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Dancerific: The Zumba Craze

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The way I remember it: Staying in shape was pretty much "effortless" for most back in our college day, even despite gaining the Freshman 15.

Sure we had youth on our side...but we also had Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and for most of us that meant three evenings of non-stop clubbing to the rhythms of the night.

Dancing is a GREAT, FUN way to stay healthy and in shape and now a new type of dance is taking shape in (literally) shaking things up in the fitness field.
In fact, almost 1 million Americans alone have tried Zumba.

Zumba is an invigorating style of intense dance-aerobic workout done to pulsating Latin beats.

Typically a 60-minute program (though there are some 30-minute routines) each class incorporates "fancy" footwork and body movements from a variety of Latin dances....and that translates into either a half hour or an hour of foot stomping, arm pumping, gyrating, clapping, dipping, spinning and sliding leaving participants drenched in sweat and dripping in fun.

This fabulous fitness program that works on one's coordination as well as one's figure was created by dancer and choreographer Alberto ("Beto") Perez in Columbia back in the 1990s. And, this unique program of fun fitness is recognized by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, and the American Council on Exercise.

The music is the main ingredient in getting your mood and your heart pumping. Designed with specifics beats and tempo changes, the workout allows for variations in the routine that help with toning, strengthening and cardio targeting every major muscle group in the body.

In addition, there are a variety of Zumba classes designed for every age, skill, and fitness level. They include:

• Zumba—The original Zumba class including basic rhythms like merengue, foxtrot, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dance, waltz, tango, samba.

• Zumba Gold—This is designed for the older adults.

• ZUMBA Toning—This class focuses on calorie-burning and strength-training. Participants use weighted, maraca-like Zumba Toning Sticks.

• Aqua Zumba—This is for ages 14+ and is similar to water aerobics.

• Zumbatomic—for girls and boys ages 4–12. It incorporates urban dance styles like hip hop, reggaeton and pop with concepts such as coordination, discipline, confidence and teamwork.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Dancerific: The Zumba Craze

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