zumba is pretty much for everyone any age or gender. In fact there is a specific type of Zumba class for everyone including elderly, kids, and even babies.
What is your fitness journey/background?
I have always been into health and fitness. As a teenager, I always struggled with my weight. And most of the time I would get myself into diets that would work only for a short term. Working out in a gym is too boring for me so, I always avoided it (Me too!!). In 2009, I discovered Zumba and I absolutely loved It. I never missed a class. I finally started to feel more fit and stayed within the same weight range that made me feel great and comfortable.
I really enjoy the classes and considered pursuing a career in Zumba. A few years later I got licensed shortly after I gave birth to my daughter in 2012. When she was about 2 years of age I decided to start teaching and that’s when I came up with the idea of having on-site childcare. I was a stay at home mom and I really felt the need for a program that accommodates you and your child that you don’t have to pay a fortune for. I spoke with the management of my building and they allowed me to have my classes.
In 2014, Mommy and Me Zumba was finally launched, which was a great hit among the stay at home moms. I continued that for a couple of years and then became pregnant with my son and had to put a hold on the classes. After giving birth to my son, I again gained a tremendous amount of weight. It was so hard to do anything with a newborn and a toddler! Being totally fed up where I was, I started to write down my goals and one was to lose this weight before my sons first birthday and launch Zumba classes again. And I DID it. I lost 35 lbs in about 3 months and launched Zumba classes again. It was the most amazing feeling.
What sets your class apart?
In my classes I always encourage stay at home moms to get out of the house and have that time to themselves. I was there at one point and I know how it feels to be stuck at home with your child.
The on-site childcare really sets my classes apart from many other classes in town. It provides a piece of mind to the parent. While the mom is getting some exercise and feeling good about herself she knows that child is here and they are ok.
You also do Zumba Kids.
What makes Zumba Kids different from other children’s fitness classes?
I recently launched the very first Zumba Kids class in downtown Jersey City.
There are several kids’ classes in this area, but what sets Zumba Kids apart is the fact that it is designed to develop healthy life style, teamwork, memory, self-esteem, creativity, and cultural awareness. It is a fun and educational way to keep the little ones fit and active. My classes are designed for the kids to explore a new country every week; learning about where it is on the map, their culture, their money, and most of all learn their dances.
What can we look forward to with Zumba with Kausar in 2017?
I am looking forward to extending my business and incorporating as a fitness company. I am adding more adults classes and bringing Zumbini to Jersey City which is for ages 0-4 years.
Something fun - what are your favorite places in Jersey City (restaurants, parks, Farmer's markets, etc)?
I love the parks in downtown area. We live one stop away from Liberty Science Center, which is wonderful. I love Left Bank Burger and Rasoi Restaurant.