Since its origins, human beings have incorporated dance into their lives as a ritual and form of expression without knowing that they were also performing movements and exercises beneficial to health that involved practically all segments of the body scheme (Fernandez, 2001). As in any choreographic dance activity, Zumba involves all segments, although its priority is related to cardiovascular activity. Zumba has become a very important practice for Latin people abroad, because, in addition to having emerged in a Latin country (Colombia), taking as a musical base Latin rhythms that in one way or another make migrants feel connected to their roots and opens the space to generate spaces for integration around this sport, physical and now also cultural practice.

What is Zumba?

Zumba is a movement or fitness discipline of Colombian origin, focused on the one hand to maintain a healthy body and on the other hand to develop, strengthen and give flexibility to the body through dance movements combined with a series of aerobic routines. Zumba uses within its routines the main Latin American rhythms, such as salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton and samba. It is a dance discipline that can be practiced by both men and women.

“Zumba as a new trend requires the realization of global and segmental body movements with a rhythmic base, execution of dances and a good predisposition to perform the choreographies. Therefore, Zumba allows them to value, design and practice rhythmic activities with a musical base as a means of communication and creative expression. In this didactic unit it is intended that students are able to create at least one musical phrase of eight beats with zumba steps, that is, creation of collective choreographic compositions, the choice of music has to have changes of rhythm so that they take into account the intensity, as it is collective, they also have to take into account the space, as well as, to accept individual differences and respect them before the expressive manifestations of others” (Ibernia, 2015; 34).

Who can practice Zumba?

According to Donath, Roth, Hohn, Zahner and Faude. (2014) there are different types of zumba that are designed to work the corporality of people in relation to their physical and age conditions, thus both men and women, children, adolescents, adults and older adults can exercise with zumba but according to the type of zumba you can practice. There are 4 types of zumba:

Zumba Toning: Designed to burn calories, lose weight and tone muscles.

Zumbatomic: Designed for children between the ages of four and twelve. In addition to exercising, they work and transmit certain values.

Aqua Zumba: Consists of performing the routines in the water.

Zumba Gold: Designed for senior citizens..

How is Zumba practiced?

This activity directed by a professional consists of structured and sequenced physical exercises in a logical way, which is performed to the rhythm of the music. Therefore, it is essential when preparing a Zumba session to choose the right music. If you want an intense class if you will choose an agile music, with a lot of rhythm, or one with a soft rhythm for a relaxing session. (Luettgen, Porcari, Foster, Mikat y Rodríguez, 2012).

A Zumba class lasts approximately 50 minutes and is generally structured as follows:

  1. Warm-up: 10 minutes.
  2. Cardiovascular workout: 25 minutes.
  3. Cardiovascular cool-down: 5 minutes.
  4. Toning and stretching: 10 minutes.

What are the benefits of Zumba for those who practice it?

Zumba is a safe physical activity whose practice leads to cardiovascular, pulmonary and psychophysical improvement in general. . It is a discipline where a prolonged aerobic work is performed at a moderate intensity (between 60% and 80% of our capacity), so the pace should change depending on the people to whom it is addressed; in general zumba has the following benefits (Ibernia, 2015):

  • Improve coordination
  • Provide well-being to the body
  • Increasing the user’s energy
  • Improve self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduce stress
  • Entertains and aids interpersonal relationships
  • Develops sense of rhythm and space
  • Channel and release tension
  • Improve overall fitness

Latin friends! In MILAT we want to watch over your physical and mental health while we want to strengthen the bonds of solidarity of our members and provide a tour of the current Latin rhythms that are leaving their mark on the hearts worldwide, so we invite you to participate in the Zumba classes and let us take you on a journey into the world of rhythm and flavor that you will never forget. Registrations are open, don’t forget… We are waiting for you!

Donath, L., Roth, R., Hohn, Y., Zahner, L. & Faude, O. (2014). The effects of Zumba training on cardiovascular and neuromuscular function in female college students. European Journal of Sports Science, 14(6): 569-77.

Fernández del Valle, A. (2012) Destrezas, habilidades y su desarrollo motor. Facultad de Ciencias de la actividad física y el deporte. Apuntes Plataforma MOODLE: Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Ibernia Palacios, Altea. (2015). Beneficios psicológicos de la Zumba en la E. S.O. Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU. Grado en Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte. Valencia, España.

Luettgen, M., Porcari, J. P., Foster, C., Mikat, R. & Rodríguez-Morroyo, J. (2012). Zumba Fitness: Sure it’s fun but is it effective? Certified News.