What is the Zumba Dance?

You may have heard of people taking up zumba dance to stay fit, and you may even have wondered exactly what zumba dance is. Zumba is a type of dance that originated in the 1990s. It was developed by Alberto Perez who is a Columbian choreographer and dancer.

As Exercise

Zumba has become very popular as a form of aerobic exercise, with many fitness centers offering zumba dance. In fact, millions of people worldwide in over 100 countries participate in zumba classes as a way to maintain or increase their physical fitness. Zumba is effective in exercising many different muscles of the body since it incorporates several different styles of dance. It includes such styles of movement as are seen in the mamba, merengue, salsa, samba and even hip-hop dance genres.

Today there are different forms and levels of zumba dance that cater for people of different ages and fitness levels. This means that even an older person can take a zumba class. There is even aqua zumba, which is zumba that is held in water.

How it Works

Zumba classes include an instructor who leads the group in the movements that they need to make as the music plays. There is a heavy emphasis on steps and moving of the hips. Researchers have found that zumba classes can provide as good a cardiovascular workout as traditional step aerobics classes. The dance class appeals to people who tend to avoid traditional types of exercise, possibly because it has variety and people do not become bored. Zumba also exercises and strengthens core muscles of the stomach and trunk.

People seem to enjoy the Zumba workout more than some traditional workouts, and if they enjoy the fitness program then they are more likely to persevere and continue to exercise on a regular basis. Zumba dance usually uses Latin music, and a zumba class usually starts off with a warm up period. It then uses music of different tempo, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Various muscles are toned and shaped by the moves that are incorporated in zumba dance.

You should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, including zumba, since it will place stress on various muscles of your body. Some zumba classes can burn as many as 1000 calories in an hour. Of course, again, you need to be aware of your own physical condition and not select a very high intensity zumba class right at the start. It is often better to start slower and then work up to more advanced zumba classes, if possible. Some of the basic steps of zumba include merengue which is a marching type of dance, and then salsa is incorporated with its sideways hip movements. Movements from the cumbia, which is a Columbian dance, can also be incorporated.

Belly dancing and hip-hop movements can then also be incorporated. The different movements all work together to exercise, shape and tone different muscles of the body. The variety also means that people do not become bored by too much repetition of one type of movement. So, if you are looking for a different type of exercise program, zumba dance may be something to consider.

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