Zumba, The Hottest Dance Fitness Craze
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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: www.zumba.com
Zumba Workout DVD's
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.