Zumba has grown phenomenally since it's origins in the late 1990s. In fact Zumba is probably the fastest and widest reaching of all the fitness crazes of the last decade or so.
Zumba was the accidental brain child of Columbian born Beto Perez. He was working as an aerobics instructor in the 90s trying to fund professional dance lessons when he turned up to an aerobics class and realised he had forgotten the workout music. He quickly rummaged through his car and the only cassette available to him was a selection of Latin music he had taped from the radio. Unperturbed he used it and created a routine using a combination of his Latin dance style and aerobics moves. Zumba was born and could perhaps be credited with being the original "dancercise" workout.
Despite its immediate popularity in its native Columbia it took four trips to America before Beto's perseverance paid off and the fitness industry sat up and took notice. Fifteen years later Zumba Fitness is a brand in its own right (with Beto still involved as the Creative Director) with millions of people taking classes every week, led by tens of thousands of instructors worldwide.
Today Zumba is available in a number of class types to spread it's appeal to new dancercise class goers even wider:
Zumba - The original and traditional Zumba class features exotic rhythms and aerobic dance moves to high energy Latin and International beats, giving it the tag line of "The Original Dance-Fitness Party".
Zumba Step - A relative newcomer Zumba Step combines the more familiar step aerobics with the Latin high energy moves and beats.
Zumba Toning - With the addition of maraca inspired weighted toning sticks, Zumba Toning aims to add an element of resistance to the moves for those wishing to tone arms, abs and thighs as well as trim them!
Aqua Zumba - Yep, you can even do it in the water! Combining the Latin dance party and aqua aerobics makes for an all round workout with high energy cardio conditioning and water resistance offering the opportunity of some muscle toning and additional calorie burn.
Zumba Sentao - Another combo, but a less traditional one. Zumba Sentao classes combine Zumba Fitness with ... a chair. Yeah... it's more portable than a wardrobe and at least you get to sit down afterwards! Joking aside however, these classes look like awesome fun and when it comes to a successful fitness class, fun is the key word.
Zumba Gold - This lower impact modified class recognises that the high intensity of the original Zumba isn't for everyone. For the older class goer, a nervous first timer, or someone starting from a lower fitness base level this is a great community class where you can join in at your own pace.
Zumba Gold Toning - Taking the same principals of Zumba Toning but supporting lower impact routines and class attendees who wish to work out at their own pace.
Zumba Kids - Zumba for 7 to 11 year old children.
Zumba Kids Jr - Zumba for 4 to 6 year old children.
Zumbini - Never let it be said that Zumba isn't for everyone. Zumbini is targeted at parents and their 0 to 3 year old children.
Zumba in the Circuit - If Zumba isn't enough of a workout for you Zumba in the Circuit combines a variety of circuit style strength training moves with Zumba beats and moves.