Working out is still very fashionable these days, but there’s more to breaking a sweat than running the treadmill or lifting those weights. There is a calorie-burning dance party in town and it’s called Zumba. This Latin dance-workout program has been the craze for a while now. There’s always someone looking for a good fitness program who has not yet heard of it. But when they see people gyrating to Shakira at the gym, they end up wanting to do the same and join around twelve million active practitioners in 125 countries worldwide.
Today, Zumba is the biggest dance fitness program in the world with more than a hundred thousand programs in the globe.
The Zumba lifestyle
The Zumba dance-fitness sensation offers choreography that even non-dancers and beginners can follow, and its upbeat Latin rhythms give the person more than an exercise regimen. It is also an immersion into the culture of celebration that characterizes Latin American culture. Alberto “Beto” Perez from Colombia created this fitness party in the 90s and now it is a global phenomenon. Zumba has become a lifestyle, with its own DVDs, CD collections, interactive video games, quarterly magazines, and even footwear and apparel.
According to Zumba historians, Perez was supposed to facilitate a dance-aero class one day. But he forgot his prepared workout music. So, the fitness instructor ran out to his car, got a salsa-rhumba-merengue cassette tape (remember those?), went back in and did an impromptu Latin dance instead of the class he was going to teach. And just like that, Zumba was born. Zumba Fitness was first established in Miami with Perez partnering with fellow Colombians Alberto Aghion and Alberto Perlman.
The enterprising trio started promoting the exercise regimen using infomercials. Eventually, Zumba became a global craze and at the height of the hype, the three Albertos decided put up the Zumba Academy. The Academy is providing courses to license instructors who can then teach Zumba to future converts.
60 minutes of celebration
If you are into cumbia, flamenco, merengue, reggaeton, salsa and prefer to experience it at the highest level of energy, and if you want a measure of hip-hop then Zumba is the perfect fitness program for you. The movements are not that difficult to learn especially when the vibe that it gives is the vibrant and free atmosphere of a dance floor. Zumba instructors are trained to add flair to the choreography while at the same time bringing to its practitioners all the positive cardio effects of a proper workout.
One of the reasons behind Zumba’s popularity is that the moves are not very complex. Some people end up giving up when a fitness program requires moves which are too intricate. There is room for interpretation and this works for those whose idea of working out it not too cerebral.
There are now five choices available for the Zumba enthusiast – the original workout plus Aqua Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumbatomic, and Zumba Gold for seniors. If your attention span is only good for 30 minutes, than Zumba in the Circuit is available for you. Whichever goes, it’s guaranteed fun and beneficial to your health. Don’t overthink it; it just might be time to “Ditch the Workout and Join the Party.”