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Zumba, The Hottest Dance Fitness Craze

Updated on January 14, 2014

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Do you Zumba? You do if you attend weekly classes that move you to a Latino beat in what is more dance than aerobic exercise. It’s the hottest fitness craze since the Denise Austin televised exercise program, touting over 10 million participants. That’s a lot of bodies gyrating out there!

If you do not watch television, and never get to the gym or exercise department in a retail store, you may not be aware of what Zumba is. I first noticed it on the infomercials, but did not investigate. I assumed it was just one more of the many aerobic exercise classes that pull people into buying their products.

In a way, that is exactly what it is. There are all sorts of Zumba tapes and dance wear that are available for purchase enabling a person to ‘Zumba’ in the privacy of their homes. But, the word Zumba, trademarked by the entrepreneurs who promoted the fitness program, has become a household word. Partially, due to its great popularity, but also due to the wonderful marketing tactics, this has bought Zumba its own infomercial time.

What is Zumba?

Created as a form of aerobic exercise it is designed to get the heart pumping through the form of dance. As a former dancer, and dance instructor, this is the type of exercise which appeals to me. Since our local gym is one of the locations that hold Saturday Zumba classes, I decided to check it out. What I discovered was a room filled with women of all ages and all levels following set routines choreographed by its founder: Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez.

How the Zumba 'Party' Developed

The history of Zumba began in the 1990’s in Cali, Colombia, where Beto was teaching aerobics at a local studio. One day, he inadvertently forgot his music. Pulling his own Latino tapes from his backpack he offered an aerobic version of salsa, meringue and other Latino dance styles and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

He brought his dance fitness style to Miami, Florida in 2001 where a student soon introduced him to two interested partners. Within a short time the three Colombian men: Alberto Perez, Alberto Aghion, and Alberto Perlman had trademarked the style under the name ‘Zumba’ and the dance craze spread like wildfire.

Today, Zumba is taught in over 90,000 locations across 110 countries. Instructors must be certified to teach the Zumba routines and a class location can be found by going on their website:

Is Zumba for You?

After only one class I knew what all the hype was about. Zumba is a high energy, exhilarating and fun class. With the routines lasting from 2-3 minutes and ranging from Latino to Hip Hop, and Country Western to Belly Dancing there is never a dull moment. The steps are easy to follow and the company slogan of, ‘ditch the workout-join the party’ holds true to its name.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve exercised, or you are interested in trying something new, I would highly recommend a Zumba class. Go alone, or go with a friend, but I guarantee you will be back for more.


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks prairieprincess. I haven't taken a class lately at my old gym b/c I work on Saturdays...but, I'm thinking of getting a DVD for my home. Thanks for reading and let me know if you venture out there, LOL

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Cool hub! I know of people that are taking Zumba but still wasn't sure of it was! This is a good explanation and it makes me feel comfortable about trying this out. I enjoyed your personal take on it, too. It sounds like it's good for people of all levels. Great work! Voted up, awesome, interesting and useful.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi fadibody-sorry it took me 2 weeks to notice your comment and approve it. It did not come up on my new comment alert. In fact, it came up with questioning if it was spam??? Anyway, nice to hear from you again.

    • fadibody profile image


      9 years ago

      Definitely, Great hub! Zumba isn't just a dance craze, it a healthy way to get your heart pumping. By the way, if you want to know further details on fitness and health kindly visit .Thanks!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Alicia and Anglnwu-thanks for the comments. Alicia-please check it out. It is ALL good and Anglnwu has written a much more detailed hub about the history so check it out on her site.

      Angln-I enjoyed your hub. It is a fun, fun, fitness program.

    • anglnwu profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub. Yes, zumba all the way. Thanks for sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I can see that Zumba is great fun and good exercise. I need an exercise to be fun in order to encourage me to do it! I love walking, but I'd like to try a Zumba class too. Thanks for the information.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Pam, I'm glad to know a fellow Zumbanion, LOL

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have been going to Zumba classes for a couple of years now and love it. You pick up the steps faster than you think. It is great aerobic exercise but I find it to be so much fun as well. This is a good informative hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Rich, how are you tonight? Thank you for your comments. Do you dance? That's funny...Zumba to the next one--Okay, I am off, then. Have a good night. :)

    • richtwf profile image


      9 years ago

      It's looks like a great way to exercise and enjoy yourself at the same time, so I think this will appeal to many people who like to exercise and dance too. I know that dancing can really make you sweat and burn calories, so it doesn't surprise me that this dancing with its Latino element has caught on like it has.

      Useful hub and thanks for sharing Denise - Another one down and great job and zumba to the next one!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Ann-LOL oh, that is funny.

      Ladies-you will love Zumba. You may start apprehensively, but you will dance your butt off, which is what the point is, right? And...leave class with a smile on your face.

      Get a tape to start with but it is much more fun to be with a grp The energy is contagious And it is very uplifting.

      Monica-don't know when your bday is so Happy Birthday Early Treat yourself You count!!! Monica, FB me an invite plse

      Elise-nice meeting you. Set your goal (see my success in 2011 hub) and set your sails for the other shore!

    • MonicaRobinson profile image


      9 years ago

      You go girlfriend! It is just about birthday time for me and I always tell myself I am going to join a gym. But, alas, time always gets away from me. Maybe this year will be the year. Not sure about Zumba where I live, but I will be happy with any type of work out. Great hub!

    • EliseVanCise profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      Great hub! Zumba looks like it's a blast. I'm thinking of trying one of the videos. Weight is a struggle for me and it's even more difficult trying to find a fun exercise routine. Thanks for the info!

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      9 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      it looks wonderful - think I'll just go lie down in a darkened room now!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I loved jazzercize and took this while living in Fairbanks Alaska. However, none to be found in this part of NC The zumba is for all levels of fitness and isn't really a 'dance' but just movements. Hope you think about it, it is fun!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Denise,

      Cool hub! I had never heard of it until last year when my son's girfriend started taking Zumba classes.

      She says the classes are awesome. I prefer power walks and bike riding as I've always been a very self-conscious and unco-ordinated dancer.

      I did do Jazzercize a few years ago, but there were a lot of exercises mixed in with the dance steps.

      Thanks for sharing another great hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Darski, thanks for your comments. Hope you check it out if you want a fun time working out.

      Erin, LOL that is what happened to me. It is such a catchy word, but all I kept thinking was it was some type of new workout with equipment-another thighbuster or something, LOL When I finally got the nudge from my gym I found a co-worker in the class. Then, I got a second co-worker involved. It really is like a giant one hour intensive PARTY ! But, you don't need any experience. That's the good part. I hope you go with your sister sometime to check it out. Have fun.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 

      9 years ago from Maryland

      great hub = my sister has been talking about Zumba for a few months and I had no idea what she was talking about! thanks for clearing it up!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      9 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Get hub, I was thrilled to learn this is a new dance's time for me to get my old heart beating, thumbs up, get hub...peace & Love darski


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