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ZUMBA has become the definitive exercise programme for the 21st Century!  In the Fitness Industry the latest revolution is Zumba!


So how did it all start off? Well a sort of “slumdog millionaire” story. It started in Cali, Colombia in the mid-‘90s.  "Beto" Perez was teaching regular aerobics classes. At that time aerobics was taking place everywhere and had developed into a huge industry with every gym having several classes and just about everyone had a VHS aerobics tape somewhere on their bookshelves. Every time you would go past a gym you would hear the unmistakable “bum, bum, bum, bum” 32 bar synthesised “music” and large numbers of people, jumping jacks, grapevines, star jumps and at its peak there were huge classes often with over a hundred people. The classes would build up and peak and then have extensive floorwork and stretching sequences to finish off with.


Then one day disaster struck for Beto. He had forgotten his aerobic music! Thinking quickly he ran back to his car and rummaged about and found some cassette tapes of traditional Latin music that was his personal passion. Rather than send everyone home he improvised on the spot, simplifying down the Latin steps he knew and making it as energetic as he could and the amazing thing was that people absolutely loved it! They loved the fiery passion and variety of the traditional Latin music. They loved how the music had soul and constant variety. They admired how Beto managed to find fitness orientated moves that fitted with the music well.


So Beto saw that this was the way things could be in the future. Start off with some inspirational music. This makes perfect sense because of the way all our bodies are built. Suppose you are at home tired and resting after a long day at work. Your body is in resting mode and the thought of any movement makes you feel ill. But suppose you hear an unexpected noise upstairs. Your body instantly jolts into action mode. Well this is how music can have the same effect. No matter how tired and lethargic you may feel, the right music will immediately jolt your body into “action mode.”  So this is one of the secrets of the Zumba formula, the right music!


Of course it isn’t as easy as simply finding the right music. Beto then had to work on how to transcribe the moves done on traditional Latin music, make them easy to follow without a partner, and make it so there is a fitness component as well. It was certainly not easy. He went to Miami and tried to introduce his ideas there. Everything was dominated either by the Latin scene or else by the aerobics 32 bar method and Beto didn’t fit into either. It was a long tough struggle but eventually in 2001 he was approached by entrepreneurs Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. They saw  the huge world wide potential and as they say the rest is history. Zumba was born!


In a Zumba class don’t just have Latin music. Beto realised that to maintain interest you have to bring in exciting music from around the World into the mix. So you travel the World through rhythm.  Exciting rhythms from Brazil, Mexico, Africa, the Carribean, Asia and the Middle East, anything exciting and rhythmic goes into the mix!


So with Zumba you turn a “work out” into a party!


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