ZUMBA! The story of how one fitness instructor nightmare became an entrepreneurial dream come true. Alberto “Beto” Perez dashed off one day in the mid 1990’s, to teach an aerobics class in his native Cali Columbia. He arrived realizing he had forgotten his music. You don’t mess with a group of women waiting to burn off some steam in a fitness class so Beto quickly improvised with music he carried in his backpack. This was merengue, salsa and other music he had grown up with. The women loved this new fun, Latin-dance style, fitness class and Zumba (pronounced Zoom ba) was born! Beto brought the program to Miami USA in 2001. It was here that 2 more Albertos, Perlman and Aghion joined with Perez to form an alliance and a business called Zumba Fitness. The business exploded and to date there are millions of people of all ages, shapes and sizes doing Zumba classes in 140,00 locations in more than 150 countries.
What exactly is Zumba? It is an easy to do, extremely fun, dance based, aerobic fitness class that uses primarily (but not exclusively) Latin music. You won’t be doing stride jumps or push-ups or running but you will sweat and you will have fun! It is choreographed but it is also repetitive. The choreography isn’t hard and it is repeated. Repeated within the song and repeated week to week. Variety comes in the music and most instructors I know change the songs one at a time avoiding teaching a whole new program. Which is probably harder on them than on you!
In your very first class, you may feel like you have 2 left feet and your brain can’t keep up, but give it another try. It will get easier. You will get more comfortable with the moves. The goal isn’t to become a great dancer, although that skill will improve too, but to improve your health through aerobic exercise, and to have fun! An instructor I know encourages people to attend 4 Zumba classes before deciding it isn’t for you. With 4 classes under your belt, your confidence will elevate. When you spot the “newbie” in the class you will smile as you realize you have already improved. Then maybe you will approach that new gal (or guy) let them know it will get easier and make a new friend!
Zumba is popular with mostly women, of all ages. I think this is because they love to dance and don’t get the opportunity to do it often enough. A Zumba fitness class can be found almost daily, it doesn’t require a partner and it is a great way to burn calories. If running on a treadmill, riding a bike, lifting weights or doing calisthenics is boring to you, or even if you love those activities but want some variety in your workouts, give a Zumba class a try! There will be a class near you. Check zumba.com to find one. Attend the 2nd annual Pretty in Pink Zumba Dance Party with guest instructor Carlos Henriquez Friday November 9th at Northport Elementary School in Port Elgin! All proceeds from this event go to Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation. It’s a great cause and an exhilarating evening!! Carlos will move you to the beat!! Join the party!