Meet 14th Street Y Zumba instructors Celeste Rivera and Bobby Albanez!
Celeste is an AFAA certified group fitness instructor, dancer and choreographer. She trained at Ballet Hispanico of New York for 15 years and performed with their student company throughout the NYC metro area. In addition to studying dance, she studied political science and Latin American studies at Barnard College and law at Hofstra University.
Bobby was born and raised in Los Angeles. Bobby pursued his passion for dance in college, where he learned the fundamentals of ballet, jazz, modern, African, and Bollywood dance. He fell in love with Zumba during his very first class, which felt like a “huge party,” and has been teaching dance since 2011.
Why do you love Zumba?
Celeste: I started taking dance classes when I was 3 years old, and I was hooked. I love Zumba because it brings dance and the rhythms of the world to the masses. You don’t need dance experience or knowledge about any of the styles to be able to do them in a class, and you walk out feeling energized and inspired as well as having learned something new about the world.
Bobby: I have always had a passion for dance. Especially growing up in a Hispanic household; every chance we had, we just danced. I love Zumba because, in a hour class, you can feel like you have touched every part of the world because of the fusion of the music. One moment you’re in South America [and] the next you’re in India.
What is your favorite workout song?
Celeste: It’s hard for me to pick just one. I love music, and it also depends on the workout. It can be anything from hip hop to pop to salsa to country to dancehall. But one of my favorite songs right now is Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
What makes a good workout playlist?
Bobby: I don’t have a favorite [workout song] because my music playlist is always changing, but my current favorite is U-RITE by THEY. A good playlist has to have different levels emotionally. In my opinion, if one moment I’m listening to Trap and then the next moment I’m listening to 60’s soul music, then that playlist is hot.
What is your number one wellness tip?
Bobby: Do it for the ENDORPHINS!
Celeste: My number one wellness tip is to do what you feel passionate about, whether it is Zumba, yoga, weight lifting, running, or anything else. Find what you love and stick with it. It will be the easiest commitment you ever made.
Check out our full schedule of fitness classes, including Zumba. For more information about the 14th Street Y, please visit our website at 14StreetY.org.