It all started with a little studio I refurbished with friends and cousins who used to come to my classes, but 2010 was when I started Zumba classes, and much bigger crowds became interested. Sometimes women come up to me and say “we’re not here for the workout, we come here to leave happy”, which is what brings people back to it. Now we have a little community who say it’s turned their life around. Some people say they’ve turned into different people through my classes. Dance really triggers something in them mentally - it’s like going to a party but you’re not really at a party. Some people say “oh yes she dances, and does all these terrible things”, but it’s a fitness class [laughs]. Dance is still taboo here, even the word in arabic has a negative connotation.
It’s the one hour some of them have to forget about all of that and escape and come together, as equals. No one cares who you’re married to, what you drive, what family you come from, whether you’re Kuwaiti or not.
It’s not about the fitness, it’s about the fun; Women don’t get a lot of choices if they want to go dancing... You have to wait for a wedding.