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A practice lesson

Zumba is the registered brand name for a fitness concept that was created by the dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Pérez in Colombia in the 1990s. Zumba combines aerobics with Latin American and international dances . The Zumba name is a registered trademark of Zumba Fitness, LLC worldwide.


The Colombian fitness trainer Alberto Pérez reports on his website that in the 1990s he forgot the music cassette at an aerobics class he led . So that the course wouldn't fail, he used the only music available to him - the tapes from his car. These included traditional Latin Salsa and Merengue , which is why he had to improvise and lead the course to these unfamiliar rhythms for the course participants. Pérez later taught it as "Rumbacize". After initial success in Colombia, he brought Zumba to the United States in 1999 . In 2001 Alberto Pérez registered the Zumba brand name and founded a company called "Zumba Fitness LLC" with two business partners. DVDs and CDs as well as fitness courses, video games and sportswear are now available under the Zumba brand name. Around 15 million people, according to the Zumba website, take part in Zumba courses at over 200,000 locations in 180 countries around the world.

Music and choreography

Zumba is a mixture of aerobics and mostly Latin American dance elements. Zumba does not work by counting bars, but follows the flow of the music. In contrast to classic aerobics, Zumba does not have a continuous beat and the movements are not standardized. Instead, each song has its own choreography to match its characteristics and dance style. The songs come from very different folkloric as well as modern urban music styles, and the individual songs are usually separated from one another by short pauses. The music and dance steps come from the following styles, among others: reggaeton , cumbia , salsa , merengue , mambo , flamenco , cha-cha-cha , tango , soca , samba , axé , belly dance , bhangra and hip-hop . The dance steps of the respective music style are combined with aerobic elements (e.g. squat, lunge) within the choreography in order to increase the degree of stress.

In marketing, Pérez does not emphasize efficiency or an optimized training method, but attaches importance to having fun with music and creative movements. Pérez emphasizes that the participants primarily follow their inner rhythmic feelings and should then adapt this more and more to the given choreography.

Nevertheless, Zumba is rated by experts as a demanding full-body workout. However, the information on the presumed energy consumption varies greatly. The sports scientist Ingo Froböse from the German Sport University Cologne considers 1,670 kJ (= 400 kcal) per hour to be normal for this type of load. Zumba instructors are of the opinion that, depending on the Zumba variant, values ​​between 2,500 and 4,200 kJ (= 600–1000 kcal) per hour can be achieved, and Men's Fitness magazine states that the energy expenditure is around 3,000 kJ (= 725 kcal) per hour. The Journal of Sports Science & Medicine shows a study in which a person burned 300 to 900 calories with an hour of Zumba exercise.

Zumba programs

In addition to the basic Zumba variant, there are now many specialized Zumba programs for different target groups:

  • Zumba Gold tailors the movements to the needs of older participants with restricted mobility (e.g. after operations).
  • Zumba Toning combines targeted body shaping exercises, strength training and intensive endurance training with energy expenditure . The light rumba-like toning sticks are used to train the target areas arms, stomach, buttocks and thighs.
  • Aqua Zumba is an aqua fitness training adapted to the Zumba concept . It is said to help improve cardiovascular system and performance .
  • Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. is a Zumba variant for girls and boys from four to twelve years old and combines urban dance styles such as hip-hop , reggaeton and pop with the concept of working on concentration, coordination and self-confidence and stimulating the metabolism.
  • In contrast to regular one-hour courses, Zumba in the Circuit is a half-hour short training session. It works with reggaeton, salsa, merengue, soca and hip-hop. This course can be tailored to all fitness levels.
  • Zumba Gold Toning is a moderate intensity variant for middle-aged and beginner participants. It is said to improve muscle strength, bone density , agility, posture and coordination.
  • Zumba Sentao is performed with a chair (but not exclusively) and is intended to strengthen the muscles.
  • Zumbini is designed for toddlers up to 3 years of age who "wiggle", sing and learn together.
  • Zumba Step works with a stepper and is primarily intended to strengthen the glutes and legs.
  • STRONG by Zumba is a program that breaks with the classic Zumba concept. It is a high-intensity interval training with specially developed music that is precisely adapted to the movements and is a main component of the 55-minute workout.

Legal status

In Iran, Zumba classes were banned by the state in June 2017 because they violated Islamic rules.

In Iran, six Iranians were arrested in August 2017 for teaching the Latin American dance Zumba. The two women and four men are said to have taught Western dances to boys and girls in the northern Iranian city of Shahrud. The accusation was that with the dance videos, the dancers wanted to change people's way of life and persuade them not to wear the headscarf. In Iran, women are required to wear a headscarf in public. Western dances are forbidden.

Web links

Commons : Zumba  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Zumba  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. German website of Zumba Fitness LLC
  2. Zumba Workout: Is it Truly an Effective Workout? Retrieved March 20, 2019 .
  3. Learn about Zumba Fitness | Zumba classes. Retrieved March 20, 2019 .
  4. Google Books Preview. Retrieved December 20, 2012 . Latin Dance , Elizabeth Drake-Boyt, 96
  5. "Zumba dancing" - Where the workout becomes a fitness party , berlin.de
  6. http://www.zumba.com/de-DE/about
  7. Google Books Preview. Retrieved December 17, 2012 . Latin Dance by Elizabeth Drake-Boyt ABC-CLIO, page 95
  8. Zumba - With a lot of rhythm against annoying pounds , Die Welt, December 5, 2012, accessed on March 8, 2016
  9. Fitness , What brings the Zumba dance workout , t-online.de
  10. Page no longer available , search in web archives: "Zumba is in - hip calorie burner" , hr-online.de@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.hr-online.de
  11. M. Luettgen, C. Foster, S. Doberstein, R. Mikat, J. Porcari: Zumba®: is the "fitness party" a good workout? In: Journal of sports science & medicine. Volume 11, number 2, 2012, pp. 357-358, PMID 24137072 , PMC 3737860 (free full text).
  12. www.zumba.com
  13. "STRONG by Zumba website" ( memento of the original dated February 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , strongbyzumba.com, accessed February 13, 2017.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.strongbyzumba.com
  14. Thomas Erdbrink: Iran Bans Zumba, and Its Fans Fume . In: The New York Times . June 17, 2017, ISSN  0362-4331 ( nytimes.com [accessed March 20, 2019]).
  15. https://www.n-tv.de/der_tag/Iran-Festhaben-wegen-Zumba-Unterricht-article19976267.html