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Zumba Fitness is an exercise program developed by Alberto Beto Perez, a Colombian dancer and choreographer in Cali, Colombia in 1998. He was an aerobics instructor who forgot to bring his usual music cassette to his aerobics class and therefore replaced it with cassettes of Latin dance music such as salsa and merengue. The initial version of this dance form was called Rumbacize from rumba meaning party in Spanish and Jazzercize. He then joined Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion in 2001 to create fitness videos. Due to the popularity of these videos, they expanded into classrooms the world over. The word Zumba was expressly created as a brand name to popularize this fitness program. Claudia Leitte, the Brazilian pop singer, became its international ambassador.
There are 16 core steps in Zumba fitness. The 4 basic rhythms used are salsa, merengue, reggaeton, and cumbia. Each of these rhythms have 4 fundamental steps. Zumba classes are usually an hour long and it is possible to burn as much as 600 kcal during a session. The different types of music used are samba, hip-hop music, flamenco, mambo, tango, soca, axe music, chachacha, and of course cumbia, salsa, reggaeton, and merengue. Zumba classes are versatile and can be adapted for any age level and any fitness level.
Zumba Fitness classes are of different types and you can choose the one that best works for you. Zumba Gold is designed for beginners and older people. Zumba Step is suitable for lower body workout and includes step aerobics and Zumba routines that are danced in tune to Latin dance rhythms. Aqua Zumba is done in the swimming pool with participants in shallow water and instructions from the poolside. The same dance movements that are taught in Zumba Fitness have been adapted so it can also be used in the pool. Zumba Toning targets the thighs, arms, abs, and other muscles in the body. Participants get strength training and cardio workouts with this program. Zumba in the Circuit imparts circuit training with dance for 30 minutes with strength exercises at timed intervals. Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. are designed for kids between the ages of 7 and 11. Zumba Gold-toning is for older participants who want to improve muscle strength, mobility, posture, and coordination. Zumba Sentao is a workout on the chair with using body weight to strengthen and tone the body. Strong by Zumba, Zumbini, A Plate by Zumba are the other programs that are part of the Zumba Fitness program.
The biggest advantage of Zumba is that it does not make you feel like you are doing exercise. You get to groove to the beat of toe-tapping music that also ensures you are burning out calories and strengthening your muscles. Going for regular Zumba workouts also improves your flexibility and strengthens your core. Zumba gives all people irrespective of whether they can dance or not an opportunity to be part of this dance fitness class. Zumba instructors have to be ZIN or Zumba Instructor Network certified to be able to conduct classes.