Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez in Colombia during the 1990s.
Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Unlike a typical dance class where counts are used, Zumba involves following the music with repetitive movements. Zumba's choreography incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included.
In the 1990s, Perez forgot his tape of aerobics music for a class he was teaching. He took the tapes available in his car—consisting of traditional Latin salsa and merengue music—and improvised a class using this non-traditional aerobics music. After the initial success in Colombia, he took the class to the United States in 1999. Zumba is considered exercise in disguise.
The Zumba program is recognized by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, and the American Council on Exercise.
Zumba exercises include music with fast and slow rhythms and resistance training for fitness and losing weight. The music comes from the following dance styles: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, hip hop music, axé music and tango. There are six different types of classes.