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Zumba Fitness

Updated on October 13, 2014

Zumba

Zumba is an aerobic workout inspired by Latin dance and music. The routines incorporate a variety of styles including calypso, cumbia, flamenco, mambo, merengue, rumba, and salsa. There's also hip-hop, African, and pop added in.

It was created by Miami based dancer, choreographer, and fitness trainer Alberto "Beto" Perez. As the story is told... at a class he was teaching, after realizing he had forgotten his aerobics music, he ran out to his car and grabed whatever tapes he had. They were traditional Latin salsa and merengue music. He had to wing it, and when his students loved the class he realized there was something to it. And Zumba was born.

Where did the name Zumba come from? In Colombia "zumba" is an onomatopoeic word for the buzzing of a bee...it also means moving fast. Yup, that just about explains a Zumba class. ;)

Even if you think "there's no way there will be a class near me" you may be surprised. I was! When I last checked, there are 104 Classes offered within 25 miles of my town. Who knew?!

Find a Zumba Class in your area.

Zumba!

My Zumba Experience

I first heard of Zumba on a message board. A few moms I post with had mentioned going to classes and I didn't know what it was. I looked it up and knew I had to find a class for me right away. I couldn't believe there was one right in my town. It was actually at the dance studio I have taken adult dance classes in, and my daughter has taken classes in. Since neither of us had been going that year I had no idea that a Zumba class had started in October 2008.

My first class was on Wednesday, December 17th 2008. I knew I was doomed when the teacher asked "Who's here for the first time?" and I was the only one raising my hand. "Have you tried Zumba before?" No. "Have you done aerobics?" No. I quickly add But I've I taken dance. She said "Ok, good."

We all (about 12 of us, of varying ages) took the floor and she pointed to me and had me move up to fill an empty spot in the first row. Eek. At least I had a good view of her so I could see what I was supposed to be doing.

Without any instruction or explanation the music started and I just had to follow along. After the first couple of moves I started to get it. Things were going fine, but I was getting really winded. I hadn't been exercising all that much so my stamina wasn't up to speed yet.

Sometime halfway through the class I noticed my shoe was untied so I bent down to tie it. While I was that close to the ground I was so tempted to just sit down in the middle of the floor where I was. I decided against it. I got up and kept on with the group. When class finished I sat on the bench with my head against the wall. One of the women in the class asked if I needed her to walk me to my car. LOL

After my first class I went to my message board and posted: Tell me it gets easier!

I went back the next week and it was a bit better. At least I didn't have the urge to sit on the floor in the middle of class that day! Someone said they didn't think I'd be back. Oh yes, I said. I'll be here every week.

After class I was sitting on the bench again and I did look a bit ragged. The teacher came over and asked all concerned "Are you ok?" Oh dear, how embarrassing. I'm the youngest in the group! But, in my defense the others had been doing it for at least two months already.

My third week was during school vacation so I brought my daughter. She didn't want to participate so she just watched. I did much better as far as my keeping up the pace without wanting to collapse. Yay me!

Week four was even better.

So I can now answer my own question. Yes it does get easier. So if you try it, and panic after your first day, make yourself go back for the next class. You will be glad you did. It's an excellent workout, and with all that bouncing around for an hour you burn a TON of calories.

Ditch the workout, join the party!

I thought I was the last person to hear about Zumba. It was started in the late '90s and I guess it started getting popular in 2004, but I only found out about it at the end of 2008! Where have I been?

But, then when I tell my friends & family I started taking Zumba classes no one knew what I was talking about. Maybe it's a regional thing. Usually living in the Northeast we're pretty on top of things, but I guess we're late to this party.

So, I started this lens to explain it to others who might not have heard about it.

There's roughly 4 million Zumba enthusiasts and 25,000 instructors in 40 countries around the world. There are a variety of classes offered depending on where you live. Each teacher will have their own style too. If you try one and it's not the right fit for you try going to another instructor.

Zumba (Basic) is for the general exercising population.
Zumba Toning is a sculpting class using weighted sticks (that sound like maracas).
Aqua Zumba is an effective and challenging water-based workout for all ages.
Zumba Gold is for active seniors.
ZumbAtomic is a program for kids aged 4 to 12.

Now that you know about it, and hopefully found a class near you, all that's left is to get your butt there. ;) You don't need to buy anything fancy. You can wear a T Shirt and workout pants, nothing too heavy. A tank top and shorts are good too. You don't need to go out and get special shoes either. I wear regular ol' sneakers. The only thing you have to bring with you is water. Do not go to class without water ...you'll need it!

Zumba Fitness Exhilarate - The Ultimate Experience DVD Set

Zumba Exhilarate Body Shaping System DVD Set
Zumba Exhilarate Body Shaping System DVD Set

Set includes seven fitness DVDs, Zumba Toning Sticks, and a program guide.

 

Discs:
1. STEP-BY-STEP
2. ACTIVATE
3. RUSH
4. EXHILARATE
5. RIPPED
6. MIX
7. FITNESS CONCERT

Dance Sneakers


Bloch Adult Unisex Wave Sneaker
$51.00

Enhanced split-sole arch support.
TPU spin spot for easy turns.
Available in purple, purple multi, blue multi, silver, graphite, and black.



Bloch Women's Evolution Dance Sneaker
$75.00

Non marking rubber out-sole.
Leather and mesh upper.
Available in black only.


Beto Perez Instructing a Class

Where do you Zumba?

See results

Zumba Fitness for the Wii - Also Playstation 3, and Xbox 360

Zumba Fitness - Nintendo Wii
Zumba Fitness - Nintendo Wii

There are more than 30 Zumba routines. Belt for your Wii Remote is included.

 

More Great Zumba Vids

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10 TV Shows for Dancers and Dance Fans

Dance and TV have been together forever. When I was little it was Dance Fever and Solid Gold, decades later I was watching The Wade Robson Project. But now....

What do you think of Zumba?

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    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 

      4 years ago

      I vacationed in Jersey two years ago. On Saturday morning a Zumba convention rolled into the hotel. Hundreds of women addicted to fitness, Wow. The value of my room had just increased exponentially ;)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Zumba is fast dance. I took Salsa and other Latino dance classes but this might be a wee shade too quick for me.

    • sunshinetricia profile image

      Tricia Meyer 

      6 years ago from Indianapolis

      I'm addicted to Zumba! I'm considering getting some different shoes, though, because I usually use my running shoes but cannot slide in them. Great suggestions!

    • profile image

      rockcitydance 

      6 years ago

      Zumba has been a great addition to our studio. Draws a big crowd for sure!

    • HenkWillemse profile image

      HenkWillemse 

      6 years ago

      I really like it and so does my wife, especially her.

    • profile image

      genuineaid lm 

      6 years ago

      sometimes we play around with zumba on our xBox :)very fun music.

    • Khali64 profile image

      Khali64 

      6 years ago

      I love Zumba! It's really great workout although it doesn't feel like one - it feels like having a party every time :-)

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 

      6 years ago from Maryland

      I had to stop Zumba for a couple of weeks because of health issues, but I'm starting up again on Monday...I can't wait! And your lens got me pumped up and motivated to get back to it! ;)

    • top101 profile image

      top101 

      6 years ago

      Never tried zumba but it looks pretty cool. Great lens.

    • profile image

      SoundsOfBliss 

      6 years ago

      Ditch the workout join the party! I like that very much. I've seen Zumba around the place a lot. I've done Swing dancing quite a bit but nothing beats this kind of beat. Nice site.

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 

      6 years ago

      Love this lens :)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 

      6 years ago

      I myself LOVE zumba. It is so much fun, and you get such a great cardio workout. Wonderful lens, blessed by a squid angel!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 

      6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I wish I had the energy for Zumba! Think I will stick to Yoga but I really enjoyed my visit.

    • profile image

      jorourke 

      6 years ago

      Great Lens, loved it and I love a good work out! Jim

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      my FAVE gym workout!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Thank you, I hear people talk about it. But, I really did not know what it was about.

    • TopToysForKids profile image

      TopToysForKids 

      6 years ago

      It definitely helps when working out is fun. There is also strength in numbers. Win/win.

    • PearlHowie profile image

      PearlHowie 

      6 years ago

      It's changed my world. I went from unfit January desperate to get fit lady with no experience of the fitness world to Zumba Instructor by the next January! I also quit my job and went down some 2-3 dress sizes (but only 1 jeans size as they do tell you!) and made many amazing friends around the world and especially in my own neighbourhood!

    • robertsugar lm profile image

      robertsugar lm 

      7 years ago

      I will tell my wife about this.

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 

      7 years ago

      This is the most I've read about Zumba and I have to admit it kind of looks interesting.

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I haven't tried Zumba at the YMCA yet, but my friends really like it. I have a Nia DVD that I really enjoy.

    • Merstarr profile image

      Merstarr 

      7 years ago

      My BFF just tried this last week for the first time... maybe I should join her :)

    • Rhidawn profile image

      Rhidawn 

      7 years ago

      zumba is so fun! it doesnt even feel like your working out. great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I love Zumba! I just made a lens about how exercise elevates your mood and put a zumba picture on it. It makes me so happy as a person who has manic-depression. Amazing...thank you!

    • thecrabbynook profile image

      thecrabbynook 

      7 years ago

      I love Zumba! Just listing to the music makes you want to get up and dance! Just put the music on and see what happens to the people around you.

    • BrandonSharp profile image

      BrandonSharp 

      7 years ago

      I've always loved to dance, and while the moves in Zumba Fitness are really nothing new, the music and vibe are awesome.

    • profile image

      kelli320 

      7 years ago

      I HATE working out, but I LOVE Zumba. The class is fun. (My trick is to NOT be right in front or where I can see myself in the mirror. Out of sight, out of mind- I'm a fabulous dancer in my own mind, and if I can't see myself, I don't know any different, so I don't feel self-conscious.) My instructor said as long as your moving, you're doing good.I think Boch shoes are great. Thanks for the lens!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 

      7 years ago

      Zumba looks like a great fun workout. I want to try it.

    • Callmenette LM profile image

      Callmenette LM 

      7 years ago

      My good friend is a zumba instructor and for the longest time I thought zumba was a joke, that is until I took my first class. Now I understand that Zumba is a form of fitness, and its fun. =)

    • ChrisImamshah profile image

      ChrisImamshah 

      7 years ago

      I have been wanting to do Zumba for some time and a while ago bought the DVD set and tried it ...ONCE. Like you I nearly died (or so I thought) it was such a strong workout that I wasn't prepared for. I have not gone back to it since, but now after reading that you say it does get easier I will reconsider trying again. It looks like so much fun.I was also impressed to learn from your lens that there is actually one designed for active seniors. That's fantastic. People of every age should do some form of exercise as it is so good for our bodies and minds.Another great way for adults to get in some exercise is by riding, but many are afraid of falling off their bicycle. Here is a safer way to cycle

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 

      7 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Zumba sounds like fun! Great lens.

    • DogWatchColumbus profile image

      DogWatchColumbus 

      7 years ago

      I love Zumba! Haven't been able to make it to my favorite class since kiddo number three, but hoping to join back up again soon. Thanks for helping to raise awareness of this FUN workout!

    • theinfomercialg profile image

      theinfomercialg 

      7 years ago

      My wife got me to try Zumba and it's really a good workout. I'm not coordinated enough to do it on a regular basis but it was fun to go to her class with her.

    • Have2Cruise LM profile image

      Have2Cruise LM 

      7 years ago

      This looks like so much FUN!!! I just wish my ankle was recovering from a sprain or I would be giving it a shot. Can't wait to give it a try.

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 

      7 years ago from Texas

      "At least I didn't have the urge to sit on the floor in the middle of class that day!" LOL, that's too funny and I so feel your pain! I tried Zumba, but that class gets so crowded at my gym that my little ones don't want to stay in the childcare room (too many kids) so the workers always have to come get me and tell me my baby is crying. :( For now I'm doing the 30 day shred. I'll pick Zumba back up after my little ones get a bit older.

    • Suze05 LM profile image

      Suze05 LM 

      7 years ago

      I have done it at home alone..don't have the nerve to go try it in public with other people around ..but it is a lot of fun and you definitely get your workout. LOL

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 

      7 years ago

      Here in Danmark people is crazy about zumba! They enjoy it a lot, and theres an impressive number of people doing it. So, I also tried (home!!!) and I felt as shocked as you, during the first lesson!!! I know its funny, and I like the music very much, but it seems much more easier than it actually is. Anyway... it really "loads up", doesnt it?

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      7 years ago from Land of Aloha

      You said you didn't hear of it till 2008, well it was 2010 for me and I still haven't got up the nerve to go to a class. uh oh....

    • profile image

      tienlove 

      7 years ago

      Zumba is awesome! You definitely feel like a million bucks afterward. The workout is tougher than you'd think, too. Thanks for making this fantastic lens about such a great subject.

    • StLphotogirl profile image

      StLphotogirl 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with Zumba along with all the videos. It was a different perspective that I really enjoyed. Maybe I will have to give Zumba a try.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      This looks like so much fun! I would feel silly doing it at home though. The classes seem so expensive. It just looks like so much fun though! What a work out!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 

      7 years ago

      I love to Zumba. Great lens!

    • sdtechteacher profile image

      sdtechteacher 

      7 years ago

      Zumba is so much fun! Nice lens, thanks.

    • profile image

      Livinggreenandclean2011 

      7 years ago

      i just recently got Zumba for my Xbox 360 Kinect and can't wait to get it started.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've just been invited to my first Zumba class - looking forward to seeing if it's as much fun as everyone says.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I think Zumba is great. So different & brilliant. I agree with you it is all about the music. Nice lens

    • pixelposy profile image

      pixelposy 

      7 years ago

      I've tried the Wii game and I'm just having trouble getting into it. I think I'm missing the energy the actual class must have.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I've only recently heard about Zumba. Wow, it looks like a whole lot of fun! I love your story of your first class!

    • itsmuzza2011 profile image

      itsmuzza2011 

      7 years ago

      zumba is one of the best things for cardio vascular workouts and itd mega fun to do

    • janeaustengirl lm profile image

      janeaustengirl lm 

      7 years ago

      Good lens! I didn't realize there were special shoes for Zumba...so fun.

    • guitaristic profile image

      guitaristic 

      7 years ago

      I think it's a fun sport, I'll recommend it to my fiancee, she's curently into Pilates but I think she'll give it a try! Thanks for the lens, great reading ;)

    • Sheryl Polomka profile image

      Sheryl Polomka 

      7 years ago

      I just recently started Zumba classes and I'm really enjoying it!

    • KokoTravel profile image

      KokoTravel 

      7 years ago

      I absolutely LOVE my Zumba classes. I have always loved to dance so this is the perfect workout for me!

    • remanon profile image

      remanon 

      7 years ago

      This is the first I've heard of zumba which is why I love squidoo - you find great stuff here! Good and inspiring lens - thanks!!

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 

      7 years ago

      Great lens. I love Zumba; it is so much better than going to the gym. And a lot of fun.

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      Lot's of good info. Thanks.

    • MeggieMcFallon profile image

      MeggieMcFallon 

      7 years ago

      Embarrassingly enough, I can't even keep up with my basic Wii step aerobics. If my shoelace had been untied, I can guarantee you I would have taken a header into the floor:)) Really like the lens though and you've actually tempted me to try it out.. in private of course, not as brave as you Christene!

    • carlajo73 profile image

      carlajo73 

      7 years ago

      This is something I have never tried but have been wanting to! Great lens!!

    • mehulsey lm profile image

      mehulsey lm 

      7 years ago

      Zumba is so much fun...what a way to trick myself into exercising

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      This sounds like fun, but a little frightening.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR

      Christene-S 

      7 years ago

      @CCGAL: Oh yes, try it!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 

      7 years ago

      I just found a Zumba class for ladies over 50 and it's near enough that I can go ... so I've been thinking about going. This may be just what I need to get myself over there. Good job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Awesome, informative lens. I tried Zumba DVDs first, then a class in my area, then the Wii game. I love it - a great workout that is way more fun than going to the gym. I lensrolled this to my new Zumba lens!

    • BeaGabrielle1 profile image

      BeaGabrielle1 

      7 years ago

      Interesting! I think I'll try it!

    • GioiaMulas LM profile image

      GioiaMulas LM 

      7 years ago

      I think a ball engaging and fun! Too bad I've never heard of a dance like that here in Italy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I have heard about Zumba, but didn't know a lot about it. Thanks for all of the information!

    • Dazzler69 profile image

      Dazzler69 

      7 years ago

      Zumba provides a Fantastic Cardio workout which I think is captured with the information and video available on this lense. Zumba On!!

    • profile image

      yourpersonaldiet 

      8 years ago

      I have seen Zumba dance in television and it is really intresting and effective. Great information about Zumba.

    • devilsworkshopc profile image

      devilsworkshopc 

      8 years ago

      I think its fun but it is a lot of hard work!

    • freaknoodles1 profile image

      freaknoodles1 

      8 years ago

      My kids started coming home from school talking about doing Zumba in PE, and I had no idea what it was. Thanks for explaining!

    • annel lm profile image

      annel lm 

      8 years ago

      Zumba is so much fun! I'm not big fun of standard group exercises, but Zumba is like a dance and it makes huge difference

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 

      8 years ago

      I plan on starting soon...

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 

      8 years ago

      This looks like great fun! I had not heard of Zumba before but I love Latin dance and have wanted to learn for ages. I hate standard workouts so this definitely looks like my kind of exercise!

    • profile image

      Fit_Over_40_Buzz 

      8 years ago

      I just found your lens. I like it a lot. Thanks for building it. Gave you a thumbs up.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 

      8 years ago

      This is a fun way to get lots of exercise!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 

      8 years ago

      They just started a free Zumba class in our Apartment Clubhouse. You've inspired me!

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 

      8 years ago

      This is something I was considering. Glad I found your lens. Excellent presentation!

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 

      8 years ago

      I zumbad for the first time this week. Let's just say... dancing is a gift that God did NOT give me. i had fun though. I have done stepaerobics before so I felt fairly confident that I could follow along. It is interesting that you continued to go back. I decided that I would go back 4 more times before I decide if I like it or not. My instructor did not give much (if any) instruction either. I am seeing that you had a similar experience. Nice lens.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      8 years ago from Covington, LA

      I really need to loose some weight because of sitting too much. I've always danced and this zumba looks like fun. Thanks for the information.

    • LadyLovelace LM profile image

      LadyLovelace LM 

      8 years ago

      I've been thinking about getting into Zumba for a while - this might just make me get to it!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      My sister taught a Zumba class. It looks like a great way to stay or get in shape. It's gaining momentum, gyms are offering it everywhere around here.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 

      8 years ago

      I keep hearing about Zumba, but didn't know what it was. Thanks for the education! :) Great lens. Blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 

      8 years ago

      Just stopping by again to check this out. I still haven't gotten started with Zumba, but it looks like so much fun and I think it would be great exercise. I might try it at home with a DVD . . . just like the security word indicates (nerdsquid), doing this in public might not be the greatest idea :).

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      I only heard of Zumba for the first time recently and didn't know what it was. Now I'm a lot clearer on what's involved and it sounds like a fun way to get some exercise!

    • profile image

      windowjsas 

      8 years ago

      As a dancer, I think Zumba is a great idea. However, I didn't know there were so much about Zumba. I had no idea there were specific shoes and clothes for it. Thanks for all your insight!

    • profile image

      BuyTopTen 

      8 years ago

      I've seen very little about this workout. But it looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing..the video was nice to watch. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Iv heard of this on television, i heard it made your butt much more firmer lol. This is great information on zumba though, thanks!

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 

      8 years ago

      Zumba looks like so much fun! I've heard of it and I know of people doing it . . . but I've never really seen it. Thanks for this lens!

    • profile image

      CaseyKaldal 

      8 years ago

      Great Lense!Always nice to get your exercise doing something you enjoy doing.

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the information My gym has this now, so I'll have to give it a try.

    • profile image

      Zion 

      8 years ago

      Wow! I really like your lens! Very informative!...I'll keep reading & I'll share this lens to my subscribers.Thank you so much!ZionSlimming Products

    • lolicious profile image

      lolicious 

      9 years ago

      Cool lens, Zumba is where its at

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