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Article Archive >> Featured Topics

Movin' To the Beat: Zumba - The Best Party Around!

Movin' To the Beat
Zumba - The Best Party Around!
by Jennifer LB Leese
j.leese@picketnews.com

The founder of Zumba is an aerobics instructor from Cali, Colombia named Alberto "Beto" Perez. The craze of Zumba started when Perez forgot this usual aerobics workout music. Needing music for his class, he ran to his car and grabbed what he had - tapes of merengue, cumbia , and salsa music.
"The class started to get crazy. They loved it," Perez said.
And thus, a new workout was born.
He brought the exercise program, then called "Rumbacize", to Miami in 1999 where he was approached by entrepreneurs Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to create a global company based on the rumbacize fitness philosophy. They officially changed the name to "Zumba".
Zumba combines high energy and motivating music with unique moves and combinations that allows those participating to dance away their worries. It is fun - even for those who feel they have two left feet! The body sculpting movements are set to fun, and generally easy-to-follow dance steps. Once you got it, you got it!
Zumba is not only great for the body; it is great for the mind. You can actually feel the stress melting away.
This "feel-happy" workout is a fusion of Latin and International music and dance themes that gets your body movin'.
The routines feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms meant to tone and shape the body.
Diana Reyes, a Zumba instructor at Gold's Gym and the Washington County Recreational Department-Arcc Bldg at HCC, became a certified Zumba instructor on March 2, 2007. "I began teaching right after," she said. Diana embraces the history and effects of Zumba. "It gives more energy, tones up your body, and keeps your heart healthy as it is a full blown cardio fitness class! Not to mention how it loosens you up in a fun way, lets you relieve stress, and makes you smile!"
Diana, also one of the individuals who brings us the yearly Hispanic Festival in Hagerstown, enjoys teaching Zumba because she has the ability to share the "great culture" of great music, great rhythms and dance moves.
"For me personally music and dancing are outlets and it is great to see the way Zumba affects people in a positive manner as well! I even had a women tell me it has done wonders for her relationship, due to weight loss or sexy movements. How cool is that!"
Zumba is quickly becoming the hottest, fastest growing form of fitness. "It's all over the United States. Now Zumba conquers the world. It is the fastest-growing program. There is no stopping us," Perez said.
Burning calories has never been so much fun. Exercises like bicycling, jogging, and swimming typically allows an individual to burn 400-600 calories per hour. One Zumba class, according to a chart from the Mayo Clinic, allows that same individual to burn 800 to 1000 calories an hour.
"The biggest difference in Zumba compared to the traditional workout class is the way it tricks you into thinking you are not really exercising. Dancing is a passion for many people and Zumba is just that - dancing, having fun, and shaking your booty! People don't think about the great core workout or the high caloric expenditure that it involves. They are just having fun moving their bodies," Diana said. The passion for dance has always been in Diana's heart. "I personally more than anything enjoy the dancing part of Zumba! My family has always instilled in me a passion for music and dancing, so I have been doing Zumba since I can walk. My grandma and my dad are great dancers and my family loves to dance."
Not only can Diana inspire you with her hip poppin', booty-shakin', skillful dance she also gets you with her choice in music. She feels that the more passionate you are about your music, the better you will transfer that exciting energy to your participants. "There is nothing I am more excited about than my own music! Music that makes my heart happy!" For 4 to 6 weeks the music and dance steps stay the same. But after that Diana switches it up by creating new and exciting choreography with a collection of music that makes ya wanna to get up and shake what-cha mama gave ya!
Diana says that "The benefits of keeping the same routine for a while is the fact that the participants in the class can get comfortable with the choreography and really get to know the music and its movements! It builds up self-confidence to know you can really do it!"
The simple goals of Zumba are that they "want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba Fanatics achieve long term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exhilarating hour of caloric-burning, heart-racing, muscle-pumping, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!"
When and Where Can You Take Zumba?
Hours for the Washington County Recreational Department-Arcc Bldg at HCC runs from the week of September 8 thru December 8. Kids Zumba are Tuesdays from 4:30-5:15; adult Zumba is Tuesdays & Thursdays from 5:30-6:15.
Hours for Gold's Gym runs year round. Adult Zumba is every Tuesday & Thursday from 7-8pm with another adult class every other Sunday from Noon-1.
Those interested in Zumba at the rec center need to sign up; for Gold's you must be a member.
Kids will surely get a kick out of a Zumba class. "Kids Zumba incorporates the dancing and movement just like adult Zumba, but it also adds games and traditional kid's songs to the mix. The kid's classes are just as popular if not more than the adult classes as they are something fun as a parent-kid activity. Children get a passion for dancing and music as well as a taste of a different culture and music loved by many around the world. Instilled in them is physical activity which aids in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives!"
To teach Zumba, instructors have to take part in a training session of about eight hours to receive a one-year certificate of completion. It designates the teacher as an independent Zumba instructor.
As of July 08, Zumba has a rapidly growing community of over 20,000 trained instructors in thirty-five countries, sold over 3.5 million DVDs, and changed the lives of an estimated 4 million Zumba Fanatics.
Why? Because it's the best party around.

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