Burn Off The Crazy
“Four. Three. Two. Zumba!”, yells our Spanish dance trainer, and then, the beat drops. Within seconds, the temperature goes up to 30 degrees. With cocktail mixing movements, we create the biggest summer party in a 60 square meter fitness room in one sweat-soaking, hour-long session.
Zumba is probably the most physically exhausting party you will ever attend.
The world-wide fitness hype was created by chance, when Alberto Perez arrived to teach his aerobics class in Cali, Columbia, in 1986, and substituted his forgotten work-out music with Latin music. His improvised class was a hit! Little did he know that he initiated something that would become Zumba. After he immigrated to Miami, Florida, he was discovered by the two online businessmen: Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. Soon, the three Albertos created a fitness wonder, which had spread to all six continents by 2007.
Instead of counting repetitions or sticking to time-dependent intervals, you follow the beat. The dance constructor telegraphs the next moves by hand signals, such as holding up fingers for the number of repetitions, or announces a switch with a handclap or a warrior scream. The Latin-inspired fitness program is an all-body workout that touches every muscle and joint. Large muscle groups are used repetitively, while hips receive particular attention. Hold on, did I just squat? The fitness program is about more than swinging hips from side to side as it sneaks in more traditional exercises, such as lunges, jumps, arm curls and squats. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 155 pound person (70.3 kilograms) burns 446 calories within an hour of fast dancing. Therefore, the fat-burning exercise is keeping up with other aerobic exercises, like walking at 4mph (334 calories) or jog-walking (446 calories). As your pounds are melting away, the mood blasting group work-out strengthens the heart and reduces anxiety, depression and stress levels. Zumba is also Shakira’s fitness tip, as she swung her hips in private lessons with Mr. Perez. Not to mention stars like Jennifer Lopez or former First Lady Michelle Obama are infected by the Latin rhythms.
In July 2015, 12,975 Zumba-enthusiasts in Mandaluyong City, near the Philippine capital Manila, filled the streets to celebrate (for 30 minutes) the biggest Zumba party in history. A world record! Two years later, in June 2017, another Zumba-related post made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. In a mine in Thüringen, Germany, 500 meters underground 350 Zumba fans danced (for 3 hours) at the “deepest” Zumba event.
To put it in Henry Alford’s words: “If that’s not crazed, I don’t know what it is.”
Harvard Health Publications: “Calories Burned in 30 Minutes of Leisure and Routine Activities”. URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities (16.08.2017)
Pam Murphy: “Origins of Zumba”. URL: http://www.livestrong.com/article/339452-origins-of-zumba/ (16.08.2017)
WirtschaftsWoche: “Neuer Sport durchZufall”. URL: http://www.wiwo.de/unternehmen/dienstleister/alberto-perez-neuer-sport-durch-zufall/8856126-2.html (16.08.2017)
Cornelia Bauer: “Von Miami nach Merkers zur tiefsten Zumba Party der Welt”. URL: http://www.insuedthueringen.de/region/thueringen/thuefwthuedeu/Von-Miami-nach-Merkers-zur-tiefsten-Zumba-Party-der-Welt;art83467,5588751 (16.08.2017)
Welt: “Das ist die groessteZumbaTanzstunde der Welt”. URL: http://www.welt.de/videos/video144201713/Das-ist-die-groesste-Zumba-Tanzstunde-der-Welt.html (16.08.2017)
Henry Alford: “Zoom In, Zumba Away”. URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/fashion/zoom-in-zumba-away.html (16.08.2017)