One hot trends in aerobics still is a hot little South American-influenced workout called Zumba.
Zumba’s founder, Alberto Perez, considers himself the Forrest Gump of dance. It’s a nice bit of humility, but he must be doing something right. Nearly four million copies of Zumba workout DVDs have been sold, and about 20,000 instructors in 40 countries now teach Zumba, 15,000 of which are in the U.S.
But in a Gump sort of way, the 37-year-old kind of stumbled upon the sensation he created.
In the mid-’90s, as he hurried to an aerobics class he was teaching, he realized he forgot his workout music. So he grabbed whatever he had in his car… which just happened to be the salsa and merengue music that became the inspiration for Zumba.
Actually, Zumba is more of a “gumbo” stew of music, all stirred together for a vigorous hour of fitness: mambo, cha-cha, cumbia, and merengue. Even hip-hop, or belly dancing can be a part of the Zumba experience.
Some industry people attribute Zumba’s popularity to recent reality show hits like Dancing With The Stars.
About the Author: Co-founder of Girl, Get Strong! Melanie Berezan is a Vancouver writer, adventure seeker, traveler and mom of four young superheroes. She has been a feature contributor for publications including Gal Time, Mom Central and Diets in Review. Melanie is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories. For more information about Melanie or to contact her, visit MelanieBerezan.com