Zumba is a dance fitness programme created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez throughout the 1990s. Zumba is a trademark owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC. The Brazilian pop singer Claudia Leitte has become the international ambassador to Zumba Fitness.

Zumba involves dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music. The choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. Squats and lunges are additionally included. Zumba Fitness, the owner of the Zumba program, doesn't charge licencing fees to gyms or fitness centers. Approximately 15 million people take weekly Zumba classes in over 200,000 locations across 180 countries.


Alberto Perez, born in 1970, became a celebrity fitness trainer in the mid-90s when he stumbled upon the concept of Latin-inspired dance-fitness. One day, Alberto walked into his aerobics class to realise he had forgotten his music. He grabbed a tape from his backpack which consisted of traditional Latin, salsa and merengue music, all of which he loved. It was a challenge for Albert to improvise the class to non-traditional aerobics music and by the end of the class the new concept in fitness was created.

Time line

1999 After finding success in Colombia, Alberto took the class to the United States where he was approached in 2001 by entrepreneurs Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. The name Zumba was trademarked with the goal to create a global brand.

2002 A deal was secured with a large infomercial company to launch the concept by selling hundreds and thousands of videos in the U.S. Such a large response came that demand exploded for more Zumba instructors.

2007 During the 5 years leading to 2007, Zumba fitness had aligned with numerous fitness facility chains and organizations, and teamed with well-known names such as Kellogg where the team developed a fitness campaign for the Hispanic market. By 2007 the Zumba programme had expanded across six continents – North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

2016 From 2007 to 2016 Zumba fitness continued to expand by creating classes for people of all ages and different styles along with more opportunities for instructors with education from leading professionals. Zumba ensures the highest level of quality and dedication to excellence. During an interview Mark Crumpton conducted with Alberto Perlman on December 4, 2015 Alberto stated 14 million are taking Zumba classes every week at 140 thousand location and in 186 countries.

The name "Zumba" has no particular meaning, it was chosen arbitrarily as a brand name.


An instructor coaches a Zumba class in a fitness center.

Zumba classes are typically about an hour long and are taught by instructors licenced by Zumba Fitness, LLC. In one Zumba class a person can burn between 500-1000 calories depending on the energy the individual puts into the class. The exercises include music with fast and slow rhythms, as well as resistance training. The music comes from the following dance styles: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, axé music and tango. There are nine different types of classes for different levels of age and exertion. Zumba Gold is a programme designed for beginners and older individuals. Zumba Step is a lower-body workout that incorporates Zumba routines and step aerobics with Latin dance rhythms. Rumba Toning is for the people who do their workouts with toning sticks. Zumba Toning will target the abs, thighs, arms, and additional muscles throughout the body. Zumba Toning provides participants with a cardio workout and strength training. Aqua Zumba classes are held in a swimming pool. The instructor leads the class poolside while participants follow in shallow water. Moves have been specially adapted to combine the same dance movements used in a Zumba Fitness class with those used in aqua fitness classes . Zumba In The Circuit combines dance with circuit training. These classes usually last 30 minutes and feature strength exercises on various stations in timed intervals. Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. classes are designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Zumba Gold-Toning is a toning class for older participants with goals of improving one's muscle strength, posture, mobility, and coordination. Zumba Sentao is a chair workout that focuses on using body weight to strengthen and tone the body. Zumba instructors have the option to become ZIN™ Members (Zumba Instructor Network members) to receive bimonthly training DVDs to assist with the creation of music and choreography for their personal Zumba classes.

Because Zumba offers different options, proponents of the Zumba programme claim that it is safe for all ages, meaning that anyone from age 0 to 100 can participate in this form of aerobic exercise. At least a few of the classes are specifically aimed at elderly people, to help them build strength, improve motion and posture, and socialize.



Zumba sold DVDs via infomercials in 2002. In 2005, the Zumba Academy was launched to licence instructors for teaching Zumba classes. In 2007 the company launched a clothing line called Zumba wear. In July 2012, it released the compilation album Zumba Fitness Dance Party. More than 10 million DVDs have been sold.


As of 2012, official apparel sales amounted to $10 million per year.

Video games

In 2010 Zumba released its first fitness video game on November 30, 2010. As of August 2011, it has sold 3 million copies.

The Zumba Fitness 2 video game was released in November 2011. A similar game was released on the Xbox 360 as Zumba Fitness Rush in February 2012.

Zumba Fitness Core was released in October 2012 for the Wii and Xbox 360. The game includes new features such as nutrition tips and ability to set personal goals.

Most recently, Zumba Fitness: World Party was released on November 5, 2013. That game features the new World Tour mode that unlocks songs from seven global destinations as you progress, exposing you to authentic customs, local rhythms and native dance styles.

The game was followed by Zumba Kids on November 19, 2013.

All of the Zoë Mode-developed Zumba titles run on Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3.