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Join the Party: Get Fit With Zumba Dance Fitness

The appearance of beautiful warm weather is shortening the time left to make your dream beach body a reality. With only a few weeks to get your body in shape, living in a gym is not practical. One workout routine has revolutionized the world of fitness, Zumba Dance Fitness. Zumba is a fun, high-energy, dance party experience that will alter your opinion of working out.

Though it seems as if Zumba is a relatively new fitness craze, it has been a round for years. I n t he m id- 90’s a Columbian fitness instructor, Alberto “Beto” Perez, changed the work-out world forever the day he forgot his traditional aerobics music for his fitness class.

Perez improvised by using his own music, salsa and merengue, and focused on “letting the music move you,” instead of the standard way of loudly counting repetitions over the music.

The class was an instant hit. From that point on, Perez dedicated his career toward spreading his new found passion.

In 2001, Perez took Zumba Dance Fitness overseas to Miami, Florida where he met entrepreneurs Alberto Perlman a nd A lberto A ghion. T he three men together then took action in the world of business by creating Zumba Fitness, and trade marking “Zumba.”

As the exercise routine grew rapidly in popularity, Zumba classes across the country were in high demand with no professionals to properly teach it. Zumba Fitness created the Zumba Academy in 2005, which serves the purpose of licensing instructors to teach Zumba classes.

The Zumba craze spread like wild fire, resulting in what it has become today. From DVD’s to classes in gyms across the country, it has become a physical fitness phenomenon.


Aside from the obvious reason people enjoy Zumba, their desire to get in shape and lose weight, there are additional benefits that cannot be seen physically.

 “My favorite part is the energy,” said Amanda O’Neil, Zumba instructor at The Atlantic Club. “If I go into class tired or in a bad mood, by the end my mood is completely opposite.”

 Any physical fitness performed benefits the mind. Studies have shown that exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which in turn cause us to have what is commonly known as a “natural high.”

 After an hour of Zumba one will burn about 500-800 calories by dancing to upbeat, fast paced music guided by an instructor. As a result, the “natural high” you experience from an intense workout like that is incomparable to most physical fitness routines.

A typical Zumba Dance Fitness class consists of about 10 songs. “In traditional classes, 70 percent of the songs are Latin based, and the rest is up to the instructor,” said O’Neil.

Instructors are given freedom with the songs they select for their classes, as well as the moves they incorporate for their fitness routines. The selected songs are usually songs by well-liked artists such as Pitbull, due to his popularity among Zumba enthusiasts as well as instructors ability to choreograph routines to his songs.

Different class levels of Zumba, based on skill level are offered, as well different types of classes based on how traditional the instructors choose to make their Zumba classes.

For students at the University, Zumba classes are taught right here on campus. Isabel Marmolejo is the Zumba Dance Fitness instructor and she has been teaching the class since fall of 2009. Her husband Chris Hirschler is a professor of Health Studies at the University. He helped create the Zumba program and promote it through the Center for Human and Community Wellness.

“The classes provide a great cardio workout, but equally important they improve the social dimension of one’s health. Nearly everyone has a smile on their face. This is rarely the case when running on a treadmill or lifting weights,” said Hirschler.

Accounting Professor at the University, Minna Yu, recently began taking Zumba classes. Yu classifies herself on a beginner’s level; however, she is pleased with how encouraging and energetic Zumba instructors are towards those who are beginners.

“I don’t like weight training, Zumba is a great alternative,” said Yu. “I love music and dancing, it’s like a party.”

Official Zumba Dance Fitness classes are held at gyms and typically charge each attendee a fee of $5-$20 on a verage. A ttending c lasses w ill give participants a higher success rate, due to being in a motivating environment guided by a trained instructor.

Though these classes are relatively inexpensive when thinking about the price of one class, when attending classes weekly the fee can begin to be very costly.

Two great alternatives to attending Zumba classes are purchasing a DVD or a video game for your gaming system. This is a great choice for college students in particular with low funds. A popular choice of a Zumba video game is Zumba Fitness Rush for Xbox 360 and Kinnect.

By paying a one-time fee, the video can be used as many times as the buyer would like, in addition to being played a t their c onvenience. A lso, exercising in the comfort of your own home allows the opportunity for friends to join! Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System is a DVD that gives you the same Zumba workout in a gym without having to leave home.

A final alternative to attending Zumba classes is looking up Zumba videos on YouTube. Since these videos are free, they tend to be shorter and less quality than purchasing a DVD or video game. Go to our website,, to check out a step-by-step Zumba video.

Whatever your preference may be, exercising with Zumba is a must! Getting in shape is a great way to jumpstart spring and summer. What’s better than feeling good physically and mentally? The answer is nothing. No excuses, join the party!