by Lana

My favorite dance song is called Zumba by Don Omar. (You can listen to it here.

According to the New York Times, “Beto” Perez began the Latin dance class known as Zumba in an aerobics class in Cali, Colombia in 1986. He forgot his regular music one day, so he substituted Latin music he had with him and the students liked it. He trademarked the Zumba name (has no special meaning) with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion in 2001.

Some of my instructors and classmates wear Zumba clothes. I prefer to wear footwear, tights and a vest under a cutout top that I take off when I begin to “feel the heat” in the forty-five to sixty minute workout. This is not my first experience with Latin dance or music. My exposure to other cultures began when I started to study Spanish and French at the age of thirteen (a lifelong learner). One of the many things that I like most about Zumba is that I get to do my own dance moves when I cannot keep up with/follow the instructor (moving to the other left) or am unfamiliar with the routine. One class can incorporate moves and music from East Indian, African, cumbia, salsa, bachata, merengue, reggaeton, calypso/soca, swing, belly dance and other styles.

Another reason I love Zumba is because I can sing along and make up my own words to songs that I love while busting a move. I have attended both high impact and Zumba Gold (slower paced) classes, depending on the time of day and if I can keep pace with the class. Water based class was okay, but I am not a fan of the cold water that provides too much resistance and I am unable to keep pace with the music.