Cover model and role model Michelle Lewin is a proud South Florida local and one of the biggest stars in the fitness industry. Her dynamic energy and commitment to wellness have inspired millions to adopt their own fitness journey.

We sat down with Michelle before she hosted her STRONG by Zumba class at the SLS Brickell.

Give us background on your collaboration with STRONG by Zumba.

I’ve been working with STRONG by Zumba for a while now. Miami marks my 10th time hosting a class. We went to Paris, England, Germany – so many places around the world. I’m happy to be a part of this program cause it’s very different and motivating from your regular group HIIT workout. It’s a 60-minute full-body workout where you truly work every muscle.

Is HIIT now your go-to form of cardio? How often do you take a class and/or practice at home?

Everyone recognizes me as a big in fitness person that’s always in the gym lifting weights, but Strong by Zumba has really changed my fitness routine. Normally, I do cardio 3 to 4 times a week but now I’m more motivated to do so. The music makes you forget you’re exercising.

What makes you love STRONG by Zumba?

I love this program because simply you stop counting. You stop focusing on repetitions and you get taken away by the music, which is the most fun part of the class. If you go to a class by STRONG by Zumba, the ambiance, the environment, the vibe from others really motivates you and challenges you.

But it’s not a Zumba class?

STRONG by Zumba is a fitness class, it has nothing to do with dance. It’s a set of exercises that comes accompanied by its own music. It motivates you because of the music, which is the primary function of the class. But it has nothing to do with dance.

What kind of people take a STRONG By Zumba class?

This class isn’t just for women; men also participate. This is a program that’s flexible to any need or skill level – beginner or expert. There are people who can do jumps with burpees and others who can’t. It’s for any type of person, age or shape. You don’t need weights or anything extra. Simply, you consistently move and work with your weight.

What’s your go-to song to kick-off a class or workout?

I listen to everything really. I’m a person with a wide variety of music taste. I love Steve Aoki, who is associated with STRONG by Zumba. He arranges the music for them.

I love reggaeton, salsa, anything really to train. It all depends on the mood I wake up in. When I have that drive to workout I listen to rock.  When I’m not in the mood to workout or feel as motivated, I listen to Spanish love songs.

What other projects are you currently working on?

While also working with STRONG by Zumba, I’m really focused now on my own business and brand. Right now I’m launching a casual fitness wear line. I have a book that I just released that covers my diet and nutrition plan — what I eat what I don’t and even goes a little into my own personal life.

In terms of my brand, designing has really allowed me to discover a different side of me. It’s a lot of work but it’s been going great and I love it. get to portray my identity into my brand. Little by little, we’re achieving.

What makes your brand different from other brands?

I’m a consumer and when I want to put on a pair of leggings I want to feel comfortable, strong, pretty, sexy and elegant — all at the same time. Those are details that aren’t as apparent across major brands and what I’m trying to accomplish with mine.

The fabric allows for a good fit. I want a brand that compliments my curves and muscles. I’m aiming to place that emphasis on every piece we produce.

What’s unique about the Strong by Zumba classes?

What makes it different from all other programs is undeniably the music. STRONG by Zumba first makes a routine and then, depending on that workout, they produce the music to put on top with the music. The music comes paired specifically for each movement you do. Each punch, jump, movement comes accompanied with its own beat or sound – which makes it unique from other programs.

Visit strongbyzumba.com to see what gyms are offering the program nearby you. You can also find the 60-minute and 20-minute rendition of the program on Amazon and FitPlan.