Zumba Fitness:

BOUT: ZUMBA     Sweet beats improve your cardio (:

pictured: Jamie Lynn, Left, & Erika Rivere, a Zumba instructor in Apollo Beach, Florida, enjoy the effects of Zumba fitness. I recently spent a day last week shooting some photos while they practiced some moves. Photo courtesy of LucidMojo.com ©ScottEdwards 2012

Zumba! A fun, sexy latino inspired trend is gaining momentum in popularity. What is it & where is it from?

What it is: “Zumba” (pronounced Zoom-ba) -is a latin dance fitness program that was created by Alberto “Beto” Perez in Colombia the 90’s. It combines dance and aerobic elements which choreography includes soca, saba & mambo as well as moves that include squats & lunges; and even Bollywood style belly dancing. It is a challenging, continual movement that requires control, stamina and some grace. It has an interesting backstory, too.

Perez applied the backbeat of salsa & merengue latin styles to the aerobics classes he led, improvising with this approach -a rather untraditional musical style to apply to aerobic maneuvers, serendipitiously when he was short on good music for his Classes. Legend has it that he used tracks on cassette tape he had in his backpack in his car- It was a success & caught hold of Perez & many others attention around the globe. “The results are an electric combination that adds a sweet layer of all that this music has to offer.”  Its a marriage of rhythm & dance and it takes work to do it- but doesn’t seem like it because its fun”, says Jamie Lynn, an educator from Apollo Beach florida, who attends zumba classes at least 3 times a week.

Perez moved to the US in 2001 & Teamed up with a friend and co founder, Alberto Perlman. They produced a demo reel, and the concept was discovered & licensed by Fitness Quest. The company created marketing campaign that produced rumba home videos in 2002. After some considerable time, It has organically gained popularity and brand, with seven different types of of classes including aqua zumba, that is based in a pool. Newer technologies have allowed for developments of rumba video games, The new bio-feedback style body/video games like the Xbox Kinnect and the Wii fit  allow for an interactive rumba experience that provides an interesting feedback on your workouts performance because of the interface. Further, there are now more than ever thousands of  instructors teaching zumba in countries around the world thanks to the reach of the internet.

The motion is in the lotion…

The Zumba exercises lend themselves to the musics various slow and fast rhythms as well as resistance training exercises to the lilting latin beats. It has been noted that persons who participate in a session experience a fun, informal, even party like atmosphere as thegang moves loosely in dance. It is also noteworthy that there is a drummer often present, something I thought myself is rather sweet. Others claim to experience a responsive wave of  endorphin like and adrenal effects. I would like to note the overtones of studies that show how frequency vibration is an element that only happens on subtler human frequency perceptions, and affect rhythmic heartpatterns and certain brainwaves.

The motion is based on aerobic cardiovascular activity but the variations and modifications make you move your entire body, and there are up to seven “levels” of zumba training that vary wildly. The one thing that anchors everything is the music. 

Aside from the boost of self confidence the movements include lower body (legs – quadriceps, hamstring from squat and lunge positions to calves and hip adduction from other transitional poses, similar to moving yoga , tai chi and even belly dancing. Core strength is emphasized with the full body movement, and even shoulder region is affected by hyperflexion and abductor contractions. Centrifugal force and counterbalance agility also is emphasized.

Cardio is the main emphasis as far as this activity would be mainly classified. It is a light cardio at that, say different from HIT training, Tablata, or other intense programs. It’s emphasis on fun is what makes it attractive. I believe that is incredibly important for all levels of workout programs.

A standard class is an hour in length and uses four basic rhythms based on simplified salsa, merengue, cumber & reggeaton, I think is ½ ? 4/4 4/8 /16 etc. There are elements mashed from mambo Flamenco, Rumba Calypso beats to round out a facemelting latinthumping sound experience to dance to get your cardio on. From there you can advance to make these fluid motions more difficult and more beneficial in the way your body adapts to the cardiovascular conditioning.

The group element adds to a sense of community and accomplishment as an individual since you are really only required to push your own levels of exertion which increase as you practice.

There is definitely a factor in making a workout varied and fun for your clients as a personal trainer. You deserve to look into what Zumba has to offer in spirit and attitude as well as a few fresh moves to challenge you in your and your clients workouts. Certainly the music adds a real ambiance. Studies have reflected that listening to music with an elevated beat pattern of around 110 to 120+BPM that can help endurance athletes who move with the music because of the brains subtle ways of syncronizing within a beat pattern- hence the phenomenon of music altogether.
I say give it a try . I have been recently intruduced to these new forms, and would like to hear your comments about your experience!
thanks for reading.

~Scott Edwards

exercise can improve your mood, prevent chronic disease, aid in weight management, strengthen your cardiovascular system, promote better sleep, and can even enhance your sex life. Most importantly and often forgotten, exercise can be enjoyable! why wait? add some to your week and feel good about it. Too often we get sedentary and pay a steep price in the decrease in quality of life for it. I suggest all sorts of athletic activities and healthy alternatives to keep fit. got any suggestions or feedback? would love to hear from you! 

Join the party: instructor Berto Perez leads a Zumba class


About: local Zumba… meet instructor Erika Rivere:


LOCAL ZUMBA INSTRUCTOR Erica Rivera hosts wild for rumba sessions in Apollo Beach, Riverview and you can find out the class availability times from this link: {URL} @Zumba.com:      https://www.zumba.com/en-US/profiles/65498/erika-rivere/             @Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/alwaysbonita                                                        

You can contact her thru the links provided,  (& tell her you heard about it here:)



Support for local trainers scott@fitbodyguru.com, ISSA certified CPT Tampa Bay ©ScottEdwards2012




  1. ^ Sweat Equity, Miami Herald, p. G1, 13 February 2012
  2. ^ Zumba brings the dance party into the health club, USA Today, 10 October 2011
  3. ^ Fitness Guinea Pig: Zumba, Brides Magazine
  4. ^ Zumba Shakes the Monotony Out of Ordinary Aerobics Classes, The Washington Post, 31 July 2008
  5. ^ Zumba Turns Dancers Into Entrepreneurs, Inc., 26 May 2011
  6. ^ Get fit dancing: Dance to a different beat with Zumba, Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2009
  7. ^ About Zumba Fitness on official website
  8. ^ The secret to fitness craze Zumba’s success?, The Independent, 7 September 2011
  9. ^ Zumba Movement Catches On, Now Comes the Hard Part, Fox Business, 11 April 2011