The Zumba® fitness program is a high-energy workout that is based on Latin music and dance. It was created by fitness trainer Beto Perez in his native Colombia. During the mid-1990s, Perez arrived at his workout studio only to discover that he had forgotten to bring the music he used to teach aerobics classes. The only music available was on the CDs he had in his car. The CDs, a mixture of explosive salsa and meringue music, were some of his favorites.
Perez decided to use the music, improvising aerobics movements for his students to follow. The class was a success and the Zumba® fitness program was born. Soon, the Zumba® classes were his most sought-after workouts at his fitness center. Perez eventually decided to take his program to the U.S.
It wasn't long before entrepreneurs Alberto Perlman and Albert Aghion convinced Perez to create a company surrounding the Zumba® fitness program. The goal was to offer Zumba® classes worldwide. Their dream soon became a reality.
By 2002, the Zumba® fitness program signed an agreement with a large infomercial corporation to promote the program. As a result, a vast number of DVDs and videos were sold to the U.S. market. The fitness program quickly became popular, winning people over with its energetic Latin-inspired exercise moves.
Soon, the Zumba® fitness program designed a program to train instructors. By 2006, the fitness company boasted 2,000 instructors located around the world. Two basic instructor workshops are offered. The Zumba® Basic Skills Instructor training workshop teaches instructors how to teach basic Zumba® classes. The Zumba® Gold workshop is designed to teach instructors how to lead classes for older adults and those who are beginning exercisers.
The word zumba is Spanish slang for "move fast and have fun." This is the goal of all Zumba® workouts. Exercisers are encouraged to shake their hips, lose themselves in the spicy Latin music, and pretend they are at a party. Followers of the Zumba® fitness program burn calories as they dance and have fun. Some Zumba® exercises report that it's possible to burn between 700 and 1,000 calories an hour using the program.
The program blends Latin rhythms with simple dance steps, incorporating interval and resistance training. The exercises are designed to tone and reshape the body. Trademark movements of the program include dance steps borrowed from meringue, samba, salsa, reggaeton, cumbia, and flamenco.
The company sells DVDs and videos through its websites and infomercials. DVDs are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. Those who are tired of the traditional forms of working out may wish to consider trying a Zumba® class. Whether they take a class in person or exercise using one of the company's DVDs, they may find a more exciting way to lose some weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle.