Zumba is the Latin-inspired dance party fitness program that has taken the exercise world by storm and is proving that it is not just a passing trend. It is an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning program that is moving millions of people towards joy and health.
Zumba was created by dancer and choreographer Albert Perez in Columbia in the 1990’s. At the time, Perez was a traditional aerobics teacher. One evening, he forgot his aerobics music and improvised by using his own music tapes which he had in his backpack. They included the salsa and merengue music he grew up with. He had the students focus on letting the music move them. His class loved the invigorating, party atmosphere. They could not stop smiling. On that day, his revolutionary fitness concept was born – the Zumba Fitness Party.
Women and men of all ages, sizes, body types and personalities work together in the same Zumba class. One Zumba lover who once weighed 245 pounds is now down to 190 since joining the class. Zumba not only makes you feel good; it makes you look good too. It relieves stress and gives you more energy. It promotes a healthy life style. Some say it is like going out to dance whenever they go to class.
There are now more than 12 million people in 125 countries who take Zumba classes. In Buffalo, New York, there are more than 400 Zumba classes within a 25 mile range. Classes have been known to exceed 100. The Zumba exercises incorporate music with both fast and slow rhythms with resistance training geared toward fitness and losing weight. The music uses the following dance styles: Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Mambo, Flamenco, Chachacha, Reggaeton, Samba, Belly dancing, Hip Hop music and the Tango.
There are now Zumba conventions, Zumbathons for Charity, and even Zumba clothes for men, women and children. Several specialized classes have evolved such as the following:
Zumba Gold – for older people and people with physical limitations. This style takes the Zumba formula and modifies the moves and pacing to suit the needs of the active older participant, as well as those just starting their journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Zumbatomic – is geared towards kid aged 4 to 12 and incorporates urban dance styles like hip-hop, reggaeton and pop with concepts such as coordination, discipline, confidence and teamwork, while increasing focus and boosting metabolism.
Aqua Zumba – is a workout in the pool similar to water aerobics. It is a safe, challenging, water-based workout that enhances cardio-conditioning, body toning and exhilaration.
Zumba Toning incorporates weights filled with sand which are shaken like castanets to build up muscle. Students learn how to use lightweight, maraca-like Toning Sticks to enhance rhythm and tone all their target zones, including arms, abs, glutes and thighs.
To find a class near your home, please click here and enter your city.
The Buffalo News, 6-4-11