|Founder||Alberto "Beto" Pérez|
Number of locations
Zumba is a fitness program that involves cardio and Latin-inspired dance. It was founded by Colombian dancer and choreographer Beto Pérez in 2001, and by 2012, it had 110,000 locations and 12 million people taking classes weekly. Zumba is a trademark owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC.
Zumba was created in the 1990s by dancer and choreographer Beto Pérez, an aerobics instructor in Cali, Colombia. After forgetting his usual music one day, and using cassette tapes of Latin dance music (salsa and merengue) for class, Pérez began integrating the music and dancing into other classes, calling it "Rumbacize".
In 2001, Pérez partnered with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to launch Zumba, and the trio released a series of fitness videos sold via infomercial. Pérez decided on the word "Zumba" because of its similarity to the word "rumba", the Cuban musical genre. Pérez and his partner began to replace the first letter of "rumba" until they landed on "sumba", and Pérez ultimately decided to spell it with the letter 'z' because he liked the fictional character Zorro when he was a child.
In 2012, Insight Venture Partners and the Raine Group invested in the venture. The company expanded into class instruction, and by 2015, according to Perlman, there were 14 million Zumba students in 186 countries.
Zumba classes are taught by instructors licensed by Zumba Fitness, LLC. In one Zumba class, typically around one hour long, a participant can burn up to 600 kcal, depending on the intensity. The music combines the dance styles of cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music, and tango.
Zumba instructors have the option to become members of the Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN), to receive monthly music and bimonthly training DVDs to assist with the creation of music and choreography for their classes. By 2019, there were more than 100,000 Zumba instructors around the world.
- Zumba Gold — a low-impact, lower-intensity version of a typical Zumba class.
- Zumba Step — a lower-body workout that incorporates Zumba routines and step aerobics with Latin dance rhythms.
- Zumba Toning — for people who do their workouts with toning sticks, targeting the abs, thighs, arms, and other muscles. This type of Zumba class provides participants with a cardio workout and strength training.
- Aqua Zumba — classes held in a swimming pool. The instructor leads the class poolside while participants follow in shallow water. The moves have been adapted to combine the dance movements used in a Zumba Fitness class with those used in aqua fitness classes.
- Zumba in the Circuit — combines dance with circuit training. These classes usually last 30 minutes and feature strength exercises on various stations in timed intervals.
- Zumbatomic, Zumba Kids, and Zumba Kids Jr. — classes designed for children aged 7 to 11 and 4 to 6, respectively.
- Zumba Gold-Toning — a toning class for older participants with the goal of improving muscle strength, posture, mobility, and coordination.
- Zumba Sentao — a chair workout that focuses on using body weight to strengthen and tone the body.
- Strong Nation (formerly Strong by Zumba) — a class launched in 2016 that combines high-intensity interval training with Synced Music Motivation.
- Zumbini — a class for babies and children at the ages of 0–3 years old and their caregivers. Their live classes stream on BabyFirstTV.
- A Plate by Zumba — an e-learning program to learn about healthy eating habits.
Zumba is intended as a total-body cardio and aerobic workout, which provides a large calorie consumption.[better source needed] One 2012 study found that a participant burns 300 to 900 kcal with an hour-long Zumba exercise.
Because Zumba offers different options, proponents of the Zumba program claim that it is safe for all ages, meaning anyone can participate. Some of the classes are specifically aimed at elderly people.
In 2013, the Rabbinical Court of the Ashkenazi Community in the Haredi city of Beitar Illit ruled against Zumba (a type of dance fitness) classes, although they were held with a female instructor and all-female participants. The Court said, in part: "Both in form and manner, the activity [Zumba] is entirely at odds with both the ways of the Torah and the holiness of Israel, as are the songs associated with it."
The annual ZIN-con for Zumba instructors from around the world takes place in the United States, including master classes, specialty training and a Zumba concert. In addition to the Annual Zumba Convention, Zumba also operates a number of one-day Academies where instructors can attend master classes and rhythm sessions. These events are held in cities globally. In January 2016, the first Zumba Cruise took place.
In 2005, the Zumba Academy was launched to license instructors for teaching Zumba classes.
In July 2012, Zumba released the compilation album Zumba Fitness Dance Party.
In 2010, Zumba released its first fitness video game—Zumba Fitness—on 30 November 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (on Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3), selling 3 million copies by August 2011. It was followed by Zumba Fitness 2, released in November 2011, with a similar game released on the Xbox 360 as Zumba Fitness Rush in February 2012. In October 2012, Zumba Fitness Core was released for the Wii and Xbox 360, including new features such as nutrition tips and the ability to set personal goals.
Zumba Fitness: World Party was released on 5 November 2013, featuring a new "World Tour" mode that unlocks songs from seven global destinations as a player progresses, as well as authentic customs, local rhythms and native dance styles. The game was followed a couple weeks later by Zumba Kids on 19 November 2013.
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