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The Global Brand Heard ‘Round The World
Written by: Elizabeth Kovar M.A. Photo by: April Greer
In life, mistakes are bound to happen. So what do you get when a mistake turns into a world-wide phenomenon? The answer is Zumba®! In the mid-90’s, Columbia native and fitness instructor, Beto Perez, forgot his traditional aerobic music one day and improvised class with a dance-like routine to salsa and merengue music. The participants, gleaming with smiles, loved the class, and that “Happy Accident” became reality in 2001.
Perez created the trademark, Zumba®, and started with DVD’s and infomercials. As demand increased, the Zumba® Academy arose in 2005 to certify and license Zumba® instructors to teach classes at fitness facilities. In addition, Zumba® launched the vibrant and chic Zumba®wear fitness clothing and accessories to dance fitness lovers, and in 2007 Zumba® went international. In 2008, the company also launched the top-selling home DVD, Zumba® Fitness Total
Body Transformation System. And if this was not enough, in 2010 Zumba® became the first fitness brand to introduce a video game workout for the Wii, Xbox and PS3 gaming systems.
Zumba® offers various Zumba® classes to include: Zumba® Fitness, Zumba® Toning, Zumba® Gold, Zumbatomic®, Aqua Zumba®, Zumba® in the Circuit, Zumba® Gold-Toning and Zumba® Sentao. Today, Zumba® is more than a workout, it is a global lifestyle brand that Zumba® enthusiasts crave.
One of Zumba®’s mantra’s, “Ditch the Workout, Join the Party”, continuously proves the reputation of its’ brand with fitness studios filled with sparkling smiles, neon colored clothing and ear-piercing “Woooohs” heard throughout the class.
Most facilities at minimum offer the original Zumba® Fitness class, which seems to be the most popular class. The classic Zumba® session is a cardiovascular “fitness party” where dance and aerobic movements are choreographed to world-beat music. Zumba®’s claim to motivation is thanks to the all-inspiring, global music utilized to keep hips shaking and hands waving.
Zumba® is not a one-size-fits- all workout. They welcome all fitness levels and walks of life to join the fun. However, unlike other popular, choreographed classes such as Body Pump or TurboKick, no one Zumba® class
is identical. Zumba® is an instructor dependent workout, which every instructor brings a different energy and style to the class. Instructor’s may come from an aerobic, fitness or dance background which creates variety in choreography and ability, or lack thereof, to move hips like the Brazilians’. If you enjoy the same thing every time, it is recommended to find an instructor and follow his or her classtolearnthechoreography in rounds or series. When skipping from class to class at various facilities it is challenging to understand the moves, as every instructor’s “round” varies. On the other hand, that maybe a benefit for those who believe, “Variety is the spice of life.”
There are thousands of certified Zumba® instructors and classes held nationwide. To find a club or instructor located near you, visit the www.zumba.com website to explore your options.
One local Seattle studio, Community Fitness, is one of the premier hot spots for Zumba®. Offering many classes each week. Community Fitness is focused on providing the best Zumba® classes and community in the region.
The hiring of new instructors is selective on skill and personality. “Our entire Zumba® staff have extensive dance backgrounds. Whether it is classical dance training, dancing in their birth country or even cheering professional basketball teams. They all bring a different approach
to the core format of the class which is what makes them special.” states Tricia Murphy Madden, Fitness Director at Community
With their variety of instructors, time slots and styles, there is a class for every fitness level. From novice to experienced exercisers and hip-shakers, each individual can create Zumba® to be a low- impact or higher intensity workout. For example, a person with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, or other various lumbar-pelvic issues, must caution excessive spinal rotation, twisting and lateral flexion movement. In essence, Zumba® is still an achievable and healthy workout, but regression, or modification, to specific dance moves is
For those with crunchy and achy knees and hips, and who commit to Zumba® long- term, it is advisable to wear dance shoes rather than the traditional running or walking. Zumba®wear offers male and
female dance shoes.
What is the difference? Located on the bottom of the dance shoe is a “pivot point” under
the metatarsal and calcaneus area of the foot, which assists in the turning and rotational movement. Packed classes start to heat the room with moisture and humidity. Once hardwood floors get tacky, the rotational movements “get sticky” with regular shoes, which causes achy knees and unhappy hips.
In the fitness industry, fads and trends happen incessantly. Zumba® is one of the most popular trends, and continues to expand globally. On a local level, visit www.communityfitness. com to view the group exercise schedule for on-going Zumba® classes and events. “We provide an entire community of people who participate and have created a warm Zumba® culture like nothing you can find anywhere else. It is a true Zumba® Community.” States, Murphy Madden.
BIO: Elizabeth Kovar M.A., Seattle resident, is the fitness coordinator at the Lynnwood Recreation Center. Elizabeth is a freelance fitness and travel writer; in addition to a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. With international work and study experience within India and Australia, she studied yoga within five different countries. She is also a workshop presenter for BOSU and AFAA.