Work Out Week: Zumba Fitness

February 20, 2008 11:01:24 AM PST
Tired of the same old workout routines? You can get fit with a Latin flavor by taking a Zumba class. "Ditch the workout and join the party!" is the theme of Zumba Fitness, which was created in the mid-90's by Colombian native Alberto "Beto" Perez, a celebrity fitness trainer and choreographer for International pop superstars. Inspired by the traditional cumbia, salsa, samba and merengue music he grew up with, Beto paired his favorite pulsating Latin rhythms with the red-hot international dance steps his clients loved and Zumba Fitness (Spanish slang for "to move fast and have fun") was born! Since Beto brought Zumba to the U.S. it has become one of the fastest growing, dance-based fitness programs in the country.

You can buy Zumba videos and practice at home or find classes in Chicago at fitness centers and health clubs, including the East Bank Club. Zumba instructor Alberto Arias, answers some common questions about Zumba:

What is Zumba?

Interval Aerobic Training to Latin rhythms Fast-paced, cardio workout done to Latin music, using Cha Cha, Merengue, Salsa, Tango and Mambo rhythms

Why is Zumba so Popular?

Spanish slang for "TO PARTY" or "HAVE A GOOD TIME" Based on the principle that a workout should be fun and easy to do ? anyone can Zumba Zumba turns exercise into a party Easy for dancers and non-dancers alike to have fun while getting fit

Zumba's History

One of the fastest-growing, dance-based fitness classes in the country Founded in 2001 by Miami-based dancer and choreographer Alberto 'Beto' Perez There are more than 9,000 Zumba instructors worldwide

About Alberto Arias

Alberto has been teaching Zumba at East Bank Club since 2006. His classes are extremely popular, sometime drawing more than 50 participants from all ages, fitness levels and backgrounds. Alberto is former dancer with the esteemed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and currently the Rehearsal Director for Chicago's popular Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company. He has choreographed for and worked with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Midwest Dance Collective and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.