Most soccer stars spend their days practicing their free kicks and running laps around the field. When Aurelio Figari found himself at the end of his successful pro soccer career, he knew he wanted to help others get fit. He found Strong by Zumba®, and he’s now a world-renowned instructor. Here is his story.
ZLife: Tell us about yourself!
Aurelio: I was actually born in Miami but my family moved to Lima, Perú when I was six, so that’s where I was raised. I now live back in Florida, just west of Fort Lauderdale. I was always interested in sports, as early as I can remember I always wanted to do something active and competitive. I used to swim, play squash, and even do kickboxing all at a very competitive level. I started playing soccer and the sport became my passion. It all led to me playing professional soccer when I turned 18, and I played for nine years. I am grateful because I learned a lot from playing soccer; I am who I am because of what my career – and my family – taught me. But, most importantly, I can use my athletic background to teach and empower other people to be their best selves.
ZLife: How did you first learn about Strong by Zumba®?
Aurelio: I learned about Strong by Zumba® through my boss, Jennifer, at the gym where I worked. She felt I would enjoy the program, and she saw something in me that told her I would be able to teach this intense, amazing class. I became licensed in June 2017 and the rest is history!
ZLife: How has Strong by Zumba® improved your health?
Aurelio: Strong by Zumba® improved my health by giving me motivation to workout. Surprisingly, I’m the kind of person that needs to have motivation to train. I need to look forward to seeing progress or a personal best. With Strong by Zumba® I found myself working out just because – I found a program that I really enjoy. I think it’s the combination of workout routines that rely on your own body weight (my favorite) and music that I love.
ZLife: What advice do you have for people who are interested in Strong by Zumba®, but haven’t gotten started yet?
Aurelio: My advice for people who are interested in Strong by Zumba® but haven’t started yet would be… what are you waiting for? Jokes aside, I would advise them not to be scared by the moves that seem to be a little hard for two reasons. First, there is a level for everyone and your instructor will always be able to make the program fit your fitness level. And second, once you get control of the moves, you are going to feel empowered. You’ll be so happy to be working out in a program that pushes your limits through movement and music! It can’t get any better than that.