Zumba, a dance-style exercise inspired by the sultry, sexy sounds of Latin America, turns fitness into parties. In the 1990s, Colombian exercise teacher Alberto “Beto” Perez accidentally invented a new form of exercise/dance and brought it to the US and the world. Zumba is almost like exercise in disguise, because a typical class will have you burning between 500 and 1000 calorie, but you’ll be having so much fun dancing that you won’t even realize you’re exercising!
The Zumba moves combine all the heritage of Latin dancing – mambo, salsa, merengue, samba with a bunch of other types of movement – hip-hop, belly dance, Bollywood, martial arts, and exercise like squats and lunges – all done to exciting, invigorating, world beat music – soca, flamenco, tango, cumbia, reggae, merengue, salsa – any music that gets you up to its pounding beat and makes you sweat, shimmy and shake off those extra pounds, they’ll do Zumba to it!
There’s no set routine or complicated moves, although the teachers do lead the way. It’s not like exercise at all! It’s just a matter of getting up, getting into the beat, and dancing like no one is watching you!