Zumba was developed in the 1990s by a Colombian choreographer and fitness instructor. Having forgotten to bring along the music tape for an aerobics class he was leading, Alberto Perez had to improvise, using salsa and meringue music that he listened to in the car as his inspiration. After some success in his local area, Alberto decided to move to USA in 2001, to develop the dance program further and to introduce it to a wider audience.
The Three Albertos
After reaching America, Perez teamed up with Alberto Perlman, credited as the co-founder of Zumba and Alberto Aghion, now the president and COO of Zumba Fitness LLC. A demonstration video was produced and subsequently taken up by Fitness Quest, who marketed it as part of their home fitness video range. Contrary to popular belief, the name Zumba is not a combination of names of Latin dance styles, it was chosen at random by the three Albertos as an interesting sounding name for their new dance fitness program.
Zumba Takes Off: Videos, Local Instructors, and Fashion!
In the early 2000s, Zumba DVDs were promoted via television advertisements and by 2005; an official academy was launched, where people could study to become licensed instructors and go on to take classes in local fitness centers and gyms. By 2007, the company had diversified into the retail fashion industry; with a line of clothing they called Zumba Wear. Since then, several Zumba video games have been released for fitness enthusiasts who own gaming consoles such as the Xbox and Wii.
At the time of writing, Zumba is still enormously popular, with millions of people attending classes on a regular basis in gyms and fitness centers across the US and all over the world. Of the many dance fitness programs currently in existence, Zumba is one of the most enduring one.