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How did Zumba start?

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Where does Zumba come from?

The story goes that Colombian fitness instructor Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez forgot the music he needed to teach an exercise class back in the mid-90s. With no time to go back for it, he decided to improvise by grabbing a cassette of his favourite music from the car. The tape was full of salsa and merengue music and his class loved the new mix of dance and aerobics that Beto brought them that day so he decided to stick with the music and develop a new style of fitness.

Beto moved to Miami in 2001 and his fun dance workout was a huge hit there too. With a couple of business friends, he made up the name ‘Zumba’ and decided to launch it far and wide via video tapes.

Why is Zumba so popular?

The success of Zumba is partly down to the fact that people don’t see it as a fitness regime – it’s so enjoyable, colourful and sociable that the fitness benefits almost happen by accident!

Zumba grew from a video ‘home workout’ to a worldwide phenomenon by training instructors and creating a whole clothing brand that was the complete opposite to the black and grey seriousness of other exercise classes. The Latin-inspired classes bring in dance influences from the Caribbean, Indian Bollywood and even Brazilian martial arts.

How does Zumba work?

Zumba is one of the most fun, and best fat-burning workout classes around. Millions of people in hundreds of countries all over the world enjoy a Zumba class as part of their fitness programme. It was designed to be an intense and efficient calorie-burning workout.

Part of Zumba’s appeal is that it’s adaptable and suitable for all different ages, body types and levels of fitness. As well as Zumba, we also offer a low impact version called Zumba Gold! This is another way that Zumba has maintained its loyal following – there’s a Zumba class for absolutely everyone!

Many people love the non-judgemental nature of Zumba. It doesn’t matter how good a mover you are or what you look like – everyone is concentrating on the steps and having a good time.

At Gemma Pearce Fitness, we offer Zumba, Zumba Gold and Family Zumba around Abingdon, Didcot and surrounding villages. So why not ‘ditch the workout and join the party’?!

Find out about Zumba and other fun, fitness classes at


Find out more about our online exercise classes and face to face fitness classes in Didcot & Abingdon at

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