Zumba Fitness was created in 2001 by Alberto “Beto” Perez. It is a Latin inspired dance-fitness program that incorporates international music such as: salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton. Since its inception, the Zumba program has grown to become the world’s largest – and most successful – dance-fitness program with more than 12 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking weekly classes in over 110,000 locations across more than 125 countries.
Q: You are a mature woman. Would you mind telling us your age and how long you have been an instructor?
A: I’m 61 years young and have been a certified fitness instructor since 2001. I became certified as a Zumba instructor in 2008.
Q: What do you think about Zumba?
A: Zumba is an excellent workout that can be done on land or in the water. This exercise strengthens the heart and the lungs, as well as increases endurance. It is also a weight bearing exercise that increases bone density. An aqua Zumba workout can be more intense and challenging than land because of the water’s resistance but is gentler on the joints.
Q: What do you like about Zumba?
A: I love the various international rhythms and movements, i.e. salsa, merengue, cumbia and belly dance. It’s something everybody can learn to do; it’s a wonderful, exhilarating and fun activity. Zumba has never felt like working out to me.
Q: How is it different from other exercises?
A: Zumba allows the music to move you instead of counting how many times (reps) you do a particular exercise. There are usually only 3-4 different moves in a song, so most instructors use the same playlist for a few weeks which allows participants to learn the songs and the moves. In Zumba, the cues are visual; in aerobics, it’s verbal. As with most forms of exercise, Zumba helps increase cognitive and coordination skills. The more you do it, the better you get at it. And the BIG plus is that you can burn about 500-600 calories in a 45-minute routine.
Q: Why do you think people like Zumba?
A: People love the rhythm of the music. Once the music starts, participants forget about their cares. It gives people an opportunity to relieve stress, smile, have fun, burn calories and dance.
Q: I heard there are other specialties under the umbrella of Zumba. Can you tell me what they are?
A: Sure, there are several: Aqua Zumba (water), Zumba Gold (baby boomers), Zumba Toning (body sculpting) and Zumbatomic (for kids).
Q: What about eating before a Zumba class?
A: My suggestion would be to eat 1½ hours before class, something light preferably, and protein, after class. Also, stay hydrated; water is best.
Q: What motivates you to continue exercising?
A: Staying strong and healthy, not to mention, it keeps me young. I am very grateful to God to be able to wake up every morning and have the activity of my limbs. I celebrate the fact that I am able to move. I also thank God every time I teach a class and make it through that session. I take nothing for granted.
Q: How can someone contact you, get certified or find a class in their area?
A: All that information can be found at www.zumba.com.
Well, there it is, Jewell Webb, Zumba Instructor. Thanks Jewell!